Top 5 family-friendly beaches in Dublin
So far we have been lucky with the Irish Summer this year and hopefully we will have a few more hot days until September. To help you decide which beach to visit with kids when the temperature is high, here is a (little bit biased) list of the best beaches in Dublin:
Burrow Beach or The Hole in the Wall beach is located in Sutton, near Sutton Cross DART station. It is a gorgeous hidden gem, sandy, clean, perfect for a morning jog, evening stroll or a fun-filled paddle with the kids. Its sand is deep and bright - almost unreal, really. The only catch is that parking is very limited in the area, so if you decide to visit this beach by car on a fine, sunny day, try to be early, otherwise you will be in trouble. In the summer months, there is a lifeguard on duty between 11 and 7 pm. (June: weekends only, July: daily)
Dollymount Strand, the 5 km beach on North Bull Island, is a popular walking and recreational area. If you access the beach via the wooden bridge, you can park a bit closer to the sea, but if you choose the other end, it is not much walk to reach the beach, either. At low tide the water is quite far away, but the puddles left by the high tide are perfect to play in. The beach itself is sandy and usually well-kept, but be very careful as during the famous Kite Festival at least three cases were reported when a used needle had pinched someone...
One of the finest beaches in Dublin: sandy, clean with a spectacular view. Parking can be a nightmare if you arrive late on a hot and sunny day, but in spite of this, visiting this beach is a must at least once a year. The combination of sand and grass is unique, so don't forget your picnic basket if you want to spend a great day out at this beach.
Seapoint Beach: Blue Flag Beach
Seapoint beach is perfect if you have a toddler, but if you want to take a dip in the sea, it is also a good option. If you visit the beach with kids, it is clever to check the tide times beforehand, as around high tide (+/- 3 hours), the water is too high to build sand castles on the beach or to play freely in the Irish sea. Parking is a bit tricky in the area - you have to leave the car in one of the neighbouring streets and walk a little to reach your destination, but believe me, it is definitely a place worth visiting. (Not to mention that the beach is easily accessible by DART.) If you plan to spend the whole morning / afternoon at the beach, bring your own food / drink / ice cream, as the closest store is quite far.
Bray Beach (County Wicklow): Blue Flag Beach
Bray is a gorgeous seaside resort not far from from Dublin. If the kids are railway buffs, choose the DART to visit this beautiful town situated about 20 kms south of the capital. Although it takes 40 minutes (from Tara street), it is worth the journey, if you find window seats. From the DART station you can walk to the strand within 5 minutes. If you choose to go by car, try to arrive early (especially at weekends), as it is not always easy to find a parking place. If you have toddlers or younger babies it is wonderful to take a long, leisurely walk along the beach, have a picnic or play ball games in the green, but if your kids are older, they might enjoy climbing up to the cross on Bray Head or walking from Bray to Greystones as well after paddling a bit or strolling on the strand. Towards the end of the promenade, there is a lovely cafe that sells excellent latte and if you are in Bray it is definitely worth trying out the fish & chips as well. (Not to mention the lovely ice-cream sold in several places along the beach.) During the summer, there is a small funfair at the foot of the hill that is a big hit with younger children. 1 ride is only €2, 6 rides are even cheaper, €10. The beach itself is covered with pebbles, but there are some sandy patches as well, so do not forget to bring a spade and a bucket to have a complete beach feeling!