Sunday, 28 June 2015

Dublin, Our Playground // White Rock Beach

We're back with the Dublin, Our Playground series. The previous post in this installment highlighted our love for Sandymount Strand, a favourite seaside location, especially for shell hunting. For this post, we're sticking along the coastline, moving south to Killiney and landing at White Rock Beach. 

Accessible by the Killiney DART, it's a good 10-15 minute walk from the station. I recommend driving to Vico Road where there is limited street parking available. Before you head down to the sandy beach, stop to take in the stunning panoramic views of Killiney Bay, along with the picturesque Bray Head, Sorrento Terrace and Dalkey Island.

White Rock offers views of Sorrento Terrace and Dalkey Island 

There is an approximately 200 step descent from the road to the beach. It's not so bad going down, but pack light because it's a daunting hike back up!

Crossing over the Dart line on a pedestrian footpath, it's great fun for the kids when the train is passing through and they can cheer from above. But if you miss viewing the train here, there are plenty of opportunities to watch the green cars cut through the hillsides from the sand below.

Watching the green Dart train pass by the beach

There are no amenities at this beach, which means there are no bathrooms, no cafes, no lifeguards and no water fountains present. And there are the occasional nude bathers, but they keep to themselves, mostly hidden by the coverage of the cliffs. There is a swimming platform that has been carved into the rock, so when the tide comes in, swimmers use the platform for diving into the sea. 

A little beach yoga on a sunny October morning in 2014 

Tidal Pools form as the water is pulled out across the bay. The shallow pools that form among seaweed-covered rocks create the perfect spots for seashell searching, crab hunting and barnacle viewing.

Searching for sea creatures among the rocks

When the tide is out, White Rock can be reached from Killiney Beach, but this extension of the main beach feels very separately it's own special patch of paradise. With significantly less rocks than nearby Killiney Beach's stoney strip, White Rock feel more like your own private beach. In part due to it's "off-the beaten path" location, the slightly difficult descent, and it's reputation as a nude beach, one can understand why it's not as populated as some of Dublin's better-known beaches, but to be completely honest, I'm perfectly happy with saving this hidden gem to myself (and to all of you, of course!). You can expect our summer will be packed with plenty of trips here- especially this week considering the "heat wave" that is expected.

Looking for another beach suggestion? Check out my review for Sandymount Strand here. And what to do with all those seashells you've discovered on your beach adventures? How about a fun, little craft like this one found here? Current tide charts are found on this website

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