There are no officially approved naturist beaches or sites in Ireland. Nude swimming or sunbathing on a public beach or in a public place is, therefore, illegal. Please bear this in mind at all times. However, provided you use discretion and common sense, you should have no problems. No member of the Irish Naturist Association has ever been prosecuted for naturist activities.
Here are details of some beaches and bathing places where naturism is tolerated. Apart from those listed, there are many more secluded beaches, particularly along western and south-western coasts, where you could have the beach to yourself all day.
Some of the beaches and bathing places are recommended with reservations – please take care and heed all warnings given. Please also be discreet. Naturism is not as accepted in Ireland as it is in many other European countries. The Irish Naturist Association accepts no responsibility if you encounter problems.
Please also heed any warnings regarding currents and tides.
UNOFFICIAL Naturist Locations in Connaught
|This beach is on the Atlantic coast of Clare. The northern end of the beach towards the cliffs is a traditional naturist spot and is used mainly, but no longer exclusively, by men.
Directions: Take the N68 from Ennis to Kilrush. Continue for approximately 8 miles to Kilkee.
|This lake has three small sandy beaches. The first beach is used as a picnic area. The second beach is reached by walking along the path on the fight hand side of the lake. A third hidden beach can be reached by wading across a small stretch of shallow water. This is ideal for naturism. It is also very safe for children.
Directions: Approximately one mile north of the village of Flagmount, which is not far from the Clare / Galway border, turn into the forest at the picnic area sign and continue until you reach the first beach.
|This beach is halfway between Galway and Barna.
Directions: Take the Galway-Spiddal road (R336) until you come to Barna, approximately four miles from Galway city, where there is a petrol station beside a caravan park. The road swings to the left. On the bend you will see a sign for Silver Strand. Take this turn and drive to the end of the road. The area used for naturism is to the right where you can see a small point or headland. To get there walk for 15 or 20 minutes along the stones or on the rough path behind the wall nearby.
|This beach is in Westport Bay and is approximately five miles from Westport.
Directions: Take the R335 from Westport towards Louisburg. After passing the village of Murrisk take the next turn to Bartraw Beach which is on a small peninsula. Use the eastern side of the peninsula.
|This long beach is on Achill Island. It was sandy but has now become very rocky. Use the eastern end of the beach at Dookinelly.
Directions: Take the R319 from Achill Sound towards Keel for approximately five miles. There is a turn off for Dookinelly. You can also get there from Keel by a long walk up the beach.
|This fine beach is also on Achill Island. Although it is not secluded it is frequently used by naturist foreign visitors. A small area among the rocks at the northern end of the beach is suitable.
Directions: Keem lies at the very end of the R319 from Achill Sound. Park in the car park and walk onto the beach.
|This beach is in Clew Bay near Louisburgh, approximately ten miles west of Westport. There is a small secluded cove north of the main beach which is used by naturists.
Directions: Take the R335 from Westport towards Louisburgh. The road follows the coastline. Watch for the turn to Old Head before Louisburgh
|This fine long beach is on the northern side of Sligo Bay, near Drumcliff Bay.
Directions: Take the N15 from Sligo for approximately 6 miles. Turn off just past Drumcliff towards the village of Carney. Just before Carney take the minor road in the direction of Knocklane which is on the tip of the headland. About half a mile before the road ends at Knocklane, which has only a few cottages and caravans, take a left turn. Continue on straight until the road ends at a gate beside a barn. Park here and walk up the beach.
CAUTION: Beware of currents.
|This long beach is on the western side of Mullaghmore Head, south of Roskeragh Point. Naturists use the more secluded northern and southern ends, particularly during the week. Discretion is required at weekends.
Directions: Take the main N15 Sligo – Bundoran road for approximately 15 miles until you come to the village of Cliffony. Turn off onto the R279 towards Mullaghmore. Just after this road veers to the right there is a small turn left which leads to the beach. Park at the end of the road near a football pitch and walk over the sand dunes onto the beach.
