Coastal Towns and Villages Near Dublin
Take a day trip and wander around picturesque towns, discover secret beaches or enjoy breath-taking cliff walks. Whether you are looking for outdoor adventures, tasty seafood, quirky shops, historical castles or a magical shoreline – Dublin is surrounded by it all. The coastal towns and villages are easily accessible by car or by taking the DART, Dublin’s electric rail system.
The Forty Foot is famous for its excellent bathing conditions. It was a men-only bathing place for nearly 200 years, but is now enjoyed by everyone, at all times of the year. Even at low tides, there is always plenty of water for swimming there. A Christmas Day swim occurs at the Forty Foot each year. Many people from the surrounding area participate in it. Families have long traditions of participating in the annual dip. Sandycove has a lovely sandy beach and is a very sheltered spot.
Brightly painted villas, palm trees and townland parks greet visitors to Dún Laoghaire, an elegant port town just 13km from Dublin’s city centre. Popular with holiday makers since Victorian times, its appeal is timeless. Try your hand at sailing, take a dip in the sea, visit a museum, and top it all off with a 99 ice-cream cone on the pier.
Bray is the biggest town in County Wicklow. It is known as the Gateway to the Garden of Ireland and is the longest established seaside town in Ireland. There is a safe beach of sand and shingle to walk on and there is a spacious esplanade. The scene is dominated by Bray Head. The scenic Cliff Walk is on the eastern side of Bray Head continues along the cliff path towards Greystones offering walkers a feast of views on the way. The town boasts shops, restaurants and evening entertainment. Also available in the immediate locality are golf courses, tennis, fishing, sailing, and horse riding. Another feature of Bray is the variety of amusement centres and carnival attractions & bowling alley.
Killiney Beach is a long stony beach with stunning views of Bray Head, Dalkey Island and Sorrento Terrace. The beach is suitable for swimming and bathing and has facilities for disabled users. It offers a lifeguard service in the summer months. Killiney Hill is a popular destination for walkers and hikers availing of the spectacular views, over the surrounding areas: Dublin to the Northwest, the Irish Sea and the mountains of Wales (on a clear day) to the East and Southeast, and Bray Head and the Wicklow Mountains to the South. The Park has a playground, a pyramid structure (perfect for selfies) and a tea room. The pyramid on Killiney Hill is very close to the obelisk, but a little hidden behind gorse hedges. Built in 1852 by Robert Warren, the locals refer to the pyramid as the “Wishing Stone”. According to legend, a wish comes true when one circles all levels of the pyramid, climbs the uppermost pinnacle and makes a wish while looking towards St. Begnet’s Oratory on Dalkey Island. The Hill is a 16-minute walk from Killiney DART station.
With traditional shop fronts, colourful hanging flower baskets and a gorgeous view of Dublin Bay, picturesque Malahide is a homely village that retains its historic character. Visit the medieval castle, stroll to the marina and down to the beach, before discovering the town’s charming cafés and chic boutiques. Setting down roots in the medieval era, generations of the Talbot family called Malahide Castle home. Hear their stories, see the rooms where they lived and explore the surrounding 260 acres of lush parkland. Visit the beautiful walled garden with butterly house and explore the fairy trail during your visit.
Below the hilly headland at the northern boundary of Dublin Bay lies the small fishing village of Howth. There are so many things to do hereabouts – an angler’s dream, cod and ray are commonly caught here as fishing trawlers weave in and out of the harbour. All the while, restaurants along the seafront serve up the catch of the day to hungry hikers fresh off the Howth Head walk... Open on weekends and Bank Holidays, Howth Market is home to an array of Irish crafts, delicate handmade jewellery, and vintage antiques; perfect for gift shopping. While you’re there, be sure to sample the wide selection of organic foods on offer, like olives, cheeses, nuts and of course, delicious chocolate and cupcakes.
Portmarnock - The Velvet Strand is a wide strand of sandy beach located in Portmarnock, North Dublin. It is five miles long and stretches all the way to Baldoyle and adjoins Malahide Beach. It has a lovely view of the Dublin Mountains and Howth Harbour.
Along the beach there is a path which leads to Malahide and it is used by many people each day. It is a great way of exercising, whether walking, cycling or even roller blading. Toilets are on site, dogs are allowed on a lead. Lifeguards and refreshments available in the summer months.
If you are looking to explore tourist attractions within Dublin City, visit our Three Day Itinerary guide to help you plan your upcoming stay and discover Dublin like a local.