Three months ago, my family and I took the plunge and departed a life at the very heart of Dublin city centre for the wilds of North County Dublin. We’ve relocated to the gorgeous, rural-feeling coastal town of Rush, where houses share space with cabbage fields and greenhouses. It feels like a holiday resort this summer, minus the crowds.
Now, I’d never really bothered all that much with Dublin beaches. I had a healthy respect for the gorgeous Brittas Bay in Wicklow, and the sands of Donegal, Sligo, Mayo and West Cork, but they seemed like a ‘time away’ thing; a chance to build sandcastles, take a dip and escape the bustle of city life. They certainly weren’t a regular part of my life.
For the last three months, however, I’ve been down to one of Rush’s beaches very nearly every day. I’ve taken the plunge a couple of times a week, coated my feet in salt most other days, walked the cliff tops and breathed in the fresh air, and it’s a revelation.
It won’t be news to many of you that Dublin has some excellent beaches: after all, most of our readers aren’t tourists, and contrary to the beliefs of the rest of the country, do tend to leave our urban environs every so often.
What surprises me, though, is how underused North Dublin’s beaches feel, at least around my way. I’ve seen gorgeous North Beach in Rush with ten people across several kms, in the sunshine, on a weekday evening in midsummer. It’s spotless, clear-watered, and not half as cold as you’ve probably been led to believe.
It’s the cliched covid change, I guess: pushed from the busy city streets and the concert halls and bars of the capital into the relative wilds of the shoreline, and seeing life a little bit differently. But I feel like I’ve had the benefit of doing it in a place that still feels a touch undiscovered. I’d highly recommend it.