Ballyferriter

Ballyferriter

Ballyferriter Strand, Smerwick Harbour July 2012 Why this long and attractive beach isn't properly signposted, when the nearby, much smaller Wine Strand is, must be one of Ireland's many signposting mysteries. Anyhow, if you do find it, Ballyferriter Strand is worth the effort. This a wide and smooth stretch of beach with plenty of room for walking, playing and even swimming. There are some rocks where you will find shelter. The water was clear and calm when we were there and good for a leisurely swim. As you swim you will have nice views across the harbour to the headlands on either side. There is a small car park with spaces for about 15 cars. Access to the beach is OK for buggies but not wheelchairs. Directions: From Dingle take the R559 in the direction of Slea Head. About one kilometre after you pass through Ballyferriter watch carefully for a left turn with a small signpost for Smerwick Harbour.  View Larger Map Ordnance Survey Map No. 70   [...]

Valentia

Valentia

Valentia Island May 2011 Note: this suggestion comes from a local resident in Valentia. We haven't visited it ourselves so can't vouch for it, but it sounds nice. Check it out for yourself ... I suggest that for regular easy but clean and safe swims, Knightstown harbour works very well... see the pictures of the pontoons that swimmers can swim alongside. A harbour might not sound that nice but actually it's perfect as very light use and VERY scenic as attested by many seasoned open water swimmers such as Ned Denison and Eilish Burns. Ned actually swam around Valentia Island (to and from Knightstown Harbour) in 2008. For a more private spot, on Valentia Island there is a small beach beneath Glanleam House (which boasts award winning tropical gardens) from where you can swim towards the Lighthouse - another very scenic swim. See: www.flickr.com/photos/29570623@N02/2763739599/ Photos by Fitzzz   [...]

Glanteerasig

Glanteerasig

Lough Cuim, Glanteerasig Forest Park July 2012 Even if you never swim here a visit to this out of the way lake is well worth the effort. Located in a Coillte run forest park, Lough Cuim has a fabulous board walk running through its trees and along its shore. With seats dotted along the way this is a lovely place to visit for a walk. Like many lakes the water here is dark and fresh. Where we got in there were submerged rocks and branches. So pick your spot, swim slowly and BE CAREFUL. You will definitely enjoy a visit here and it's a good spot on a nice day for a family outing. Directions: From Tralee take the N86 toward Dingle and then the R560 toward Castlegregory. About 4 kilometres before Castlegregory watch out for a left turn signposted for the forest park. Keep going on this road until you arrive at the park entrance. When you get there you have to drive for a further 3 kilometres through the park until you arrive at the lake.  View Larger Map Ordnance Survey Map Nos. 70 and 71   [...]

Ballyquin Beach

Ballyquin Beach

Ballyquin Beach July 2012 Ballyquin is a small, attractive beach across the bay from Brandon pier. The beach is quite exposed and the water was choppy when we were there. You are out of your depth quickly so BE CAREFUL. When we were there we swam alone so this looks like a fairly quiet spot if that's what you are after. There are rocks for shelter at one end. The sand here is soft with an interesting brown/purple tinge to it. Access to the beach is through a gate and then across a sandy path. You will be carrying your buggy and it isn't wheelchair accessible. Directions: From Tralee take the N86 toward Dingle. Then you branch off for Castlegregory onto the R560. You bypass Castlegregory and go through Stradbally and Kilcummin. Watch out then for a right turn onto the R550 signposted for Cloghane and Brandon. Keep on this road through Cloghane and after 3 kilometres you will come to a right turn signposted for the beach.  View Larger Map Ordnance Survey Map No. 70   [...]

Banna Strand

Banna Strand

Banna Strand July 2012 What is seldom is wonderful - when we visited Banna the sun was actually shining and there were lots of people in the water swimming and surfing. That's a combination you don't see too often in Ireland. Banna is a popular holiday beach and with good reason. The long stretch of sand seems to go on forever and when the tide is out there is plenty of room to walk and play. The water was a bit choppy when we were there, not great for swimming but fine for young people who want to surf or jump in the waves. Banna is a Blue Flag beach with lifeguards during the summer. Unusual for Ireland it also has an outdoor shower. There is a decent sized car park which had a mobile shop. Access to the beach is via a few slipways. They looked fine for buggies and manageable for wheelchairs. This is good spot for a family to visit, but check the tides if you are looking for lots of room to play. Directions: From Tralee take the R551 toward Ballyheigue. A couple of kilometres after Ardfert watch for a left turn which is signposted for the beach.  View Larger Map Ordnance Survey Map No. 71   [...]

Brandon Pier

Brandon Pier

Brandon Pier July 2012 Small but perfectly formed. Is this Ireland's smallest beach? When we were there it measured about 45 yards long and 25 yards deep. Despite that this a very nice place for a cooling dip. The 'beach' is located just to the side of the pier and the water is both deep and sheltered. This is a good place to cool off on a sunny day. Out at the end of the pier young people practice their jumping skills into the deep water. Parking is very limited but there is a pub just at the pier where you can warm up if you need to. Directions: From Tralee take the N86 toward Dingle. Then you branch off for Castlegregory onto the R560. You bypass Castlegregory and go through Stradbally and Kilcummin. Watch out then for a right turn onto the R550 signposted for Cloghane and Brandon. Keep on this road through Cloghane and you will come to a right turn signposted for the pier.  View Larger Map Ordnance Survey Map No. 70   [...]

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