Blue flag Awards have announced their International Blue Flag and Green Coast Award beaches for 2017. Blue Flag beaches award criteria is based on safety, cleanliness and environmental management including water quality for bathers and lifeguards.
Our list for family friendly beaches include popular safe places that have toilet facilities, picnic areas, lifeguards and the important Blue Flag award guaranteeing high standard in clean bathing water.
This list is for beaches that best accomodate families around the country and is by no means exhaustive!
A lot of east, south and west coast beaches mentioned here are due to this list focusing on family beaches that have access to amenities and facilities. East coast beaches are generally busier than west coast because of the proximity to Dublin and have warmer water than our Atlantic coast. However, this doesn't make the (quite isolated) beaches in Kerry, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Donegal any less beautiful or wonderful to visit.
Another east coast beach well deserving of a mention is the often busy, yet beautiful, Southern beach of Brittas. If the sun is out you can guarantee this beach will be packed full of Dubliners and locals all looking for their perfect sandy spot. Loads of sand dunes for kids to play in and water sports for the older ones. If you’re thinking of heading to Brittas and the weather is right go early as traffic in and out can be very busy on weekend. Lifeguards, toilet facilities and small shop for icecreams make it the perfect family spot.
Tramore town, with it’s long sandy promenade, is a great beach if you're after a typical Irish summer day filled with ice creams and amusements. If you are looking for something quieter, there are plenty of beaches and coves between Tramore town and Dungarvan that have beautiful white sandy beaches, cliffs for walking and picnic areas. Clonea beach, 5km from Dungarvan, is a Blue Flag beach with toilet facilities, lifeguards and car parks.
Further down the south coast into Cork, you’ll find this sandy beach just a few kilometers from the gorgeous Clonakilty. This beach has not only retained it's Blue Flag but it was also awarded the Green Coast stamp of excellence last year. It can get very windy for swimming depending on the weather but it is still a great place to sunbathe and picnic, and plenty of rock pools for the kids to search out.
Into Kerry now, which has loads of clean beautiful sandy beaches for all types of activities, but no list will be worth it’s salt (excuse the pun) without mentioning Inch beach. Part of the Dingle Peninsula, Inch is ranked highly as an excellent family beach on TripAdvisor. Inch beach has made the Blue Flag 2017 list. Inch is great for long walks along the strand and fun family days out.
Ballybunion has two sandy beaches north and south of the town, both of which are Blue Flag approved. It has also has cliff walks and coves that are great for exploring. North beach is so called ‘Ladies beach’ as it used to be for women and children only. Ladies Beach has steps leading down to it so not great if you have a buggy, but ‘Men’s Beach’ further south has ramps. Both beaches are beautifully kept,very clean, and have all the great facilities and lifeguards you would expect from the Kingdom.
Rosses Point is located 8km from Sligo town and is a fine sandy beach backed by sand dunes. There are lifeguards available at weekends and is very popular with surfers and other water sports but also great for kids and bathers. With the backdrop of the spectacular Dartry mountains and the beauty of the Sligo bay, it is a beautiful beach to visit.
Sliver Strand is a secluded beach near Killadoon in Mayo. It is revered as being one of the most beautiful beaches in Ireland.
Nestled between rocky headlands and high sand dunes, the beach is a popular spot for swimmers and families.
That’s our list. For more information on lifeguard times, parking and toilet facilities on Ireland’s best beaches, visit blueflagireland.org