Best Sea Swimming Spots in Ireland

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SwimCamp Swimming Coach Manuela
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Last updated: 04.10.2022 | Reading time: 8 Min.

Ireland has many beautiful swimming spots in different locations along the coast. We will show you the most exciting and popular swimming spots across the country.

Swimming in the sea is great for our physical and mental health, and we will explain to you the reasons why. 

Maybe we can convince you to try it out yourself!

To be safe while swimming in the sea, we will also give you some tips as to what you should be cautious of and keep in mind. We promise, that it will make your swimming experience safe and magical.

At the end of this article, we have a tip for those who are afraid to swim in the sea.

Is it safe to swim in the sea in Ireland?

It is possible to go open water swimming in the Irish Sea, but you must exercise caution and practice water safety.

Before going to a specific location, you should check whether it is safe to swim, as there might be no swim warnings for some areas.

You can also check the tide of the water to make sure there will be enough water to swim in. The weather is also important, there shouldn’t be any storm that would make swimming in the water risky.

Rip currents can be quite dangerous too, so you need to be aware of them. They can push you out into the sea very quickly. If you get into one, you should stay calm and swim parallel to the beach to get out of the current. Then you can swim back to the beach.

In any case, you should never swim alone and always bring someone with you or make sure that there are other people at the beach or swimming with you. So if something happens, you can get help immediately.

The Sea is quite cold, the warmest it gets is 16 degrees during the summer months. The lowest temperature is around 8 degrees during the winter. If you are not used to this water temperature, you should take it slow, and never jump in.

Otherwise, you can get a cold water shock, which you want to avoid. Even experienced swimmers that are used to the cold, need to be careful.

In the beginning, you shouldn’t swim for too long and always listen to your body. If you start shivering, or you notice that you get numb, you should get out of the water right away and warm up. It can happen that your limbs get numb after some time, which will make swimming harder.

Being aware of these rules is important to stay safe while swimming in the sea, as it is unpredictable and the conditions can change quickly.

Is swimming in the Irish Sea good for your health?

Open water swimming has become very popular in Ireland because it is so great for your health. Swimming in general, already has many benefits, but swimming in the sea even more!

It is great for your fitness and at the same time a low impact sport. The water gives some resistance, which makes it challenging to swim over a longer time. This will help you to build and tone your muscles.

In addition, you will rarely hurt yourself while swimming. It is a great sport for most people, no matter the age. It’s also a good option for people with joint problems.

The cold water will make your body try to warm up as much as possible. During this process, you will burn many calories, much more than you would in a swimming pool.

Many people love swimming in the sea, because they feel happy afterwards. Our body releases dopamine and serotonin while we swim in the cold water, which make us happy.

Swimming is also very relaxing, you forget about the stress and just focus on swimming. Therefore, people find sea swimming so great for their mental health.

These are just a few of the great benefits that a dip in the sea brings with it. No wonder so many Irish people love to have this being part of their daily routine!

The best sea swimming spots in Ireland

So are you curious and excited to find out about some great swimming spots in Ireland? Let’s start with Dublin.

A very popular sea swimming spot in Dublin is the Forty Foot, a promontory where locals love to take a dip. There are steps where you can slowly walk into the sea, or you can jump in from different areas. You should only dive in, once you already went into the water before, to adapt to the temperature.

Forty Foot is a historic bathing spot that was for men-only until 1974, when women protested against this and just jumped into the water for a swim.

There is this tradition that every year on Christmas day, Dubliners go to Forty Foot for a swim. Every day, you will find locals taking a dip here, no matter how cold it is! So, we recommend checking out this location if you happen to be in Dublin.

Let’s have a look at the west coast of Ireland. A popular swimming spot in Galway is the Blackrock diving tower, which was only a diving board when it was originally built in 1885.

As it was rather unsafe, it was reconstructed in the 1950s, which is the same tower as today. This spot also used to be a men’s only sea swimming spot until women started swimming there in the 1970s.

You can have fun and dive in at high tide, or if that scares you, there are plenty of stairs that lead into the sea on the sides. Otherwise, there is a rocky and sandy beach next to the tower where you can relax or go into the water at your own pace.

People love diving into the sea from there. If you visit Galway, you need to go have a swim there!

In the county of Antrim, there is a famous rope bridge that connects to carrick-a-rede island. You can actually swim from Larrybane Bay to the island, which is one of the most dramatic swims.

However, this is only for experienced swimmers, as it is more than a kilometre to swim! Otherwise, you can cross the bridge and have a look at the sea from above.

Another popular swimming spot in Ireland is located in Kilkee, County Clare. It is called the Pollock holes, which are tidal pools.

These pools are filled with water at high tide, and you can swim in them during the two hours of low tide! The pools have clear waters, and it’s a stunning location to swim in. Locals go there frequently for a dip and to enjoy the view!

Ireland offers so many great sea swimming spots that you can visit for a dip. If you are scared of swimming in the sea, there is a tip we have for you!

Open water swimming with Swim Camp

SwimCamp can help you in getting more confident in swimming in the sea. We offer swim clinics in different locations in Dublin close to the city centre, such as Seapoint beach and Killiney beach.

You can take group classes where you get to know other people that love open water swimming or take private lesson so that we can take that initial fear away.

These lessons are for kids 7+, teenagers and adults. We make sure to structure the groups by age and skill level to have the best learning outcome for everyone.

The open water swimming clinics only take place during the summer months. During the rest of the year, we offer swim classes in swimming pools.

With SwimCamp you can work on your swimming technique or improve your endurance. We help you to reach your goal!

After improving your open water swimming skills with us, you can enjoy these great swimming locations in Ireland while being a safe.

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