CAUTION: Beware of currents.
UNOFFICIAL Naturist Locations in Leinster
|This fine beach is near the village of Donabate in north Co. Dublin, off the main Dublin-Belfast M1 motorway. Driving from Dublin go past the Airport and past the town of Swords. Leave the motorway at Junction 4 and follow the signs for Donabate. This road leads through the village of Donabate and on to the beach. Drive onto the beach and park as far down as possible. Beware of soft sand. Walk further down the beach for 15 to 20 minutes. This area is known as CORBALLIS and is used by naturists.
Alternatively: Two miles down the road to Donabate turn right at the signpost for the Island Golf Club and Corballis Golf Club. Continue for about 1½ miles until you see a small green gate just before the entrance to the Island Golf Club. Walk through the gate and follow the path over the dunes until you reach the beach. Turn right and walk for 10 15 minutes.
The Forty Foot
|This was for many years a traditional male only naturist bathing place. It is still predominantly, but no longer exclusively, used by men. It is situated just outside the town of Dun Laoghaire, 8 miles south of Dublin. In Dun Laoghaire follow the signposts for the ferry port. Continue along the coast road until you come to the Martello Tower. The Forty Foot is nearby.|
|This is a small bathing place just outside the village of Dalkey, not far from Dun Laoghaire. In Dalkey turn onto Sorrento Rd. and then turn right onto the coast road (Vico Rd). The bathing place is signposted. Walk across the footbridge and follow the path. To the left is the path down to the changing huts and diving board. This area is not used by naturists except very early in the morning. When textile bathers start to arrive, naturists must move around the rocks to a small cove.
CAUTION: Because of recent erosion, access to the cove is now difficult. It is necessary to climb through a wooden fence where a sign says “Dangerous area”. The path is steep and narrow, so be very careful. It is not suitable for children or for elderly or disabled people.
Another bathing spot on the Vico Road is White Rock Beach. This is accessed from the parking area further along the Vico Road. Follow any of the paths leading from the parking area down to the pedestrian bridge over the railway and take the steps down to the beach from there. Again this area not used by naturist except very early in the morning.
Magheramore north of Brittas Bay
Magheramore Beach is small, secluded and very sheltered from the general public due to its location and access point a little over 500 meters down a lane off the main road. The beach is cove-like in nature with the softest of fine golden sand, not a pebble or stone to be found. The slope of the beach is slow and gradual making it safe for swimmers of all levels. The resulting shallow water supports warmer water temperatures.
In recent times, naturists have started using the most northern end of this beach, just beyond the rocks that project out, approximately 200 meters north of the entry point to the beach.
Magheramore Beach is 7.5km south of Wicklow Town on the R750 coastal road, approximately half way between Wicklow Town and the Main Brittas Bay beach. GPS coordinates 52.932472, -6.031549 will bring you to the parking area. You will see a barrier at the entrance to a lane, go through here and walk a little over 500 meters to reach the entrance to the beach. Turn left and walk north for about 200 meters to reach the popular naturist area.
Sallymount south of Brittas Bay
|Brittas Bay is a popular camping and caravanning resort. The main beach is textile. The naturist beach, which is long and sandy, is south of the main beach. Put Sallymount into Google Maps for directions or alternatively turn off the main Dublin – Wexford (N11) road at exit 19 (Brittas Bay) where you will see the Jack Whites Pub. Go down this road until you can go no further. Turn right and follow the coast for about 1¾ miles until you come to a collection of fir trees and gateposts marked Buckrooney at a road junction. At the junction there is a small metalic gate. Walk through the gate and follow the path to the naturist part of the beach. Alternatively you can drive on until you come to a small car park beside a path down to the beach. Once you are on the beach turn left and walk until you see fencing up on the dunes past the sixth in a line of lifebuoys. Between the fencing and the stream further along the beach is the naturist area. You can swim sunbathe and walk around in comfort on the beach or in the dunes.
