The Lesser-Known Beaches of Ireland

Many beaches are surrounding the island of Ireland, and some of them are more splendid than others. We’re going to take a quick look at a few of the beautiful beaches, starting up in the north.

Beaches of Ireland

Before we kick in the beaches of Ireland, however, we need to have a look at the coastline and the topography. It is a bit unfortunate for beach lovers that there is just so much of the Irish Coastline that is rocky and wild, sometimes broken up by a harbour wall or an old shoreline castle. Much of the coast does not reveal pristine white-sand beaches and is instead a savage coastline with waves bashing relentlessly against rock cliffs.

Rocky Irish Coastline
The Lesser-Known Beaches of Ireland

That is until you look a bit harder, do some research and apply yourself to what exactly is out there and which of the beaches are secluded, sheltered, and safe. There are plenty of them that offer protection under different winds and are best at certain tides. So those are the beaches we are going to review.

Irish Beaches Bonfire
The Lesser-Known Beaches of Ireland

North/Causeway Coast

Magilligan is the longest beach in the whole of Ireland, with nearly 12 kilometres of beach. This beach is a favourite of surfers and beach-lovers, but it gets pretty frosty up there in the north.

White Park Bay is another beautiful beach in the north. This beach is about 2 kilometres long, but it is pristine and secluded. Often, on the slightly more-windy days, there will be no one around. The area is sparsely populated, and crowds of any sort are never a problem.

Donegal Bay

Moving down to the also relatively unpopulated Donegal Bay area, there is the nondescript Strandhill that has visitors and locals alike heading down to visit and trundle on this long sandy strand. The occasional surfer or longboarder might have a go here, especially on the huge sand bar that develops a bit further out than most, and requires a bit of a paddle.

The other stunning beach in the area is Tullan Strand. It too runs for a couple of kilometres of open beach, and is a place for long, free and lonely walks with the dogs or just with your thoughts for company. Surfers tend to hang in the south end, but the very north of the beach reveals a beach called Rossnowlagh, home to the oldest surf club in Ireland.

County Clare

Down in County Clare, we have the beautiful Doughmore beach with its fine white sands and fun waves. Access is always a problem here, with the only real route to the beach crossing a farmer’s land. There are quite a few farmers around whose property touches this beach, so check in first with someone who knows the routes.

The rest of County Clare is rough and rock-strewn, and not ideal for walking or visiting. There are several harbours around and castle ruins, and a little gem of a beach called Killard.

The Dingle Peninsula

On the Dingle Peninsula, Brandon Bay is the most famous beach. It is a long and sweeping bay, but it picks up all the wind in the area, almost funnelling it across the beach. There is also Inch Strand, well-known as one of the more beautiful beaches in the area, with the northern end sheltered from the winds.

Southern Ireland

In Southern Ireland, there is Inchedonny beach that is the most popular in the area. Scenic and tranquil, the beach has a headland right in the centre of it. There is also a river at each end of the beach. A unique setting as such makes it accessible, and there are always people around, sometimes just hanging on the beach and occasionally surfing. Bunmahon is well-known for being a dangerous wave in the area, as there are powerful rip currents that get exacerbated with tidal movements.

Still, this is a beautiful area, and the summer months along the southern coastline are quite pleasant.

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