Ireland is one of the most popular places for swimmers worldwide when it comes to open water races and other swimming activities. That is why many people come to Ireland to compete against other swimmers and enjoy all the benefits of diving into its cold waters.
In this article, you will discover all the information you need about swimming in Ireland, including the best places to swim, how to avoid any accidents in the water, and other details you need to know.
Is Ireland a good place to swim?
Yes, Ireland is a good place to swim, especially for people who want to challenge swimming skills and compete against other people for different prizes.
Due to the cold weather, all swimmers have to face low temperatures in the water going from 10c to 16C according to the Irish Meteorological Service over the last couple of years.
This is why you need to follow the basic safety rules when swimming in Ireland, especially during the winter when the temperature goes down a couple of degrees.
Here are some of the basic safety precautions you need to take when swimming in Ireland.
- Swim with other people.
- Check the weather and the water temperature before swimming.
- Avoid the rip currents in the water.
- Always enter the water with your feet first.
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Do people in Ireland swim?
Yes, many people swim in Ireland since it is a popular sport in that country and it’s practiced at a national and international level.
Anyone who lives in Ireland or comes as a visitor can choose to swim in the ocean to challenge themselves in an open water race or go to one of its beaches with their family and friends.
However, swimming in Ireland can sometimes be dangerous due to the low temperatures and the harsh weather during the cold seasons of the year
According to the online report on the Water Safety website in Ireland, around 115 drownings happen around the country every single year and most of these drownings occur in water sites near the inland.
That is why you need to prioritize your safety and follow all the security protocols to avoid any accidents when swimming in the open water, especially during the winter.
Do you need a wetsuit to swim in Ireland?
No, you don’t need to wear a wetsuit to swim in Ireland. However, it is highly recommended since the weather conditions can change during the day and reach temperatures below 10C.
These cold temperatures make it difficult for some people to swim comfortably in the water and avoid any accidents.
Because of this, many Irish people and tourists tend to wear a wetsuit when swimming and use other types of gear to protect their bodies against the cold, even during the summertime.
Where to swim in Ireland?
There are many places where you can swim safely in Ireland, including oceans, beaches, lakes, and waterfalls available to the public in general.
You just have to choose your favorite spot for swimming and switch between these places depending on your needs.
Best lakes to swim in Ireland?
You can find many different lakes in Ireland where you can swim with other people and enjoy various activities besides swimming in one place. Here is a list of the most popular lakes in Ireland you can visit any day of the year.
- Upper Lake in Glendalough
- Lough Hyne
- Muckross Lake
- Glencar Lough
Best beaches to swim in Ireland?
Ireland also has many beaches where anyone can go and swim around with no problem and experience a good time with their family and friends.
Most of these beaches have beautiful landscapes and give their visitors access to different restaurants and shops for their enjoyment.
Among the most popular beaches in Ireland, we have Inchydoney, Banna Strand, Rossbeigh, Coumeenoole, Portmarnock, and many others.
Best oceans to swim in Ireland?
When it comes to the best ocean swimming spots in Ireland, you can choose between well-known places with a lot of people coming every day or remote locations that are more challenging to reach.
The easiest places for beginners to start swimming are Salthill, Kerin’s Hole, and The Forty Foot. For advanced swimmers in Ireland, we have Carrick-a-Rede, Annagh Bay, and Pollock Holes.
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Best waterfalls to swim in Ireland?
You can also go swimming in the waterfall pools in Ireland if you don’t mind hiking for a few minutes and walking on foot to some of these locations.
The only thing you need to be careful of is when walking across the rocks near the waterfall since you can slip and fall if you are careless. Here are some waterfalls you can visit and swim in when going to Ireland.
- Clare Glens
- Devils Glen falls
- Cathole falls
- Torc waterfall
Can you swim with dolphins in Ireland?
Yes, you can technically swim with dolphins when you are in Ireland only if they allow you to approach them or get close to you by chance.
However, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group discourages this practice since the dolphins can get accidentally injured by people, and the dolphins can sometimes get aggressive for no particular reason.
Can you swim from Northern Ireland to Scotland?
Yes, you can swim from Northern Ireland to Scotland if you feel brave enough to attempt this challenge and overcome different obstacles in the way, like the low water temperatures and jellyfish swimming around the sea.
Every year, many people try to swim over this distance, and some of them manage to reach the goal, including people from other countries.
However, you need to keep in mind that this is one of the most challenging routes in Ireland, and it is not made for amateur swimmers that don’t have enough experience in these waters.
Can you swim from Wales to Ireland?
Yes, there have been many people trying to swim from Ireland to Wales in the past, looking to challenge themselves and set new world records over the last few years.
A perfect example is the Ao Giants, who swam 116 km going from Co Wexford to the coast of Pembrokeshire for 34 hours plus.
Is there Pollution in the Rivers, Lakes, or Oceans in Ireland?
Yes, there is some pollution in a few rivers, lakes, and oceans of Ireland, according to the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency in the country.
In their latest water quality report, they discover that the levels of nitrogen pollution in the waters of Ireland are increasing 38%, putting at risk the quality of the water and potentially endangering the environment in the future.
Thankfully, the majority of the river, lakes, and oceans in Ireland are free of pollution, and the Ireland government is currently working on reversing this negative trend over the next few years.
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