It’s one of the most magical ways to start the day.
If you’ve been tempted to join Cork’s growing band of year-round sea swimmers, there are plenty of reasons to take the plunge.
Not only is a bracing dip in the Atlantic ocean a surefire way to cool off in the summer, but fans say that sea swimming offers a natural high and an instant mood boost. The best bit? It’s available to everyone, and all you need is a pair of togs and towel.
We asked our readers to share their favourite beaches for a sunrise swim:
1. Claycastle, Youghal
Vast, sandy and within easy walking distance of the town, Youghal’s Claycastle Beach is an excellent choice for early morning bathers. Super accessible (it has steps and a ramp) it also boasts public loos and a car park.
2. Nohoval Cove, Kinsale
This hidden inlet offers some of the most majestic sunrise views in the country, so it’s well worth the trek down to the sand. As you slice through the sparking turquoise water you can take in the huge sea stacks and soaring cliffs beyond.
3. White’s Bay, Whitegate
A secluded little surf strand located in Glanagow, White’s Bay is a lovely spot for a sunrise swim, although the sandy part does shrink considerably at high tide.
4. Inch Beach, East Cork
Situated about nine miles south of Midleton, Inch Beach is another popular spot for swimming groups. There are car parks on each side of the strand and if you’re lucky, you might find the Warming Wagon mobile sauna has parked up for the day.
Two early morning swimming groups, the Baltic Beours and Baltic Bais, can regularly be seen watching the sun coming up from the water at Fountainstown. Check out @riseandswimcork for the best time to join them.
6. The Dock Beach, Kinsale
One of the busiest beaches in the area by lunchtime, the Dock Beach is peaceful and serene at dawn. You can take an early morning yoga class on the sand throughout the summer or simply plunge into the crystal clear water as the sun turns the horizon golden.
7. Howe Strand
This tiny beach is near Kilbrittain, just outside the popular holiday village of Courtmacsherry. Quiet and peaceful, it’s ideal for a spot of meditation before a swim. The beach is overlooked by the ruins of an old cliffside coastguard station.
The Myrtleville Swimmers group is an excellent resource for anyone planning their first sea swim. They extend an open invitation to newcomers looking for a safe way to enjoy a dip: “We’re a friendly bunch – come down and say hello, work out who you’ll swim with, and get in!” Find out more here.