The brilliant Rosses Point Beach is one of my favourite beaches in Sligo.
With plenty of golden sand to ramble along and gorgeous water to head for a paddle, Rosses Point Beach is a fine spot for a warm afternoon.
In fact, the peninsula is home to three beaches, so there’s plenty of space to spread out and enjoy a swim or a walk in peace.
Below, you’ll find info on everything from parking and where to visit nearby to some info for those looking to swim at Rosses Point Beach.
Some quick need-to-knows before you visit Rosses Point Beach
Although a visit to Rosses Point Beach is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
Water safety warning: Understanding water safety is absolutely crucial when visiting beaches in Ireland. Please take a minute to read these water safety tips. Cheers!
2. Parking (and potential mayhem!)
There is a fair bit of public parking just back from the beach area with steps and ramps to reach the sand. However, be warned that it can get crazy busy on weekends or on a warm day. Arrive early if you can.
Rosses Point Beach is part of a sheltered section of Sligo Bay, making it relatively calm for swimming and other water sports like stand up paddle boarding. You’ll find lifeguards during the summer season on the more popular stretches of sand, with open water swimming at Rosses Point popular throughout the summer.
There are actually three beaches in Rosses Point
Yep. Three! The First Beach (the best-known), the Second Beach (1km-long and quieter than the First Beach) and, yep, you guessed it – the Third Beach (the most secluded).
The First Beach
When most people think of Rosses Point Beach, this is the one that springs to mind. The first beach is the smallest at just 400m long but, as it’s the closest beach to town, it’s the most popular.
It was awarded its first Blue Flag in 1988 and there are public toilets and parking available just up from the sand. You’ll find plenty of families and swimmers enjoying the beach during the warm weather, and it can get pretty busy on weekends.
The Second Beach
Just over the next bay, you’ll find the second beach, which stretches for more than a kilometre and is a nice place to spread out away from the crowds. You can get access to the sand by beach ramps from the main carpark, where you’ll also find toilets.
The beach is patrolled up to the middle by lifeguards in summer. It’s also a popular spot for kite surfers on windy days, as it’s is a bit more open and exposed compared to the first beach.
The Third Beach
By far the most secluded part of the coast, the third beach is definitely the quietest option. It stretches from the second beach all the way up to the mouth of the Drumcliff River.
Surrounded by water on both sides, it’s not patrolled at any time, so you need to be careful if coming this far away from town. You can access the beach from the second beach and from the Lower Rosses Road.
Things to do near Rosses Point Beach
One of the beauties of Rosses Point Beach is that it’s a short spin away from some of the best things to do in Sligo.
Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from Rosses Point Beach (plus places to eat and where to grab a post-adventure pint!).
1. Taste the food in the town
While you might have come to Rosses Point for the beaches, the small town has a great dining and bar scene if you’re looking for a feed. Austies Pub and Kitchen is one of the icons of town having been there for 200 years or you can try The Driftwood Smokehouse Restaurant for something different.
2. The Rosses Point Coastal Walk
The perfect way to soak up the views is to do this coastal walk around the peninsula. The 4km loop should take around an hour and is a nice ramble from the Church of Ireland along the promenade. It takes in some of the town’s small sights like the pier, the Lady Waiting on the Shore monument, Elsinore House ruins and Metal Man statue.
3. Boat trip to Inishmurray Island
One of the most underrated things to do in Rosses Point is head out to Inishmurray Island. This uninhabited island is famous for being home to the ruins of an early Christian monastic settlement.
There are regular boat trips when the weather is fine to the island from where you can explore the ruins and admire the incredible views and unique flora and fauna, including rare seabirds.
4. Take a spin to one of the many other nearby attractions
You could easily incorporate a trip to Rosses Point with some other nearby attractions. It’s close to many walks, other coastal towns, waterfalls and more beaches. You could head to the village of Drumcliffe and visit W.B. Yeats’ grave, before continuing onto the Gleniff Horseshoe Drive and Glencar Waterfall.
FAQs about visiting the beach in Rosses Point
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Can you swim in Rosses Point?’ to what to do nearby.
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.
Can you swim in Rosses Point?
Yes, the water here is relatively calm for swimming and other water sports like stand up paddle boarding. Always use caution when entering the water.
How long is Rosses Point beach?
The beach here stretches for around 2km, which makes it a great spot for a walk at any time of the year.
Is there much to do nearby?
You can grab some food in the town, take a drive out to Mullaghmore, visit Glencar Waterfall and head off on and endless number of hikes and walks.
Elisha is a freelance writer, content creator and blogger and her work can be read in Lonely Planet, Remote Lands and Matador Network. You’ll usually find her travelling in offbeat places or hiking wherever there are mountains; always with a camera in hand.