Bettystown Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Meath.
The result is a beautiful 5km of sand that’s perfect for an early morning ramble, or for a paddle, if you fancy braving the chilly Irish Sea.
Below, you’ll find info on everything from where to get parking near Bettystown beach (potentially a pain) to what to do nearby.
Some quick need-to-knows before visiting Bettystown Beach
Although a visit to Bettystown Beach is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
Bettystown Beach is situated on the east coast of County Meath in the town of Bettystown. It’s a 15-minute drive from Drogheda and a short spin from many of the most impressive attractions on the Boyne Valley Drive.
So, you can park on Bettystown Beach at certain times of the year, excluding the summer. And, while you’ll find some on-street parking (e.g. here on Google Maps), this is scarce come summer. The handiest option on busy days is Funtasia, but it’ll cost you €4 for the day.
Bettystown Beach is a popular spot for a swim. There are lifeguards at Bettystown Beach during the summer months, usually at weekends in June and then during the day in July and August.
4. The Tara Brooch
In 1850, an ancient brooch was found on Bettystown Beach. It’s believed that the brooch, now known as the ‘Tara Brooch’, dates back to 710 to 750 AD. The brooch is made of cast and gilt silver and it is elaborately decorated with fine gold filigree panels and studs of glass, enamel and amber. It’s now located in the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.
5. Water safety (please read!)
About Bettystown Beach
Bettystown Beach is one of the largest beaches near Drogheda and, along with nearby Laytown Beach and Mornington Beach, it runs for 5km in length (perfect if you fancy a long stroll!).
It’s thanks to the beach that the town of Bettystown attracts swarms of visitors in the warmer summer months, many of whom flock from the capital, which is a short, 30-minute drive away.
However, while Bettystown Beach is, for the most part, safe, it’s worth remaining vigilant if visiting late in the evening, especially during the summer months.
There has been a string of assaults on the beach in the last couple of years, the most recent of which took place last June, where a gang attacked two boys.
Things to do around Bettystown beach
So, if you’re planning a visit to Bettystown Beach and you fancy making an afternoon of it, you’re in luck – there’s plenty to do here to keep you busy.
Below, you’ll find where to grab a coffee (or a bit of lunch) to what to look out for when you arrive.
1. Grab a coffee to-go from Relish Cafe
Relish Cafe is a fine stop-off point for a pre-ramble coffee or bite-to-eat. Here, you’ll be able to sip a coffee from a cosy outdoor terrace overlooking the sea.
There’s a lunch menu, a breakfast menu and a coffee and cake menu, too. If you’re in the mood for a little snack to accompany your coffee, make sure to try the Relish ice cream sundaes!
2. Then head for a handy ramble along the sand
This is one of the more popular walks in Meath for good reason. Park up and head to the sand. From there, you can either walk to Laytown or Mornington.
Personally, I prefer the walk to Mornington as, in my experience, the section towards Mornington Beach tends to be a lot quieter.
If you’re visiting during the summer months, try and get here early so that you can enjoy your stroll before the place gets mobbed.
3. Or tackle the Bettystown Sli na Slainte and walk to Laytown
If, after your ramble, you’re still in the mood for some more walking, you can tackle a section of the Sli na Slainte route out towards Laytown. This linear walk is about 2.5km each way and will take a little under 1 hour to conquer.
The Bettystown Sli na Slainte officially starts at Laytown train station and passes through Bettystown and Mornington, but you can walk the chunk from Bettystown to Laytown on its own, if you fancy!
Things to do near Bettystown Beach
Bettystown Beach is a short spin from many of the best places to visit in Meath, from food and castles to hikes and more.
Below, you’ll find info on where to eat near Bettystown Beach to where to soak up a bit of local history.
1. Mornington Bay Beach (5-minute drive)
Mornington Beach is a short spin from Bettystown. Next to this beach, you will find two historical landmarks – the Maiden Tower and Lady’s Finger. The former is a 60-feet tower dating back to the 16th century while the latter is a 13-feet high obelisk.
2. Laytown Beach (5-minute drive)
Laytown Beach is situated next to the village of the same name, and it’s a 5-minute drive from Bettystown. This beach is much quieter than Bettystown and it’s the perfect spot for an early-morning stroll on the sand.
3. Drogheda (15-minute drive)
There’s plenty of things to do in Drogheda and there’s a clatter of excellent restaurants in Drogheda, too. If you’re there for the night, there’s also some lively, old-school pubs in Drogheda that are well worth nipping into.
4. Brú na Bóinne (25-minute drive)
Brú na Bóinne is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ireland for good reason. This World Heritage Site is home to three main passage tombs dating back to 3,500 BC – Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth, each of which is worth a visit.
FAQs about Bettystown Beach
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Is Bettystown Beach a Blue Flag beach?’ to ‘Are there any toilets?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
Is Bettystown Beach safe for swimming?
Bettystown is a popular spot amongst swimmers, however, caution should always be taken when entering the water. If in doubt, ask locally.
Where do you park for Bettystown Beach?
Parking at Bettystown Beach can be a pain. There’s limited on-street parking. The handiest is the paid parking (€4) at Funtasia.