SPOTLIGHT ON: KERRY’S BEST BEACHES
If you follow @mandybesnapping (if you don’t, you should!) you will see many of her stunning pictures are by the sea. When she’s not taking pictures of the big blue she’s usually swimming in it!
So we asked the expert Mandy to share some of her local knowledge. Namely, her favourite spots and why the ocean means so much to her.
TELL US WHY YOU LOVE THE SEA
I have always loved the ocean for as long as I can remember. I could sit down for hours just watching the water and listening to the waves. I always found it very therapeutic.
I swam in the ocean the odd time over the years when we got our Irish ‘Indian summers’ but no more than three times a year. The ocean has become a lot more important to me this year since I took up sea swimming. I set myself a challenge to swim at least once a week in the ocean. I am three months into my challenge now, swimming 2 to 3 times a week.
I love walking/hiking but nothing compares to the peace that being in the ocean brings me. I could be having the worst day and all I have to do is hop in the car and jump in the ocean. All my worries leave my body and my mind can switch off.
Knowing that the ocean can bring me this peace is so comforting and I am so glad to have pushed myself out of my comfort zone to dive in and discover this in the first place.
WHICH KERRY BEACH IS BEST FOR A WALK?
Inch Beach on the Dingle Peninsula.
The tide is never fully in so you are able visit at any time of the day either for a short stroll or a long walk. There is always something going on in Inch between people surfing, horse riding, kite surfing, paddle boarding and more.
You have so many views to keep you entertained while you’re walking!
WHICH KERRY BEACH IS BEST FOR A SWIM?
That is a very difficult question because there really is so many amazing beaches in Kerry!
But if I had to choose one, I would say Derrynane Beach on the Ring of Kerry.
There is something so different and special about Derrynane, it’s more Tropics than Irish! The water is crystal clear and the views are spectacular.
My mum, who absolutely hates cold water and hasn’t swam in the sea in Ireland in years, said she would swim in Derrynane on the next sunny day. That says a lot about the place!
WHICH KERRY BEACH DO YOU VISIT THE MOST?
Rossbeigh Beach is my most visited and favourite beach in Kerry. Rossbeigh is where I spent most of my happy childhood beach days and my love for it has grown so much more over the years.
The minute I drive through the barrier into the beach I can instantly feel myself calming.
When I lived abroad, it was always one of the main places I daydreamed about returning to.
There are many reasons why I visit Rossbeigh but the main reason is to experience the show that it puts on for sunset – it is absolutely AMAZING!
It is lovely all year round but especially beautiful in springtime as you can see the sun setting into the ocean, it is truly magical.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE TIME OF THE DAY TO VISIT THE BEACH?
Golden hour, sunset, is 100% my favourite time to visit the beach.
There is something magic about finishing your day and watching the sun go down over the ocean.
The experience is even more magical if you are in the water watching the sun go down and can see the water glistening next to you.
Most people have gone home by the evening too so often you have the place to yourself!
WHICH KERRY BEACH IS ON YOUR LIST TO DISCOVER?
I have never visited Banna Beach and have heard it’s a great place for a long walk and to catch the sunset so it’s definitely on my list for a sunset swim this summer.
AS A HARDY BEACH GOER AND SEA SWIMMER, WHAT TOP TIP WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE?
My top tip is just to throw yourself completely into the beach life experience, whether you are walking, sunbathing or swimming.
This day last year, the thought of me swimming at the beach would strike the fear of God into me as I was frightened to death someone might see me in a swimsuit and think that I looked ‘fat’.
Thankfully, I have finally learnt that life is too short to care about what other people think of you and the most important thing is that you are having fun and not missing out on amazing experiences over fear of judgement.
So get the swim suit on, take the shoes off and live your best beach life!
IF YOU COULD ADD AN AMENITY TO KERRY BEACHES WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Beachside showers that work would be a welcome addition to every beach. The worst thing about swimming at the beach is trying to get changed with sandy feet.
I would also love if there were more piers specifically made for swimming with ladders and diving boards, it would be a great addition and perhaps encourage people to get in without having to deal with the sandy feet.
So Kerry County Council if you’re reading this…
WHAT DO YOU ALWAYS BRING TO THE BEACH?
If you’re going to brave the ocean for a swim, bring something warm! Cosy clothes, hot water bottle, a flask of hot chocolate or whatever you deem necessary for comfort.
Also, if you intend on becoming a regular sea swimmer, I would highly recommend investing in some form of dryrobe. When I purchased mine, I was questioning myself if it was just a ‘notions’ purchase that I would never actually use but I am so glad to say it has been an absolute game changer and one of my best purchases that I have made to date!
If anyone has any questions about our lovely Kerry beaches please don’t hesitate to DM me @mandybesnapping