Killaloe

Killaloe

Killaloe, Lough Derg May 2011 Lough Derg is one of the most attractive lakes in the country, large and with a varied shore line. The swimming spot, about 5 kilometres outside Killaloe, is a lovely place to visit . This is a well kept area with lots of grass and a number of seats and picnic tables. You can access the water from a small sandy beach , where the water is quite shallow and good for children to play in. For swimmers you need to wade out from here into your depth. Alternatively, you can get in from the slipway to the side where the water is deeper. Whichever way you go, please remember to be careful of hidden rocks. As well as having a swim there is plenty of room to picnic and a forest area with short walks. Toilets are located nearby The water here is soft and dark and the views across the lake as you swim are most impressive. Unfortunately, there are signs warning you of algae in the summer months so do be careful. Blue Flag location. Directions:  View Larger Map   From the M7 take exit 27 and get onto the R494 for Killaloe. From there you take the R463 signposted Tuamgraney. The swimming spot is located about 5kms from Killaloe and you will know it by the good sized car parking area at the roadside on the right hand side. Ordnance Survey Discovery Series Map No. 58   ]]> [...]

Milltown Malbay

White Strand – Kerins Hole, Milltown MalbayJune 2014White StrandThe thing to know about the White strand is that when the tide is in there is no white strand. So time your visit if it’s the beach you are after. We arrived at full tide and accessed the water down the slip way and straight into the clear fresh sea. The weather was good and we had a lovely swim here. The next day we were back for more, this time at low tide when the small, protected beach was available for a stroll. [...]

Mountshannon

Mountshannon

Mountshannon, Lough Derg May 2011 Mountshannon is an attractive and well kept former Tidy Town winner, situated on the shores of Lough Derg. The swimming area is located to the side of the popular marina, which is a well used stopping off spot for people cruising the waterways. However, don't be put off as the area for swimming is separate and safe. The whole area of the marina is well kept, with attractive grassy areas and plenty of seats. The swimming spot has slipways to walk out onto which gives you access to the soft lake waters. As always with lakes be careful and beware of hidden rocks. Unusually for Ireland, but welcome, is a small indoor changing room which backs onto well kept toilets. The whole area is a credit to the local community and Clare County Council. The one big drawback is the sign warning you to beware of algae in the summer months. There was none when we swam there in May, but the summer is obviously different . It's a shame because otherwise this is an attractive place to swim, relax and picnic. Blue Flag location. Directions  View Larger Map Coming from the M7 you take exit 27 onto the R494 to Killaloe. Then you take the R463 to Scariff and the R352 to Mountshannon. In the middle of the town there is a turn signposted for the harbour, which has ample car parking. Ordnance Survey Discovery Series Map No. 58   ]]> [...]

Byrnes Cove

Byrnes Cove

Byrne’s Cove, Kilkee June 2014 Kilkee has a classic, crescent shaped beach but it’s the smaller spots on either side of the bay which stand out for swimmers. Byrne’s Cove is on the eastern side alongside the local golf course; not as well known as the Pollock Holes and we only found out about its existence from a local swimmer. Despite this, its well worth a visit and a swim. Concrete steps lead down to a small cove with a rough concrete path bringing you to a steel ladder and then into the fresh Atlantic waters. The weather was dull when we visited, but the water was fresh and clear and lovely to swim in. As we don’t know the area we stayed within the cove and didn’t venture out too far. We got there when there was plenty of water for a dip, but when the tide is low it looks as the water isn’t accessible. A concrete area to the rear looks as if it got a battering from recent storms , but it is a place where you can sit if the sun ever appears. All in all a place to be recommended. Directions: From Ennis take the N68 to Kilrush and then the N 67 to Kilkee. Just as you come to Kilkee watch for a right turn which is signposted toward Doonbeg and Lahinch. Take this turn but then go straight on along the road which runs alongside the bay. Keep going to the end of this road until you come to a small parking area. From here it’s a few hundred metres of a walk to the cove. Its not accessible and isn’t a suitable location for small children.   ]]> [...]

