Located in Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin the well-known horseshoe-shaped bay known as Sandycove is a popular spot for sea users. Towards the back, near the James Joyce tower, you will find the well known Forty Foot. Swimmers are there all year round, even in the depths of winter. Would you be brave enough for a dip in December?
The great advantage of Sandycove is that it can be broken up into both small and long snorkels with the advantage of an abundance of exit points from the Victorian Baths all the way down to Mourners Point (See Map). Taking an initial entry point between the piers from Sandycove Strand, the first visible buoy is approximately 150 meters offshore.
There is plenty to see within the confines of the buoys if you do not want to venture out too far. To the right of the cove towards the Victorian Baths there is a shallow seaweed forest with plenty of sea life and to the right, two sizeable anchors (See map and image carousel).
The Irish sea hosts an abundance of sea life including some species you would not imagine would be found in Irish waters. In an article by Dublin Live from 2018 some of these amazing creatures can be seen from the locality of Sandycove. Click here to view the article.
Sandycove, while sheltered, is also subject to swells and unexpected strong tidal currents. Caution should be taken when planning any trip. Water temperature at the surface can vary greatly from winter (as low as 5 - 6 degrees ) to summer (as high as 19 degrees). Tide information for the Dun Laoghaire area is available at the following link. - Click here.
For up to date weather reports - Click here.
Water Safety Information
When making your way around to the Forty Foot from Sandycove or vice versa be aware of strong cross-currents that are in the area, they can catch you unawares. There is a lifeguard station at the bayside where the conditions in the area can be checked. In case of emergency, the nearest RNLI station located in Dun Laoghaire can be contacted on (01) 280 2667 or the Irish Coast Guard can be contacted by phoning 999 or 112.
Entry and Exit Points
The cove makes things very easy for getting into the water. There are 2 points where you can walk directly from a beach into the water - at the cove or at the old Victorian Baths. Alternatively, there are 3 points where you can get in via steps around the back of Sandycove in the Forty Foot (See map below).