Welcome to Outdoor Swimming Ireland

Ireland ~ A Swimmer's Paradise

Ireland has some of the best and most unspoilt outdoor swimming locations in the world. Our seas, rivers and lakes are still largely unspoilt and unpolluted. Even in the height of summer you can easily find quiet and uncrowded beaches and lakes. They are a fantastic natural resource.

Why this website?

The simple aim of this site is to compile an outdoor swimming directory, and create an online outdoor swimming community, where all the best swimming places in the country can be shared, listed and discussed. We want people to use this site as a way of sharing and getting information. We would love to see more people swimming and using these fabulous natural facilities. One of the things you will notice with our photos is the number of empty beaches. We could have put in more pictures of a boring, grey haired 'old fella', because we were very ofen the only ones swimming, even in the summer. We would love to see those beaches filled with swimmers.

Ireland has hundreds of good swimming places so this is very much a work in progress. We have been working since 2008 to compile information on places we know and like. However, we would like other people to contribute.

We now have about 150 locations in 22 counties. Our aim is to cover the country and have at least one location in each of the 32 counties.

We will add new locations as and when we visit new places, or when people send information and suggestions (see our feedback page)

How you can Contribute?

We are sure that anyone reading this site will have their own favourite swimming places. We would love to hear about them. So please send a brief description with photos (a great help if you have them) and information on how to find your place (road numbers, directions etc are very important.) Then, provided they are of a good standard , we can add them to our county by county site.
Send your suggestions to

Swimming Safely

Before you read any further we cannot over emphasise the importance of safety. Swimming can be dangerous and water conditions can change quickly. Tragically, people lose their lives every year while swimming.

Website Disclaimer

Please note that you expressly agree that your use of this website is at your own risk. By continuing to use this website you are deemed to accept the terms and conditions outlined in our disclaimer.

Please read our full disclaimer by clicking here

Clearly, with all the hundreds of swimming locations in the country, only a small percentage will have lifeguards.  So you need to be especially careful in other locations. Lakes, for example, have to be treated with particular caution, as their dark waters often hide rocks and boulders.

So please read and take heed of the safety tips in our safety section and do look at the website of the Irish Water Safety Association - www.iws.ie

Facilities

As a general rule facilities at our various swimming spots are poor. They are improving, but generally you won't find good toilets, accessible beaches and proper changing areas.

We have tried to list the facilities available when we visited these various locations. Please note that these are likely to change. So if we list a toilet facility in a location, don't blame us if it has been closed or vandalised when you go there. But do let us know so we can update the site.

Lifeguards are provided by the relevant local authority in a number of popular locations during the summer months. Again these can change from year to year so please check with the local authority for up to date details - www.irlgov.ie will give you access to all the local authority websites.

Blue Flags are awarded to beaches and marinas which have good environmental standards and a certain level of facilities. These are a good indication of a decent place to swim. This is an international award which, in Ireland, is operated by An Taisce. The Blue Flags are awarded each year and are usually announced in June. Check out www.beachawards.ie or the relevant local authority for details. We have tried to add Blue Flag info to all relevant sites.

Water quality is rightly of concern to many swimmers. Under the auspices of the Environmental Protection Agency the water quality in 131 locations can be checked out at www.bathingwater.ie

Directions

In as far as we could, we have given decent directions to the various locations. But if you get lost don't blame us! Irish roads are notorious for poor or no signposting, and for some of our best swimming spots there are no signposts either.

We have Google maps on the site and hopefully this will guide you to your location. For those who are old fashioned we also use the Ordnance Survey Discovery Series maps which are very detailed and good. 

And if all else fails just ask, as Irish people are usually happy to give directions.

Feedback and Comments

As well as suggesting your favourite spots to add, let us know what you think of the places already listed. If you agree or disagree with our choices we would love to hear from you. All opinions, as long as they are reasonably balanced, will be welcome and we will put them up on our feedback section.

Send your suggestions to

We look forward to hearing from you.

Irish Times report here   {Word document}

RTÉ report here   {Realplayer video}

 

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