Visit our Top ten family Blue Flag beaches in Ireland
Blue flag Awards have announced their International Blue Flag and Green Coast Award beaches for 2022. Blue Flag beaches award criteria is based on safety, cleanliness and environmental management including water quality for bathers and lifeguards. Our list of 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 accommodate 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.
Curracloe, County Wexford
Our favorite family beach is the beautiful Curracloe. The kids will have hours of fun running through endless beaches and learning to swim in the calm waters of this Wexford beach. A quiet beach, even in the summer, so it’s worth the extra drive past Brittas if you are looking for a calm spot with the family on the south east coast.
Brittas Bay (North), County Wicklow
Another east coast beach well-deserving of a mention is the often busy, yet beautiful, northern 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. There are great times to be had at this wonderful beach.
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 the weekends. Lifeguards, toilet facilities and a small shop for icecreams make it the perfect family spot.
Clonea, County Waterford.
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.
Inchydoney, County Cork
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.
Inch, County Kerry
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 2019 list. Inch is great for long walks along the strand and fun family days out.
Ballybunion South, County Kerry
Ballybunion has two sandy beaches north and south of the town, north did not apply for Blue flag but south did and was awarded. 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.
Banna, Co. Kerry
Banna is a long sandy beach in the rural location 7km from Tralee town that has spectacular view of the mountains of the Dingle Peninsula, Kerry head and the Maulin Mountain. It has plenty of activities such as water sports and camps for both children and adults. A seemingly endless beach perfect for sand castles and dunes for the smaller kids.
Doonbeg, County Clare
Lots of great surfing beaches on the Clare beaches including Lahinch and Kilkee but the quiet Doonbeg gets a mention for it’s beautiful picturesque village and nearby beaches. White Strand Beach, which is nearest to the town, is a safe sandy beach full of ecological importance. A clean inlet safe for swimming with lifeguards during the summer months.
Bundoran, County Donegal
Bundoran Beach is located approximately 250m north of Bundoran town's main street. It is a sandy beach facing Donegal Bay and the Atlantic bounded on the North and South by rocks and on the east by the promenade roadway. It is popular destination with surfers. The beach is lifeguard patrolled throughout the bathing season. Lifeguard duty times can be found displayed on the information board on Bundoran beach. Bundoran is located off the N15 in Southern Donegal
Silver Strand, Dugort, County Mayo
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