If you’re visiting Dublin during the summer months – or you just have a hankering for a sandy beach and you’re not phased by our ‘four seasons in one day’ climate – then a top day trip spot is Brittas Bay in County Wicklow. This is a really popular stay-cation destination for Dublin families and those from around the country alike. Situated about an hour’s drive from the city centre on the Wicklow coast, Brittas Bay is a 4-km stretch of sandy beach, powdery dunes and an area of ecological conservation. The bay was also once the home of a monastery that was a bastion of learning during the dark ages, and the pirate Jack White once used a cove in the Bay for smuggling during the 17th century.
Today, you’ll find campsites, holiday homes and caravans in abundance as families flock to the shore to enjoy the Blue Flag beach and maybe take to the water to swim or to sail. There are also facilities for keen fishers to take boats out for some offshore angling, and if you’ve always wanted to catch a wave, then head to the surf school for lessons. Meanwhile, for those who prefer to keep their sport to dry land, there is also a 200-acre golf links that has been rated amongst the top 100 in the world. Those who prefer woodland and coastal walks can enjoy the scenery along some of the nearby walkways that extended along the Wicklow coast or up into its forests.
If you’re tuckered out after all the sun, sand and surf, opt to stay in one of the local guesthouses, B&Bs or self-catering cottages, but be cautious as during high season it’s not unusual for the whole area to be booked as more and more young people drive down from the city to enjoy the foreign feel of the beach.
McDaniel's — Photo courtesy of McDaniel's
When it comes to entertainment, you can’t get livelier than Mc Daniel’s the resident Brittas Bay public house. Come the Auguat bank holiday weekend, you’ll find the place awash with families and crowds, and late night discos mean the fun will last long after dark. If you avoid these peak times however, you can enjoy places like Mc Daniel’s without the crowds, which is often the best way to enjoy them.