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A Guide To Dollymount Beach In Dublin (Parking, Tides + Handy Info)

A Guide To Dollymount Beach In Dublin (Parking, Tides + Handy Info)

The popular Dollymount Beach is one of a couple of beaches in Dublin that’s a stone’s throw from the city.

Extending out from Clontarf, Dollymount Strand is part of North Bull Island and is easily reached by the DART or via several buses from Dublin City.

It’s a fine spot for a ramble and it’s popular with swimmers (although there have been some no-swim notices recently).

Below, you’ll find info on everything from where to get parking (sometimes a pain) to how to get info on the Dollymount tides.

Some quick need-to-knows about Dollymount Strand

Dollymount beach

Photo by James Hawkshaw (Shutterstock)

Although a visit to Dollymount Beach in Dublin is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.

1. Location

Located less than 10 km from the City Centre, Dollymount Beach is in Clontarf, easily reachable from Dublin city centre and should take around 20-25 minutes to drive. If you’d prefer public transport then jump on the 130 bus which will drop you right by the wooden bridge. 

2. Parking

You used to be able to drive onto Dollymount Beach, but this stopped several years back. If you can get parking on Bull Wall, park there (it’s a short walk away). If you can’t get space there, you’ll find several car parks along Clontarf prom.

3. Swimming

Located close to the city, it’s no surprise that Dollymount Strand is a popular spot for a swim. Be aware, however, of any bans or notices from lifeguards. A recent tragedy where a man in his 60s drowned shows that you can never be too careful when entering the sea.

4. Safety

Understanding water safety is absolutely crucial when visiting beaches in Ireland. Please take a minute to read these water safety tips. Cheers!

About Dollymount Strand

Dollymount strand

Photos via Shutterstock

Known locally as ‘Dollyer’, the strand has been a popular spot for years and the 5 km of sandy beach and dunes on the island’s eastern shore make it a great spot for a getaway from the city no matter what the season. 

The vast size of Dollymount Strand means that you’ll get some cracking widescreen views of the Howth Peninsula and Dublin Bay as you make your way up it.

Bull Island was also the first official bird sanctuary in the country in the 1930’s so look up and you’ll probably be able to spot plenty of species of bird lolloping about above (I’m sure there’ll be some folk nearby with binoculars if you want to know more!). 

Bull Island and Bull Wall

A National Nature reserve and home to two private golf courses, Bull Island is a fine natural space in Dublin that features a beach, dunes, mudflats, grassland and marshes.

Extending almost 3 km from Clontarf out into Dublin Bay, the Bull Wall was completed in 1825 and features the Réalt na Mara statue (1972).

Tides

If you’re heading down for a swim, you’ll want to have a good understanding of the Dollymount Beach tides. 

There are several websites where you’ll find info on low tide and high tide at Dollymount (you’ll find the here).

Things to do at Dollymount Strand

There’s a handful of things to do at Dollymount Beach in Dublin that make it a great destination for a mornings’ ramble.

Below, you’ll find info on where to grab coffee (or a tasty treat!) along with what to see and do nearby.

1. Grab a coffee to-go from Happy Out

Conveniently situated halfway along the Bull Wall, the Happy Out is bound to make you happy indeed when you bite into their famous breakfast bap (weekends only).

If you want to get a caffeine fix for your stroll along the strand then jump on their extensive coffee selection and order to-go. There’s also a fine choice of teas and hot chocolate if coffee doesn’t float your boat. 

2. Then head for a ramble around North Bull Island

Bull island walk

Photo by Dawid K Photography (Shutterstock)

You’ll see all sorts of things on a ramble around Bull Island. The strand itself is 5 km long but you can do a big loop of the island if you so fancy, which may take around 3 hours to complete.

With views of the rising Howth peninsula, Poolbeg Lighthouse and the smokestacks of Dublin Port, you’ll also be joined along the way (potentially) by kitesurfers, windsurfers and all sorts of bird species overhead. Ramble over the dunes and breathe it all in!

3. Discover the story behind Bull Wall

bull wall clontarf

Photo by Lukas Fendek (Shutterstock)

Did you know that Bull Island didn’t even exist until around 200 years ago? Dublin Bay used to have a long-running problem with silting so they built a couple of walls (the Great South Wall being the other) to deal with it and eventually the walls caused deposits of sand and silt to pile up at the North Bull.

The island was thus formed and what we now know as North Bull Island was formed. There’s even an odd celebrity twist in that Captain William Bligh, of Mutiny on the Bounty fame, proposed his own wall but his design wasn’t used. Anyway, something to think about when you visit!

4. Saunter along Clontarf Promenade

Clontarf sea front

Photos via Shutterstock

Snaking its way for 3 km from the bottom of the Alfie Byrne Road up to the Wooden Bridge, Clontarf Promenade offers some great views of Dublin Bay and is an easy saunter.

Located just across the road from The Sheds pub, one of Dublin’s more curious features is the Easter Island Moai replica statue, a diplomatic gift from the ambassador of Chile. 

This promenade is also popular with joggers and cyclists as it gets exceptionally wide in spots meaning they have loads of room to maneuver. If you’re feeling peckish, there are plenty of restaurants in Clontarf to drop into.

Places to visit near Dollymount Strand

Dollymount Beach is a short spin from many of the best things to do in Dublin, from food and castles to hikes and more.

Below, you’ll find info on where to eat near Dollymount Strand to where to soak up a bit of local history.

1. St. Anne’s Park

St Anne's park

Photos via Shutterstock

Lying adjacent from Bull Island across the water, there’s a ton of stuff going on at St. Anne’s Park and you could spend all day there if you so wished. The old park contains historic buildings, walled gardens, a load of playing fields, 18 tennis courts and even a dog park. Keep an eye out for badgers, hedgehogs, rabbits, foxes, grey squirrels, pipistrelle bats and several different butterfly species. 

2. Howth

howth cliff walk guide

Photo left: edmund.ani. Right: EQRoy

With cinematic coastal scenes and a ton of deadly pubs and restaurants, the Howth Peninsula lies just to the north of Dollymount and is easily reachable. There are plenty of things to do in Howth, from the famous Howth Cliff Walk and Howth Beach to Howth Castle and more.

3. Croke Park

GAA museum

Photo courtesy GAA Museum via Ireland’s Content Pool

On the way to Dollymount (from the city centre) lies Croke Park, Dublin’s iconic Gaelic football stadium. And don’t forget, there doesn’t need to be a game happening to enjoy a visit! Take a Stadium Tour to learn about Croke Park’s interesting history and then get a stunning view of Dublin from above on the unique Skyline Tour. 

4. Dublin City

St Patrick's Cathedral

Photo left: SAKhanPhotography. Photo right: Sean Pavone (Shutterstock)

After you’ve had your fill of fresh air on the beach, head back to the city where there’s a load of things to do to fill the rest of your day (or evening). Trad pubs, galleries, museums and restaurants are all vying for your attention so pick your poison! 

FAQs about Dollymount Beach

We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from can you drive onto Dollymount beach (you can’t) to how long is Dollymount strand (it’s 5km).

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 Dollymount Beach safe for swimming?

Many beaches along Dublin’s coast have been given no-swim notices as of late. For the latest info, Google ‘Dollymount Beach news’ or check locally.

Where do you park for Dollymount Strand?

The handiest place to get parking is along Bull Wall. If there’s no space here, you’ll find some along the Clontarf Prom.

Where do you get information on the Dollymount tides?

There are several websites (see link above) that you can use to find out about low and high tide at Dollymount.

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