February & May 2010
Donabate is only about 15 miles from Dublin city centre but still has a nice country feel to it. For many years, it has been a popular holiday spot for people from Dublin and beyond, with a number of caravan parks in the area. There has, of course, been urban development but there is still plenty of green and the beach itself is backed onto by golf courses.
Donabate has two beaches, a smaller one to the left which you access by walking around to the side of the hotel and the much bigger one to the right.
If it’s a quiet swim you are looking for the smaller one is the better bet. A few minutes walk from the hotel will bring you to a decent sized beach with rocks to shelter in at either end. It’s plenty big for children to play and there are some rock pools to explore. The water can be a bit choppy but good fun to play in.
Beyond this beach there is also quite a good cliff walk which will take you into Portrane.
The bigger beach is a wide expanse about 4/5 kilometres long. It’s great for walking and there is loads of room to play and splash in the water. The further up the beach you go the quieter it gets and there are grassy dunes to shelter in. This can be a popular spot for windsurfers and canoeists.
Don’t be put off or fooled by some of the rather dull photos here, which we took on a bad day earlier this year. As the other photos show Donabate can be a busy spot and it also gets the sun! Even when it is busy if you are prepared to walk you will find space.
Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months.
There are very basic public toilets at the entrance to the beach.
With a bit of effort the beach appears to be accessible.
From Dublin city you take the M1 Belfast Road. You then take exit 4, R132, signposted Donabate and Rush. After negotiating a couple of roundabouts you get onto the R126 signposted Donabate and Portrane. This road takes you into Donabate where you cross over a railway bridge and take the first right signposted for golf clubs and the beach.
Go straight to the end of this road where there is a public car park on your left just before the hotel. The beaches are to the left and right at the end of the road.
Dublin Bus also serves Donabate village which will you leave you about a 25 minute walk to the beach ( see www.dublinbus.ie for details).