Dublin’s chilly tradition
Those seeking a fully clothed introduction to Dublin’s coast can find it closer to the city centre, at Sandymount Strand, a strip of beach along the coastal Strand Road in the village of Sandymount, 6km southeast of Dublin. Here, among picnicking families and kids flying kites, you can dip your toes in the shallow pools that are left during low tide, perfect for playful splashing without needing to venture all the way in. Plus, the combination of crisp sea air and the cool sand beneath bare feet does wonders for a pub-inspired headache — without needing to strip down at all.
Advice for taking the plunge
- Take a number of strokes once you are in. It helps you adjust to the water temperature and regain good circulation.
- Create a reward system as encouragement. Taking the plunge often earns locals a hot whisky or tea out of a flask once back on dry land.
- Keep your eyes straight ahead. Do not be surprised if nude bathers strike up a conversation while in the buff or drying off.
- Warm up. Swimmers often claim that after getting out of the cold water, the air feels warm on the skin. Test the theory for yourself.
- Dress the part. Visitors should wear whatever makes them feel comfortable, from a bathing suit to a wetsuit to nothing at all. But bring your own towel.