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The Best Beaches in Ireland (and what to wear to them)

For most nationalities, a trip to the beach means a relaxing day in the sun. However, as we Irish know all too well, a trip to the beach can often start off fine and dandy, before quickly coming to an abrupt end with you having to take shelter under a tree or a gazebo. With a bit…

Inchydoney Beach Clonakilty County CorkFor most nationalities, a trip to the beach means a relaxing day in the sun. However, as we Irish know all too well, a trip to the beach can often start off fine and dandy, before quickly coming to an abrupt end with you having to take shelter under a tree or a gazebo.

With a bit of luck, once we’ve ducked the rain for about ten minutes, the weather will have cleared up enough for us to resume our seaside stroll. All in all, the Irish weather just can’t make it up its own mind – we just have to accept it and get on with things.

So if you’d like to spend a day out at the beach, unpredictable and all as the weather may be, my advice to you is to dress appropriately for the occasion. Covering all of your bases will take some strategic planning. I’ll explain how to do that in just a bit, but first let me make some recommendations for nice places where you can actually wear your new beachwear (no point in being all dressed up but with nowhere to go!).

My Top 3 Irish Beaches

Here are three of the best beaches in Ireland.  I’ve tried to be as fair as possible by picking beaches from different corners of the country.  After all, why should geography get in the way of a good day out on the beach?

Strandhill Beach, Sligo

For those of you living in the west of Ireland, Strandhill Beach in Co. Sligo is a great go-to for a nice day out. In recent years, the area has become the ultimate relaxing getaway village. You’ll find horse-riding, surfing and yoga classes taking place right on the beach. Strandhill is also known for its amazing seaweed baths.  There’s also a yearly tag rugby tournament that is a lot of fun whether you’re playing or just watching.

Strandhill Beach is the perfect place to pamper yourself when the weather is in a bad mood, so there’s plenty for you to do even when traditional beach lounging is not an option.

Portmarnock Beach, Dublin

Portmarnock Beach Southern Cross Monument
Image: William Murphy

For Dubliners or those living near the east coast, Portmarnock Beach, Co. Dublin is a favourite, drawing in visitors from far and wide. The beach is handy enough to get to using public transport, with plenty of scenic bus routes stopping right beside the beach. Although only about half an hour from the city centre, this area of Dublin, has its own village vibe to it. You’ll find lots of great cafes, hotels and restaurants nearby should you wish to hang about and have a nice post-beach dinner.


Clonakilty, Cork

Inchydoney Beach, Clonakilty, County CorkSpeaking of great food, Clonakilty in west Cork is world-famous for its delicious pork. In fact, the whole area is a foodie haven, with tons of artisan food producers based there. So after filling up on all the top quality rashers and sausages you can stuff your face with (you really can’t beat a traditional full Irish breakfast), you can head to the nearby scenic peninsula that is Inchydoney for a nice swim (just be sure to wait a full hour after eating that big breakfast before you take your dip – getting cramps is no way to enjoy a day out!).

What to Wear to the Beach

The trick here is to layer up. Yes you need to be prepared for rain, but it’s also a good idea to be ready for sunshine (despite what the naysayers say, we do get quite a few sunny days during an Irish summer – them coinciding with your day out is another matter entirely!). Wear some nice swimwear, like this Drape Chain Swimsuit from Little Mistress underneath this Resort Crinkle Cut Out Shoulder Dress.  They’re the perfect match!

Irish Summer Beach Outfit IdeasFor footwear, go for something that won’t leave your toes exposed and prone to freezing. These Scarlet Espadrille Shoes from Carvela are perfect. Next, layer on this South Crochet Maxi Cardigan for a bit of added warmth in case things suddenly turn chilly in the evening. If you need something spacious to carry all of your beach essentials in, why not go for this super-cool ‘Beach Please’ Beach Bag. To protect your face and eyes from strong sunlight and UV rays, wear this Aztec Tape Trim Trilby and Cats Eye Sunglasses from Myleene Klass’ new summer collection. Irish Summer Beach Accessories

For make-up, remember to use waterproof products. Even if it doesn’t rain, you might get caught in a splash fight and you don’t want to have to spend half your day re-applying. This Waterproof Maybelline Mascara and Rimmel Waterproof Eye Liner are great quality products that won’t let you down. And remember, always prepare your skin for unexpected sun by popping some quick and easy to apply Spray On Factor 50 into your bag (remember, it is still possible to get sun damage even when it’s overcast).

 

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For other practical fashion tipss, check out these compelling arguments for wearing Crocs in public.

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