The most well-known and loved swimming spot in Dun Laoghaire is the famous Forty-Foot – an open-sea bathing area by the Martello Tower (made famous by James Joyce in Ulysses) and enjoyed by Dubliners for more than 250 years.
This Dublin institution used to be a men-only swimming spot, but thankfully today the Forty-Foot is open to anyone brave enough for a bracing plunge in its chilly waters. Though cold, the water is clean, and there are steps to guide swimmers safely in and out of the water. The area is nicely maintained and there are changing rooms nearby.
Other popular swimming spots along Dun Laoghaire’s sandy coastline include Seapoint, Sandycove and Killiney.
Seapoint, a little north of Dun Laoghaire, is popular with swimmers of all ages who enjoy the good stretch of deep swimmable water just off the shoreline. Sandycove, just south of Dun Laoghaire pier, is ideal for families, with safe seaside paddling and plenty of ice cream for sale. The idyllic stretch of beach running alongside Killiney is ideal for lazy sunbathers and discreet celeb-spotting.
If you are looking for an indoor public swimming pool in Dun Laoghaire, head to nearby Monkstown. The leisure centre has a 25 metre swimming pool
Some handy safety tips for swimmers
- Red and yellow flags mean the area is under lifeguard supervision
- A red flag means the conditions are too dangerous for swimming
- No flag means no lifeguard is on duty, so swim at your own risk
- Swim with others – never alone
- Stay within your depth and swim parallel to the shore
- Beware of sandbanks – a fast incoming tide could cut you off from the shore
- Do not drink alcohol before or during swimming
- Be mindful of hazards
- Pay attention to the signs on the beach and obey the flags