CAUTION: Beware of currents. Always swim parallel to the beach.
|The village of Curracloe is approximately 5 miles north of Wexford town or 10 miles from Enniscorthy. From Wexford access is via the R741/742 road. From Enniscorthy take the R744 road to Blackwater and then south on the L304. The coastline in this area is one long beach. There is a wooded area at the south end of Curracloe beach.
Park in the car park and walk south along the edge of the wood for 10 or 15 minutes. This secluded part of the beach is regularly used by naturists. Discretion is required at weekends.
UNOFFICIAL Naturist Locations in Munster
|There are a number of quiet and secluded coves on the eastern and western sides of Clonakilty Bay which are very suitable for naturism. DUNOWEN also called DUNEEN ends at a rocky cliff, so there are very few passers by. Further out are DUNNY COVE and SANDS COVE. Further west towards Glandore lies the rocky PRISON COVE.
On the eastern side there is a suitable cove near the village of RING. Turn right over the bridge in the village and follow the road along the coast with Inchadoney Island across the channel on the right. After a while the road turns inland and uphill. Half way up this hill is a narrow lane on your right which leads almost to a sheltered rocky cove. Park and take the footpath leading around to the left and down.
Further along this hilly road is a sign for SIMON’S COVE which is along the headland to South Ring where a small lane leads to the sea. The Cove is protected by a reef but can be thick with stringy seaweed.
The shores of Roaring Water Bay past Lough Hyne, which is past Skibbereen, and the Beara peninsula have many deserted beaches.
CAUTION: Beware of strong currents in this area.
|This beach is west of Clonakilty Bay . Take the N71 road from Clonakilty towards Skibbereen for approximately six miles. Turn at the signpost for Owenachna and follow the sign for Long Strand. Go through the Hotel area and caravan park and continue on the coast road. As you come to the top of the hill you will see the beach stretching out before you. The beach and the dunes behind it are used by naturists. Discretion required especially at weekends.
CAUTION: Beware of strong currents.
The next 4 beaches are on the DINGLE PENINSULA:
|This beach is on the southern side of the peninsula and is one of the best in Ireland. It is more than two miles long and is backed by sand dunes. Walk for about half a mile until you are past the textile bathers.
Directions: Turn off the N70 road from Tralee at Castlemaine onto the R561. Continue for approximately 12 miles until you reach the village of Inch.
|Clogher Head is on the tip of the Dingle Peninsula and is approximately 10 miles along the coast road (R559) from the town of Dingle. Nude bathing takes place on the southern side of the Head, and also just north of Clogher Beach about one mile away around the Head.
Another suitable place is a small bay between Clogher Head and Sybil Point. Access is by a narrow road off the R 559 leading to Dun An Oir.
|This beach is near the tip of the peninsula, on the northern side, approximately 6 miles from Clogher Head along the R559. The area on the western (Ballyferriter) side of a small stream is used by naturists.|
|Stradbally is in Brandon Bay, on the northern side of the Peninsula.
Directions: Take the R559 and continue where it becomes the R560 to Castlegregory. Watch for the turn to Stradbally. Walk down the beach about 1 mile past the sign which says “Stradbally Strand”.
|This beach is in Ballyheige Bay, north of the Dingle Peninsula.
Directions: Take the R551 from Tralee for approx 6 miles until you come to the Banna Beach Hotel. The hotel is near the main road to the beach. Go past the car parks and turn down a small road between the sand dunes. Walk down the beach.
|This beach is approximately six miles north of Ballybunion. It is a big beach so pick a secluded spot.
Directions: Take the R553 from Listowel then the R551 from Ballybunion. Turn off for Beal Point.
|This beach is approximately five miles west of Dingle.
There are three entrances. The best one is the third entrance which is at the quiet end of the beach.
Directions: Drive through the village of Ventry and continue on until you come to a sharp right bend. On the bend there are two turns: one directly ahead and one to the left. Take the turn on the left. Follow the road until you come to the cemetery. Immediately after the cemetery there is a car park. From the car park walk onto the beach and turn right until you find a suitable place.