The 40 Foot

July 2009

Is this Ireland's most famous swimming spot? Dubliners probably think it is.

Immortalised in James Joyce's Ulysses (although we can't recall ever seeing snot green sea there) and loved by generations of the city's swimmers, the Forty Foot is a Dublin institution.

For most of its time the Forty Foot was a men only spot, where the male of the species could strip off in peace without being bothered. Eventually that changed (was it 15-20 years ago?) and now men and women, young and old, swim there, although there is a secluded part around the side where men still congregate and women rarely venture. The entrance still has the men only sign, but this is just a left over from a thankfully forgotten era.

The great advantage of the Forty Foot is its depth, so you can always jump in even at low tide. It's a great place to swim, with its clean deep waters. While people dive in from the nearby rocks it is dangerous and you should  heed the many warning signs which are obviously there for a reason.

This is, of course, a place for year round swimmers and in the depth of a freezing winter all you are allowed to admit to is the water being 'a bit nippy'; wimps need not apply. Although we must admit to being envious on a recent winter visit where a swimmer emptied his hot water bottle over himself after his icy dip.

 It is also the place where hundreds of people congregate on Christmas Day for an annual plunge.

The whole area is nicely maintained, with a changing area, and is a great credit to the Sandycove Bathers Association who keep it so well.

The 40 Foot is accessible for buggies, but there are a few steps which prevent wheelchairs.

Directions

 
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The best way to travel from Dublin city is by DART getting off at the Sandycove / Glasthule stop. From there it's a 10- 15 minute walk and directions will be easily got.

 

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