Ireland is best known for spectacular cliffs, endless green meadows, hundreds of sheep, ubiquitous pubs and of course, above all - Guinness. A beach is something that never comes to mind when you think about things to see in the Emerald Island. However, it’s good to know some nice place where you can relax and enjoy your time when the sun actually appears and chases away the gray cloud cover. During such a rare event, when you visit Dublin, you'll probably notice the masses escaping to Howth, Bray or the city beaches such as Portmarnock. They are all nice locations, however there are no sandy beaches in Howth and Bray and the ones in the north of the capital are long and endless with unimaginable crowds and murky water.
But what if we told you that we discovered a hidden little beach that is mostly known only among locals and it’s not worse than the beaches surrounded by cliffs in countries like Portugal?
The best beach near Dublin – Silver Strand
The beach is called Silver Strand and is really tiny but also - so unique. The golden, perfectly smooth and silky sand is surrounded by rocky cliffs from both sides. The rocks create an ideal protection from the wind and calm down the surprisingly clear and bright blue sea. If you're brave enough and not too sensitive to cold - you can take a swim! When you’re lucky with the weather (the odds of which are not very high in Ireland, unfortunately), you can feel as if you were in Spain, Portugal or in some other Mediterranean country.
You shouldn’t underestimate the Irish sun, however! The rays concentrated by the sand and rocks can easily burn you even though the air temperature might not be as hot as in the south of Europe.
We invited a group of friends to Silver Strand beach and all of them were surprised at how amazing and different it was. One of them, Joanna was happy enough to pose for photographs for this post :)
It’s good that this little piece of paradise is pretty much unknown among tourists and you can enjoy it with fewer crowds. When you scroll down through the photos, you’ll probably find it hard to believe that they were taken not anywhere else but in Ireland - but this is exactly what you’ll see when you hit the jackpot and get one of the few extremely sunny days!
And if you’re bored with the tiny size of Silver Strand, go down the road south to Brittas Bay (10 minutes drive) which is a large, long, typical beach like those found near Dublin. It’s better and cleaner than the city beaches.
How to get to Silver Strand beach
Silver Strand beach is located right beside a camping and caravan park and it’s great to rent one of those to enjoy your summer time at the beach. They are equipped with kitchens and rooms. Silver Strand not as close to Dublin as the other city beaches. But it’s so different that it’s definitely worth the little extra effort. It’s located near the lovely town of Wicklow, to the south of the Irish capital. The best way to reach it is to drive – which takes around 1 hour from the city center.
If you cannot drive, you can take the bus or train to Wicklow (the bus departs every hour from the Ulster Bank building in George’s Quay). From Wicklow, you must walk quite a bit – around 45 minutes, but the area as well as the town is beautifully idyllic and the walk is pleasant! Just be careful while walking along the tiny, narrow roads, they were not made for pedestrians.
Bear in mind that there is a fee for the car park - but it’s just a few euro. There are no shops or any food stands on the beach, so if you need something for a picnic, you can buy it in Wicklow town.
While visiting the beach and the camping site, don’t miss the tiny town of Wicklow – with its cozy, colorful streets, beautiful churches, ruins of old monasteries and the picturesque harbor filled with boats. What’s also surprising is the flora which resembles plants growing in way more tropical zones – not usually seen so high up in the north.
Near the harbor, you can see the ruins of the Black Castle – there’s not much left but when you use your imagination, you can create a picture in your mind of how great the side must have been back in the 11th century.
The site around the ruins is also great for picnics and offers beautiful views over the coast and the harbour.
Wicklow County – don’t miss other attractions!
County Wicklow is so close from Dublin and yet offers an amazing escape from the hectic city life. The nature is unspoiled and highly diverse – from the beaches and beautiful coastline to the mountains, lakes, waterfalls and rolling green hills of the Irish countryside. Take a look at the “Related Posts” below to find out more about the region – don’t miss those places!
Author: Tom @ Adventurous Travels
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