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   [...]

40 Foot

40 Foot

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 se 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  View Larger Map 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.   [...]

Lough Firrib, Wicklow Gap

Lough Firrib, Wicklow Gap

Lough Firrib, Wicklow Gap April 2010 This one is only for experienced walkers and, indeed, experienced and careful swimmers. If you do manage to get there, though, it is well worth the effort. Firrib is located in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains and you access it from the Wicklow Gap, which is one of the most scenic locations in the county. Not only do you need to be an experienced walker, you also need to be able to use a map and compass as Firrib can be tricky to find. If you get there you will find a lovely tranquil lake set in spectacular surroundings. The water is cool and refreshing, just what you need after a hike across the bog. Don't be put off by the photos here - it doesn't always snow at Firrib. They just show an old, grey haired fellow trying to be macho (God help him). Remember lakes can be dangerous, so swim carefully. Directions  View Larger Map From Dublin you take the N 11 to Kilmacanogue and branch off here onto the R755 which will take you through Roundwood to Laragh. At Laragh you go onto the R 756 and follow this road up hill to the Wicklow Gap. From the Gap you follow the tarred road up hill toward the Turlough Hill reservoir, about a 30 minute walk. When the road runs out you then need your map to guide you across boggy terrain to the lake. It takes a further 40 minutes. Ordnance Survey Discovery Series Map No. 56   [...]

Lough Firrib, Wicklow Gap

Bray

Bray May 2010 Beautiful Bray?  About 15 kilometres from Dublin, Bray is an old style seaside resort with a promenade, amusement arcades and outdoor funfairs in the summer. The beach itself is long, mainly stony and certainly not in our top ten (or twenty). The harbour end has a small stretch of sand and good access to the water although it can be a bit stony underfoot. Not one of the greats, but if you like to combine your swimming with a ramble and a gamble then this is for you. There are lifeguards on duty during the summer months and decent public toilets along the promenade.Blue Flag awarded for the south prom. You can get buggies onto the beach, but not wheelchairs, although the prom runs alongside it. Directions  View Larger Map From Dublin take the N 11 and follow the signposts to Bray. As you come into the town look out for a left turn just past the bridge onto Seapoint Road which will take you to the sea front. There are various car parks, some of which have to be paid for. An easier alternative is to take the DART train from Dublin city centre to Bray station, from where it's just a few minutes walk to the sea.   [...]

Lough Firrib, Wicklow Gap

Brittas Bay

Brittas Bay May 2010 Brittas Bay is one of the most popular family beaches on the East coast. It is well used by people from Dublin, Wicklow and surrounding areas. Brittas is a fine stretch of beach which must be 4-5kilometres long and backed by sandy dunes. It is good for walking as well as swimming. This is a good place for kids to swim as there is a gradual depth to the water. It can be breezy on Brittas but at the southern end there is a smaller, more sheltered beach which many of the regulars use. In good weather during the summer it can get very busy so expect traffic and all that goes with it. However, the beach is long and if you are prepared to walk you won't be sitting on top of one another. There are two large car parks, both with basic toilet facilities. The northern one is slightly less busy but it does have a sign at the beach entrance which reads , 'Danger, Uneven Beach, Currents', so be warned. .  Parking in the summer has to be paid for.  Both car parks are tarmacadamed but wheelchair access is spoiled as you run into soft sand before you get to the harder sand on the beach.  With a small effort it is buggy accessible. Lifeguards are on duty in the summer months. Brittas Bay South and North are Blue Flag beaches Directions  View Larger Map From Dublin it's about a 60km drive, taking just over an hour, on the N11. When you come to what is known as 'Jack Whites Cross Roads 'there is a left turn signposted Brittas Bay. This road leads you directly to the main car park. A left turn here, past this car park, will lead you to the northern car park .   [...]

Pin It on Pinterest