THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SANDY BEACHES IN IRELAND’S SOUTHEAST – 14 TIPS FOR EXPLORERS

Last updated on February 6, 2024

The waves of the Atlantic crash thunderously against Ireland’s rocky coasts. The spray foams metres high on the high cliffs – over 2500km of rugged coastline form the famous Wild Atlantic Way – and that is only part of Ireland’s coastline!

Man and dog at the beach
Man and dog at the beach (Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)


Intro

What many people outside Ireland don’t know is that in addition to rugged cliffs, Ireland also has hundreds of kilometres of beautiful sandy beaches!

Particularly beautiful sandy beaches can be found in the south-east of Ireland. Irish families love to spend their summer holidays with their children on these beaches and they know what is good.

Many of these Irish beaches are awarded the Blue Flag for best water quality every year.

They also offer immense recreational value for foreign travellers. How wonderful it is to lie down in the dunes or on the beach after a few hours, stretch out your legs and just enjoy!

Although I come from Germany, I have been living with my family in the south-east of Ireland (second home) for several years. At our location south of Dublin we run our motorbike rental business in summer (www.easycruiser.tours) and also offer nice guest rooms (www.the-view-accommodation.ie).

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Below I list some of the most beautiful beaches in Ireland that you can easily incorporate into your trip:

The most beautiful 14 beaches on your tour of Ireland’s South East:

  1. Bray Promenade and Strand
  2. Britta`s Bay Beach
  3. Old Bawn Beach
  4. Morriscastle Beach
  5. Ballinesker Beach
  6. Curracloe Beach
  7. Raven Wood Nature Reserve
  8. Rosslare Beach
  9. Kilmore Beach
  10. Tramore Promenade and Beach
  11. Kilfarrasy Beach
  12. Kilmurrin Beach
  13. Bunmahon Beach
  14. Clonea Beach

Two seagulls in flight
Two seagulls in flight (photo: Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)

1 Bray Promenade and Beach

Bray was once a seaside resort at the southern gates of Dublin. The metropolis of Dublin has long since grown up around the small town. Nevertheless, Bray has retained an independent character. The atmosphere on the beach promenade is particularly beautiful. Mountains frame the scene on both sides. The beach is a long pebble beach, somewhat uncomfortable to sit on. But the promenade is inviting for a stroll. If you like, you can visit the Bray Sea Life Aquarium or fortify yourself in one of the cafés for the onward journey.

2 Brittas Bay Beach

Brittas Bay is a long sandy bay. It is a local recreation area and near holiday destination for many Dubliners. There are numerous campsites and mobile home parks, which unfortunately also own some of the beach access exclusively. Public access is available at Britta`s Bay North Beach Car Park.

Horses in the dunes
Horses in the dunes (photo: Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)


3 Old Bawn Beach

This is rather an insider tip of the local residents. A small road turns off the R742 and passes Old Bawn Caravan Park until it ends at a small sandy car park. Park your bike here and walk through the dunes to the beach. A wide and high belt of dunes shields the long and wide sandy beach from the hinterland. The sand is almost white and the beach is simply fantastic!

4 Morriscastle Beach

From the small resort of Kilmuckridge, a small road leads to Morriscastle. At the end there are caravan parks and a fast food takeaway. A little further on there is a small car park and from there a sandy path leads through the dunes to the lovely wide sandy beach. Morriscastle is well known and in summer you won’t be alone here, but if you walk just a bit beyond the beach entrance, there’s not much going on.

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5 Ballinesker Beach

Again, a small road leads off the R742 to Ballinesker Beach. Do you know the film “Saving Private Ryan” with Tom Hanks? The Normandy landings were actually filmed on this beach. Sometimes Curracloe Beach is also given as the filming location, but that is only a little further and both beaches are connected.

High dunes at Curracloe Beach
High dunes at Curracloe Beach (photo: Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)


6 Curracloe Beach

The R743 leads from the village of Curracloe to Curracloe Beach. Incidentally, this was a filming location for the movie “Brooklyn” with Saoirse Ronan. The film is partly set in nearby Enniscorthy and there are also scenes by the sea – right here in Curracloe. Saoirse Ronan is an Irish-American actress who actually grew up in south-east Ireland. For us motorcyclists, the really impressive high dunes with a fantastic view over the kilometre-long beach are absolutely exhilarating.

7 Raven Wood Nature Reserve

A little further south is the Raven Wood Nature Reserve. A beautiful pine forest stands here right next to the brilliant white beach. Very nice for a short walk!

At a beach near Kilmuckridge
At a beach near Kilmuckridge (photo: Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)



8 Rosslare Beach

Rosslare is known to many as a ferry port. Ferries depart from here to England, France and northern Spain. A little north of the harbour there is also a nice beach and in front of it several cafés and restaurants – a good place for a lunch break.

9 Kilmore Beach

Kilmore Quay is a really nice fishing harbour. Many of the houses there have thatched roofs. You can eat wonderful fish dishes in several retaurants and snack bars around the harbour. A short distance from the harbour is the long Kilmore Beach – a good place for a nap after eating fish…

Beach at Kilmore Quay
Beach at Kilmore Quay (photo: Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)


10 Tramore Promenade and Beach

Tramore is a busy little town on the south coast. In the summer there is a funfair there for the families. At any time of year the promenade is very inviting. It is only paved at the beginning, but a little further on there is a beautiful beach in front of it. There are plenty of places to eat and drink here too.

11 Kilfarrasy Beach

This is a real gem on the steep Copper Coast. This small but very special beach is really worth seeing. It is framed by cliffs and rocky outcrops jut out of the water in front of the beach, giving the scenery an almost surreal look.

12 Kilmurrin Beach

Kilmurrin Beach is not to be missed. The car park is right on the R675. The small bay is picturesque and it is certainly worthwhile to take a short photo stop here.

Ballinesker Beach
Ballinesker Beach (photo: Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg)


13 Bunmahon Beach

A little further on is the seaside resort of Bunmahon with its long beach.

14 Clonea Beach

Clonea Beach is just before Dungarvan. Here the coast is no longer steep and the sandy beach is therefore quite wide. The nearby town of Dungarvan has a beautiful harbour with an old town and is also worth a visit. There are nice restaurants around the harbour with a view of the many small pleasure boats bobbing comfortably in the sheltered bay.

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Conclusion

Ireland’s south-east is very well known to many Irish families and completely unknown to many international tourists.

Even if you as a traveller are not necessarily looking for bathing fun, there are many beautiful tours along the coast to experience here, on which you can always relax on one of these dreamy sandy beaches.

And the best thing is: compared to popular seaside resorts on the Mediterranean, there is comparatively little going on here even in high summer. So you will have a lot of fun on your tour along the most beautiful beaches of the Irish south-east coast.

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Photo credits cover photo: Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg (www.easycruiser.tourswww.the-view-accommodation.iewww.irland-insider.dewww.ireland-insider.com)

Uli Written by:

Hello and welcome to my blog. Originating from Germany, my family and I now live in Ireland (at least part time). We have travelled this amazing isle many times and know many parts of it very well. In this blog, I would like to share valuabe tips and information for your next trip to Ireland with you. Enjoy the content, yours, Ulrich Knüppel-Gertberg