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Looking for a swimming spot this weekend? Here are some of Ireland's best beaches

Many swimmers across Ireland will be looking forward to visiting a beach or swimming spot this we...
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

11.21 16 Jul 2021


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Looking for a swimming spot this weekend? Here are some of Ireland's best beaches


Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

11.21 16 Jul 2021


Share this article


Many swimmers across Ireland will be looking forward to visiting a beach or swimming spot this weekend.

Sea swimming has exploded in popularity in recent years, and soaring temperatures mean some people will be wondering where the best and safest spots are for a dip.

So what are the best beaches around Ireland?

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Newstalk Breakfast listeners had their say on today’s show - with the likes of Inch Beach in Kerry and Ballyquin in Waterford among the top choices.

Also on the show, Heather Snelgar - co-editor of outsider.ie - was asked for her top five swimming spots across the country.

Looking for a swimming spot this weekend? Here are some of Ireland's best beaches

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She said: “This is a tough one, but I reckon Portsalon in Donegal; Graignamanagh on the River Barrow in Carlow; Lough Hyne in West Cork; Carrick-a-Rede in Antrim; and the Vico [Road] in Dublin.

“A safe spot is really important - it’s good to know the water. And nothing beats really clear water: we’ve got so many amazing beaches, and in this kind of weather they look tropical.

“I like varying it a bit - swimming in rivers in nice, cool, dark water, and those long, sandy beaches with clear water where you can swim parallel to the shore and get out easily.”

A man preparing to enter the sea at Vico Road in Dublin 19/03/2021. Simon Morgan gets ready for his morning swim at Vico Bathing Place as the spring sun shines over Dublin. Photograph: Leon Farrell / RollingNews.ie

She noted Graignamanagh is a particularly gorgeous swimming spot, with clean water and a picturesque setting near a stone bridge. It also boasts a diving board for keen swimmers.

Water safety

It is, of course, vital to keep water safety in mind when in the sea or rivers.

Heather says you should check in with the welcoming and knowledgeable swimming communities around Ireland to ensure you're swimming in the best and safest spots.

She said: "If you’re in doubt or you haven’t swum there before, just go and have a look and see if there are other swimmers around.

“They’ll tell you exactly where it’s safe to swim, what the conditions are like, and what the water temperatures are like. It’s also just a great opportunity to chat to a new group of swimmers.

“I would always talk to somebody on the beach before I got into the water - I would never get in on an empty beach I don’t know."

She also recommended people bring a swim buoy with them - it will ensure you're visible, while also offering a "safety blanket" of sorts to hold on to if you get tired or a cramp.

The main advice, however? If in doubt, sit it out.

Heather said: "We’ve seen a few tragedies in these past lockdowns as more and more people have been swimming.

"Just go and find the next spot, where there are a few swimmers and you can be [certain] the conditions are safe to swim in.”

Main image: Inch Beach. Picture by: Peter Zoeller/Zuma Press/PA Images

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