On a summer day – which against popular belief do happen in Ireland – you may feel the urge to go to the beach. A Dubliners’ favourite day trip for this purpose are the beaches in Malahide and Portmanock, so why not combine both with the 4km-long Malahide to Portmanock Beach Walk?
Watch our video to see what the walk and beaches are like.
Small-town Charm in Malahide
Malahide is a small town about 15km north of Dublin city centre. It’s many restaurants and amenitiesö make it a popular destination for people from surrounding areas and especially Dubliners longing for some small-town charm. From the beach side and marina to the extensive gardens around the castle, there is a lot to explore. However, in this blog we’re focusing on the famous beach walk to Portmanock.
Arriving in the train station puts you a short walk away from the beach front. You can walk down one of the many streets, lined with restaurants on all sides. As mentioned in the video, we started our trip with lunch at Al Fresco, an Italian restaurant. There are many options. Just be aware, if you’re travelling on a budget, that most options are a little pricier.
While you’re walking towards the Marina, you may want to do a short detour to the left and stroll along the marina, looking at the boats and a nice view. Perhaps, you’ll even see a crafty seagull, like in our video, trying to crash open a treat.
Once you’re ready to start the actual walk, it’s very easy to find your way. Simply follow the coast line. It’ll take you past several bathing beaches, where you can opt to walk directly next to the beach instead rather than on the paved main path. The 4km walk passes very quickly but there is a range of beautiful scenery, so you might want to stop and take pictures or just sit down and enjoy it in-between.
Like you saw in our video, the rocky beach was actually our favourite. We climbed around in the less crowded area, looking at sea shells. If you however, prefer to lounge in the sand or you’re brave enough to dip your feet into the water, there’s plenty of opportunity for that as well. From Portmanock Beach you also have a lovely view, being able to see as far as Howth and Ireland’s Eye. The latter is a small island, reachable by ferry and considerably more off the beaten track if you prefer that.
Back to Dublin
Getting back to Dublin can be a bit of a challenge. If you’re making this trip on the weekend, make sure you check when the last train goes back and perhaps start the walk much earlier than you may have anticipated. Also. keep in mind that you’ll need to walk to Portmanock train station for about 30min. Another alternative is of course to walk back to Malahide and take the train back to Dublin from there.
There are also several buses that will get you back into Dublin but on weekends they can be very infrequent and overcrowded. We’d advise to be there about twenty minutes before the bus is supposed to arrive. Keyword being supposed as they don’t always arrive on time or sometimes a bus might get cancelled or drive past because it’s already full since Portmanock Beach is rather popular. In any case, it’s good to plan in some extra time as to not have to rush back.
How to get there: The DART and Commuter Service trains stop at either Portmanock or Malahide. Just make sure not to get a North-bound train towards Howth because they don’t. There are also several bus lines, going to either Portmanock (32, 42) or Malahide (42).
Why go: Quick day trip from Dublin, small-town feeling and nice beaches, summer day feeling
Best time to visit: on sunny days, in the (late) morning to avoid crowds rushing back in the evenings
Price: apart from transport to get there, there are no charges to access the beaches or the path