Cleevaun Lough

Cleevaun Lough

Cleevaun Lough September 2009 Serious walkers only need apply. Cleevaun Lough is a corrie lake set at the foot of Wiclow's 849 metres high Mullaghcleevaun Mountain. This one is not for the fainthearted. The lake can be approached from a few different directions but whichever way you go requires at least a two hour hike. So this is only for experienced and well equipped hikers and, indeed, experienced swimmers. However, if you get there it's well worth the effort. Set at the base of impressive Mullaghcleevaun, Cleevaun Lough is surrounded by the mountains of Duff Hill, Gravale and Carrigvore which stretch back to the Sally Gap. The lake's waters are dark, clear and refreshing. As always this and any other lake has to be treated carefully as you can't see the bottom or its submerged rocks. Don't swim here alone. This is a lovely spot for a swim, sunbathing and a picnic. If you see anyone else while you are there, count yourself lucky (or unlucky as the case may be). Directions Firstly, you need Ordinance Survey Map 56 to find your way across the mountains. From Dublin the best route is to take the R115 Military Road and head for the Sally Gap. From the Gap you stay on the Military Road and after a few kilometres s there is a small parking area, marked on Map 56. From here you have a good, strong walk across four peaks and you can descend to the lake from Mullaghcleevaun East Top or Mullaghcleevaun itself. Be warned that there is a steep descent to the lake which needs to be negotiated slowly and carefully.   [...]

Clogga Beach, Arklow

Clogga Beach, Arklow

Clogga Beach, Arklow May 2010 Clogga is a good sized beach and well established swimming spot. There is good depth to the water as you enter and it is a bit exposed so you can expect some waves. Also look out for submerged or semi submerged rocks at the far end. The beach itself is a bit stony, but good for walking. When we were there in May it was dull, windy and the water was cold. Lovely swimming, but we couldn't understand why no one else was in the water with us ? Directions  View Larger Map Coming from Dublin Clogga is a few kilometres past Arklow town. It's best to drive through the town and at the end of the various roundabouts take the N 11 Wexford signpost. After a short distance watch out for a left turn signposted Clogga. Follow this twisty road which will lead you to a good sized car park. Access to the beach is down a long, rough path followed by some steps. It' s not wheelchair or buggy accessible. Ordnance Survey Discovery Series Map No. 62   [...]

Lough Gill

Lough Gill

Lough Gill May 2013 Lough Gill was made famous by W.B. Yeats whose 'Lake Isle of Innisfree' inhabits one of its small corners. More recently, a popular Irish- American folk group, led by a Sligo troubadour, have taken the name. Unfortunately, on a cold and windy day in May, neither poetry nor music inspired us or made the lake more appealing. We accessed the water via a slipway which runs alongside the berthing place of the lake's leisure cruiser. It was stony underfoot and we bumped our way slowly into the cold, but fresh water. As we always say when swimming in lakes, be careful, watch for underwater rocks. No jumping or diving. Despite the little obstacle course, it was a refreshing swim with the soft and wavy water blowing away the cobwebs. We emerged revitalised and ready to write a poem or three. This must be a nice spot in the summer with Parkes castle alongside and a tour around the lake also on offer. Directions : From Sligo take the N16 toward Enniskillen. Just outside the town branch off onto the R286 signposted for Dromohair and the lake. Follow this road until you come to the lake on your right hand side and continue on until you come to the castle with the car park beside it.   [...]

Lough Gill

Streedagh

Streedagh Beach April 2010 Streedagh is another of Sligo's fine expanses of sand. This is a good spot if you like your beaches bracing and a bit windy. It' s quite open, but you will get some shelter from the dunes surrounding the beach. A good place for a walk and there is a great view across to majestic Ben Bulben As the photos show when we were there it is was deserted but real people do actually come here ! The water is fresh and can also get a bit wavy, which of course some people like. Not too deep and you get into your depth gradually Access is from a large but rough car park across some stones. It's not wheelchair accessible and you will be carrying your buggy. Streedagh has lifeguards on duty during the summer months. Directions  View Larger Map Take the N 15 from Sligo toward Bundoran / Sligo. As you enter the village of Grange watch for a left turn signposted Streedagh. Follow this meandering road and it will take you to the car park. Ordnance Survey Discovery Series Map No. 16   [...]

Lough Gill

Lough Easkey

Lough Easkey August 2010 Lough Easkey is in a lovely location in the heart of the Ox mountains. Surrounded by hills and the wild countryside the lake shimmers in the sunlight and is a really nice place to stop for a swim. The water here is lovely and fresh but access is stony and a bit difficult. However, it's worth the effort and when we swam there in the sun it was tranquil and just a lovely place to be. Directions  View Larger Map Access is off the N59 which runs between Ballina and Ballysadare. From the Ballysadare direction you go through Templeboy and then watch for a left turn signposted for the Ox mountains and Tubbercurry. This road will lead you to the lake where you will see a place to park plus a few seats.   [...]

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