Five bike-friendly swim spots in Ireland

By We Love Cycling

A cycle and a swim go together like coffee and cake; one on its own is good, but together you’re talking about a whole different level! Not all swim spots were created equally however – and there’s nothing worse than arriving at the shore, ready to take a dip, and realising there’s nowhere to safely lock up your bike.

Unfortunately, it’s a common issue – and one that’s caught the attention of campaigners up and down the land. All is not lost, though; look around and you’ll find a selection of strands and swimming spots dotted along our coast that are simply marvellous for a bit of outdoor multi-tasking. So, if you fancy both a pedal and a paddle, then read on; we’ve got a handful of the country’s best spots to lock up your bike and get bathing!


The sunny south-east has long been an outstanding option for outdoor activities, and the one-two punch packed by The Raven Nature Reserve and this white-sanded strand will take some beating! The forest trails are ideal for a leisurely tour, and once you’re done you can lock your bike on the toaster racks and hit the beach. Film fans might be aware that Saving Private Ryan was filmed on this very spot – and while full-scale re-enactments might not go down too well, you’ll have ample opportunity to make your own memories!


As if the much-heralded Waterford Greenway wasn’t enough for the Déise, they’ve also got one of the best spots for an aqua-bike effort. The clue, to be fair, is in the name – Trá Mór literally means Big Strand – so it should hardly come as a surprise that the beautiful beach stretches the best part of three miles. It’s also regarded as a standout option as far as facilities are concerned (which obviously includes bike parking!), and the sumptuous seafood served up around the town is more than enough motivation to work up an appetite!


While the pedants will point out that we’re actually talking about several beaches – separated by rocky outcrops along the way – the stretch of coastline below the famous promenade is the stuff of summer legend. The avoidance of traffic jams alone makes the bike an appealing option here, and while pedalling the prom itself isn’t an option, the abundance of gorgeous routes in the surrounding area make it a riders’ paradise…complete with the ultimate cool-down spot to finish!


The hardiest souls of South Dublin will tell you this is a year-round destination – and while you’ll need nerves of steel to brave the waters come winter, it’s an awesome spot to escape the city on a summer’s evening. Spots to lock up your ride are plentiful, and the proximity to the centre of town means you’ll rarely be short of company! Oh, and the local experts will tell you to keep an eye on the tidal charts, as low tide will leave you with a bit of a walk before you’ll get wet!


A compelling argument for that old nugget of good things coming in small packages, the smallest beach in this village (known locally as First Beach) is also its most popular – and for good reason. Sheltered and safe, it’s the perfect place for those still finding their sea swimming legs. Cyclists are catered for in more ways than parking too, with cycle lanes bringing you to and from Sligo Town – so if you find yourself in the north-east, there’s no excuse for not embracing the great outdoors

Heading with a group? Check out our top tips on how to stay safe when cycling in numbers.