In Ireland, you’re never too far from the sea and when the sun shines, people typically flock to these places.
For some, being beside the water is an absolute must and, as a result, coastal towns are always in demand.
We’re lucky to have several popular seaside towns in Ireland but these were the most popular in the year just gone…
Kenmare is a town in the south of Co Kerry. It is located at the heard of Kenmare Bay where the Roughty River flows into the sea at the junction of the Iveragh Peninsula and the Beara Peninsula. It is also located near the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, Mangerton Mountain and Caha Mountains and is a popular hillwalking destination. Nearby towns and villages are Tuosist, Ardgroom, Glengarriff, Kilgarvan, Killarney, Templenoe and Sneem. Local amenities include a selection of primary and secondary schools, community hospital, churches, library, the Carnegie Arts Centre, restaurants, pubs, hotels and B&Bs. There are daily bus-services in summer to Killarney 20km away and in the off-season, the bus runs Monday-Friday. There is also a daily service to/from Cork in the summer months on the N71 via Bantry and Clonakilty. The nearest airport is Kerry Airport, which is 50 km away. A wider range of services is available from Cork Airport, which is 90 km away. There is a daily direct service to/from Cork Airport in the summer months on the N71 via Bantry and Clonakilty. There is also a GAA club, basketball club and soccer club in the area.
Tramore, or more specifically its Irish name Trá Mhór, literally translates to ‘big beach’ in Irish making this Co Waterford town the ultimate seaside destination in the south east of the country. Initially just a popular tourist destination, in more recent times it has become a satellite town of Waterford City, which is just 13km to the north. The town is popular for surfing and other water sports due to its large, sheltered bay while there are a large selection of hotels, pubs, restaurants and shops to enjoy, as well as stunning walks and Tramore Racecourse.
Kinsale is a port and fishing town in Co Cork. Located 25km south of Cork City on the coast near the Old Head of Kinsale, it sits at the mouth of the River Bandon and is a popular tourist destination. Leisure activites in the area include yachting, sea angling and golf. The town also has several art galleries and a school of English. The town is compact with a quaint air of antiquity in the narrow streets. There is a large yachting marina close to the town centre. The town is known for its pubs and restaurants, and holds an annual “Gourmet Festival”. There is both Church of Ireland and Catholic churches in the town while Bus Éireann provides regular routes to Cork City. Kinsale and Bandon are also linked by public transport with a bus service provided by East Cork Rural Transport. As well as a yacht club, GAA club, badminton club and rugby club, the Saile Sports and Leisure Centre boasts all-weather pitches, a tennis court, basketball court, community garden and more. Kinsale hosts an annual jazz festival, which takes place during the last weekend of October. There is also a number of schools in the area.
Dungarvan is a coastal and harbour town in the heart of Waterford. It is situated at the mouth of the Colligan River, which divides the town into two parishes: Dungarvan to the west and Abbeyside to the east. The harbour offers one potential route to Dungarvan but it is also on the N25 and is well served by bus with links to Cork, Waterford and Rosslare Europort. The area offers a large variety of shops, restaurants, pubs, hotels, schools and sporting amenities while the Waterford Greenway walk is undoubtedly one of its major highlights with its 46km route running from Dungarvan to Waterford along the old railway line.
Westport in Co Mayo is located at the sout-east corner of Clew Bay, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast of Ireland. Known as a major tourist destination it has won both the Tidy Towns competition and Best Place to Live in Ireland competition in the past. It is designated as a heritage town and incorporates the Carrow Beg River into its design. The pilgrimage mountain of Croagh Patrick, known locally as “the Reek”, lies some 10 km west of the town near the villages of Murrisk and Lecanvey. The mountain forms the backdrop to the town. Westport hosts a large number of festivals throughout the year and boasts a number of the top pubs, restaurants and hotels in the region. It has two secondary schools and five primary schools, as well as a College of Further Education. The N5 national primary route connects the town to Castlebar while it is also accessible via rail. Ireland West Airport in Knock is also just 60km away. The town also boasts a large number of sporting facilities including an angling centre and one of Ireland’s top golf courses.