The gorgeous Silver Strand Beach in Wicklow is one of the best beaches in Ireland, but it comes with a set-back.
Getting to it can be a pain. Mainly as it can only really be accessed via two private camp sites, which isn’t ideal.
The campsites offer parking (between €6 and €10) at certain times of the year but, according to several people we asked, it’s not clear whether these are open at the moment.
Anyway, in the guide below, we’ll tell you as much as we know about visiting Silver Strand in Wicklow. One of the finest beaches in the land.
Some quick need-to-knows before you visit Silver Strand Beach in Wicklow
A visit to Silver Strand in Wicklow isn’t overly straightforward, as you need to use private land to get to it. Here are some need-to-knows.
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!
Silver Strand Beach is located just 4.5km south of Wicklow Town on the east coast of Ireland. It’s also a handy 56km or one hour drive south of Dublin.
This is where things get tricky – there’s usually paid parking at either Silver Strand Caravan Park Ltd or Wolohan’s Silver Strand Caravan & Camping Park (update June 1st, 2021: Silver Strand Caravan Park have a notice saying ‘Car Park closed for day trips’ no showing on their site).
However, we’ve had messages from several people to say that they’ve visited recently and the car parks were closed. This could be due to the fact that hospitality in Ireland isn’t due to reopen until the start of June. We’ll update this after Ireland’s reopens!
If you’re parking at Silver Strand in Wicklow (and the car park at one of the campsites is actually open…) you can expect to pay between €6 and €10 for a day, according to the 10 or 15 people that replied to an Instagram story that we put up asking for information.
4. Getting to the beach without a car
So, if you’re not driving to Silver Strand Beach in Wicklow, things get even more confusing. The most straightforward way to it is via one of the campsites, but we had people message us to say that walking through the site didn’t go well with the owners, so proceed as you see fit.
About Silver Strand in Wicklow
Although the likes of Greystones Beach and Brittas Bay Beach tend to attract much of of the attentions online, it’s Silver Strand in Wicklow that really packs a punch.
This is one of a small number of ‘hidden’ sandy stretches in Wicklow that often gets overlooked by those visiting the county.
The walk from the car park
The 10 minute walk from the car park down to Silver Strand Beach is on a relatively well-worn track. It takes you along the farmer’s yard and flat clearing for five minutes until you come to a steep zig zag path.
You can either clamber down the zig zag path or use some battered old steps down to your left. Either way, it’s just a five minute climb down and you’ll be met with the dreamy, picturesque beach.
Swimming on Silver Strand in Wicklow
Okay, so the beach didn’t quite get Blue Flag status in 2020, but it’s still safe to swim in the water when proper caution is taken.
In fact, it’s one of the best little beaches for swimming around Wicklow Town. The small inlet of Silver Strand is protected by rocky cliffs making the water relatively calm for the most part.
You’ll find plenty of people heading out in the water there for a swim and paddle when the weather is warm. ALWAYS use caution when entering the water.
Silver Strand Camping
If you want to extend your stay at the beach (because why wouldn’t you?!), there are 2 handy caravan and camping parks located right next to it.
Wolohan’s Caravan and Camping Park overlooks Silver Strand Beach and features a 22-acre property that has welcomed tents, touring and motor caravans for over 70 years.
Things to do near Silver Strand Beach in Wicklow
One of the beauties of Silver Strand in Wicklow is that it’s a stone’s throw from an almost endless number of things to see and do.
Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from the beach (see our guide on what to do in Wicklow for more).
1. Wicklow Town
Wicklow town is a vibrant coastal town with incredible natural beauty right at its doorstep. The town is a great place to base yourself while exploring more of the county and has a fantastic foodie scene. You’ll find a number of good seafood restaurants and trendy cafes strung along the main street.
If you’re looking for something fun to do in town for the whole family, head to the old Wicklow Gaol. The former prison and now museum offers a range of interactive tours to thrill everyone.
2. Avondale House
Just a 20-minute drive south-west of Wicklow town, you can explore Avondale House and Forest Park. The woodlands of the estate cover 500 acres of land with trees from all over the world. You can ramble along a number of walking trails from 1 hour up to 5 hours or head to the house and now museum to learn some history.
Avondale House was built in 1779 and was where Charles Stewart Parnell was born in 1846. It’s now a historic home open to visitors with audio visual guides, as well as a restaurant, book shop and picnic areas to enjoy.
3. Brittas Bay
Brittas Bay Beach is arguably the most popular of the many Wicklow beaches. The long stretch of golden sand is located just 12km south of Wicklow Town and just 8km south of Silver Strand Beach.
It’s achieved Blue Flag status and is also a recognised Special Area of Conservation for its grassland and sand dunes along the coast. While it can get extremely busy during holiday periods, there’s plenty of room to spread out along the sand and enjoy swimming in the water.
An incredibly beautiful part of the Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough is known for the medieval monastic ruins found in the valley. The historic sites are one of the most important monastic ruins in Ireland and date back to the settlement founded by St Kevin in the 6th century. See our Glendalough walks guide for more.
5. The Wicklow Mountains National Park
The Wicklow Mountains cover most of central County Wicklow, as well as stretching all the way towards Dublin. The huge park area is the largest continuous high ground in Ireland, making it one of the most beautiful natural landscapes to explore.
There are numerous ways to explore the park including on foot (see our Wicklow walks guide), on scenic drives or by cycling, with viewpoints, waterfalls and epic mountain peaks to conquer and visit during your time touring around.
FAQs about Silver Strand Beach in Wicklow
As a visit to Silver Strand Beach in Wicklow is by no means straightforward, we’ve had a lot of emails about it over the years.
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 there parking at Silver Strand Beach in Wicklow?
Over the years, both Wolohan’s Caravan and Camping Park and Silver Strand Caravan Park have offered paid parking, but it isn’t clear whether or not this is happening in 2021.
How do you get to Silver Strand in Wicklow?
The main access points to the beach are via private access at one of two campsites. It’s not clear whether you can access the beach via the campsites if you’re not staying in one of them.
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.