The petite Sandycove Beach is arguably one of the smallest beaches in Dublin.
And although its size is fine for much of the year, it’s on those rare summer days when Sandycove can become overrun, and the beach becomes a no-go.
However, visit early in the morning or off-peak and this area is a sea-swimmers delight, with the famous Forty Foot a 2-minute walk away.
Below, you’ll find info on everything from where to get parking in Sandycove and the James Joyce link to where to visit nearby.
Some Quick Need To Knows about Sandycove Beach
Although a visit to Sandycove is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
There is a universal superloo a short, 2-minute walk from the beach on Sandycove Avenue West (see here on Google Maps). The charge for use is €0.50 (prices may change).
4. Swimming + safety
Lifeguards patrol the beach during the summer months – from the beginning of June until mid-September. However, understanding water safety is absolutely crucial when visiting beaches in Ireland. Please take a minute to read these water safety tips!
5. James Joyce link
Sandycove Beach is perhaps best known for its link to James Joyce’s Ulysses. The famous Martello Tower there is where the writer once spent a week as the guest of poet Oliver St John Gogarty, and which now has a small Joycean museum. More on this below.
About Sandycove Beach in Dublin
Sandycove Beach is a small inlet, its beach strewn with fine sand. Visitors can take a dip in the sea off the pier area above the cove or choose to walk out to the water from the beach.
In fact, you can swim at this small beach all year around if you’re brave enough to face the chilly Irish sea, and the shallow waters make it a great place for a paddle.
You will find great scenery here – panoramic views of the south coast of Dublin and what is referred to as “the awakening mountains” in the opening scene of Ulysses.
For the adventurous, you can hire stand-up paddle boards, a great way to explore the coastline. There are restrictions in place relating to dogs, jet-skis, noise and litter so that the beach is a pleasant place for everyone.
Things to do near Sandycove Beach in Dublin
Sandycove 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 Sandycove Beach to where to soak up a bit of local history.
1. The 40 Foot (2-minute walk)
The 40 Foot is a swimming area at Sandycove Beach, just a short walk from the tower. It’s safe to swim in all year round, although only those hardened wild swimmers opt to do so outside of June, July and August! There are plenty of coffee shops nearby if you need a swift warm-up post swim.
2. James Joyce Tower & Museum (1-minute walk)
The James Joyce Tower & Museum in the Martello Tower (open every day from 10am to 4pm in winter and 10am to 6pm in summer) attracts many visitors every year.
The museum holds Joycean memorabilia, and in common with many other venues in Dublin, Bloomsday is held on the 16th of June every year, commemorating the famous opening scene of one of the 20th century’s best-known novels, and taking its name from the central character, Leonard Bloom.
3. Teddys Ice Cream + Scotsman’s Bay (12-minute walk)
Teddy’s is a small ice-cream shop that overlook the expanse of the nearby Scotsman’s Bay and has been selling ice-cream to Dubliners since 1950. It’s also a hang-out for old school confectionary enthusiasts, offering a selection of boiled sweets, candyfloss and iced caramels. The ice-creams contain no artificial colours or flavourings, and are well-known for their 99s – sumptuous, whipped ice-cream with a chocolate flake stuck in it.
4. Walks galore
Killiney Hill (a 10-minute drive) is the southernmost of the two hills which are the southern boundary of Dublin Bay. The views from here are incredible. You also have the Ticknock walk (a 25-minute drive), Carrickgollogan (25-minute drive) and the Greystones to Bray walk (30-minute drive).
FAQs about Sandycove Beach
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from is Sandycove clean to where to park 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.
Is it safe to swim in Sandycove?
Normally, yes. However, some Dublin beaches have had no-swim notices as of late. For the latest info, Google ‘Sandycove Beach news’ or check locally.
Where do you park for Sandycove Beach?
There’s no parking next to the beach. We tend to park at either Windsor Terrace (21-minute walk) or Eden Park (22-minute walk). Keep in mind that both are paid parking.
Emma Baird is a lifestyle editor and novelist. She has worked in the communications industry for more than 25 years, and loves animals, the countryside and lingering in a great pub for the food and the craic.