There are plenty of things to do in Skerries, which is why the town is one of the most popular day trips from Dublin.
From chill activities, like the coastal walk, to some very unique tours, like the one that takes you to see Rockabill Lighthouse, there’s something to tickle most fancies in Skerries.
And, as the town is finely wedged between Donabate, Portrane and Balbriggan, there’s loads to do a short drive away.
Below, you’ll discover what to do in Skerries regardless of when you visit (you’ll also find some pub and food recommendations, too!).
Our favourite things to do in Skerries
The first section of our guide is packed with what we think are the best things to do in Skerries. These are things that one of The Irish Road Trip Team have done and loved.
Below, you’ll find everything from coffee and breakfast to beaches, walks, some unique tours and much, much more.
1. Kick-start your visit with coffee from Olive Cafe
We start most guides here with a coffee recommendation. So, with that in mind, our first stop is Olive Cafe, a mighty little cafe situated on Strand St.
Peter and Deirdre started the business in 2005 and through the years they have created a cosy space equipped with a delightful terrace where you can grab an early morning caffeine fix.
Their coffee comes from Farmhand, a local micro-roastery selling high quality and fair-trade Colombian and Brazilian coffee beans.
2. Then head for a stroll (or a swim!) on Skerries Beach!
Now it’s time to head south toward Skerries South Beach. Here you can flick off your runners and enjoy a nice barefoot walk on the soft sand.
While you stroll, keep an eye out for the three islands; of Saint Patrick’s Island, Colt Island and Shenick Island.
The beach is about 1.5 miles (2.5 km) in length and it will take you about one hour to walk till its end and back to Skerries.
3. Give sea kayaking a crack
If you’re looking for unique things to do in Skerries, then book a Kayaking tour around the Skerries’ islands with the folks from Portobello Adventure.
The kayaking session will start at the beach close to the Martello Tower and will cost you about €40 per person.
You will first paddle all the way to Shenick island where you will be able to land and take a few pictures. You will then reach Colt Island for a well-deserved break.
The last stop of your tour will be St Patrick’s Island from where you will go back to Skerries. If you’re wondering what to do in Skerries with a group of pals, this is well worth considering.
4. Or take a sea tour to Rockabill Lighthouse or Lambay
If paddling is not for you and you would prefer to immerse yourself in the culture and history of Skerries’ islands, book a tour with Skerries Sea Tour (from what we can tell they run Spring to Autumn).
This company organises trips to both Rockabill Lighthouse and Lambay Island. The Rockabill trip lasts 1 hour and 15 minutes and costs €25 per person while the Lambay tour lasts 2 hours and costs €50.
While sailing, you’ll learn about the history of these islands from the bronze age to the present day. In addition, you will explore the rich wildlife inhabiting these islands from seabirds, grey seals and fallow deer.
Other popular things to do in Skerries (and nearby)
Now that we have our favourite things to do in Skerries out of the way, it’s time to see what else this corner of Dublin has to offer.
Below, you’ll find everything from more walks and another unique tour to cosy pubs, great food and some ideas on what to do in Skerries when it rains.
1. Tackle the Skerries Coastal walk
If you’re in the mood for a walk make sure to check out the Skerries Coastal walk. You can start your journey at the South Shore Esplanade.
From here you can follow the coastline towards the north. You will walk around the Martello Tower, built to oppose an invasion from Napoleon, and then head towards North Strand Bay Beach.
You will quickly reach Barnageeragh Bay Steps, where you will be able to have a swim while admiring the beautiful green hills dominating the coast. It’s now time to go back to Skerries.
2. Explore the Skerries Mills
A visit to Skerries Mills is arguably one of the most popular things to do in Skerries. Here you will discover the areas’ rich milling history while exploring two windmills that date back to the 18th century.
Daily tours are available seven days a week. During your tour, you will learn about the history of milling and try your hand at stone grinding flour.
You will be able to see the water wheel in action and visit the two main windmills. Tickets for adults are €9. Special discounts are available for students, families and large groups.
3. Visit Ardgillan Castle
Another must-see close to Skerries is the Ardgillan Castle. Despite being called (and looking like) a castle, Ardgillan is actually a country-style house.
The central section of this imposing building was built in 1738 while the west and east wings were added in the late 1800s.
The castle is also surrounded by what’s arguably one of the finest parks in Dublin. It’s even home to a rose and ornamental garden.
Ardgillan Castle is open seven days a week and guided tours are available every 15 minutes from 11.00 am to 4.15 pm.
4. Enjoy a pint with a view from outside Joe Mays pub
If you fancy a pint with a view, you’ll love Joe Mays. Finely plonked on Harbour Road, right across from the water, the area outside of Joe Mays boasts mighty sea views.
First opened in 1865, Joe Mays is now run by the fourth generation of the May family. The interior is nice and cosy and there’s always a friendly atmosphere.
If you arrive here on a cold day, you’ll find a fire blazing away. Some other brilliant Skerries pubs are Nealon’s, the Malting House and The Snug.
5. Head for a ramble around Newbridge House
If you’re looking for things to do near Skerries, take the 20-minute drive to the nearby town of Donabate and explore Newbridge House, the only intact Gregorian mansion in Ireland.
Newbridge House was built in 1747 and was initially modestly decorated. However, when Thomas Cobbe and his wife, Lady Betty, inherited the mansion they introduced the glamorous furniture and art pieces that can be still admired to this day.
The mansion also has a traditional farm with animals such as Connemara ponies, pigs, goats, chickens and bunnies making it the perfect location to visit with children.
6. Saunter along the sand at Loughshinny Beach
At about 15 minutes drive from Skerries, you will find one of the most overlooked beaches in Dublin – Loughshinny Beach.
This beach tends to be quiet, as most people head straight to Skerries, so the chances are you could have this spot all to yourself.
If you can, rock up here with a coffee and kick back on one of the benches. This is a glorious spot to just relax and take in the sights and sounds of the Irish Sea.
7. Kick back with a feed in one of the town’s many restaurants
If you read our guide to the best restaurants in Skerries, you’ll know that there’s an endless number of places to eat in the town.
From lively restaurants, like 5 Rock, to long-standing favourites, like Blue, there’s a little bit of something to tickle most tastebuds.
What to do in Skerries: Where have we missed?
I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some brilliant places to visit in Skerries and nearby from the guide above.
If you have a place that you’d like to recommend, let me know in the comments below and I’ll check it out!
FAQs about places to visit in Skerries
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Is Skerries worth visiting?’ to ‘I’m wondering what to do in Skerries this weekend?’.
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.
What are the best things to do in Skerries this weekend?
If you’re wondering what to do in Skerries over the coming days, the Skerries Mills tour, the Kayak tours or one of the many walks will keep you occupied.
What are the more unique things to see in Skerries?
The tours with Skerries Sea Tours are pretty unique. You can visit Lambay or Rockabil Lighthouse. The Skerries Mills tour is also excellent, albeit not that unique.