Monday, May 13, 2013

Inspirations. Dollymount Strand

Lately I've been very lacking in creative inspiration and I put it down to the fact that I've been unable to walk much on my foot since plantar fasciitis struck last Autumn. However, I've slowly been able to get back into my walking boots with a combination of physio and other means.

So I decided to brave it and go for a decent walk with my Etsy friend, Mo of Huggleknits, and combine it with a catch up about Etsy business.  We chose to revisit a Dublin city beach I hadn't been to in almost a decade, Dollymount Strand, just North of the city centre. It is much closer than I'd ever realised and it is easily accessible by bus.
Abbey Street Lower, Dublin, Co. Dublin
Catch the bus on Lower Abbey Street. (Dublin, Google Maps)
Take the 130 bus from Lwr Abbey St. The fare is currently €2.40 and in bad, Saturday afternoon traffic it took about 30 mins. Coming back around 7pm took just 2o mins. Once past Fairview, the Clontarf road affords beautiful views of Dublin Bay and Harbour. There is a coastal promenade in Clontarf which is popular with walkers all year round. It stretches from Fairview Park to the Bull wall at Dollymount so alternatively, you could get off at any point and follow this paved walkway.
Dollymount bridge, May 2013, Amo'r
However, the busstop for Dollymount strand is immediately after the landmark wooden bridge. The bridge takes you to North Bull island and its sandy beach. Cars use the bridge to access the car park, but there is a wide pedestrian section on both sides so it is perfectly safe for walkers. 
The island is a relatively new land formation that grew from a small sand bank over the past 200 years. The South Wall and the Bull Wall were built to stop silting in the Liffey and as a result, tidal currents deposited layer upon layer of sand creating this unusual sanctuary so close to the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

Dollymount strand  Looking Northwards to Howth, May 2013, Amo'r
The flat, sandy beach stretches about 5km (over 3 miles) long and affords a comfortable, scenic walk at any time of year, with breathtaking, expansive views of Dublin bay.  You can see ships entering and leaving Dublin Docks just to the South. Beyond the curve of coastline, the Wicklow mountains are clearly visible on the horizon. To the North you can see the Sutton side of the Howth peninsula.

When I was a kid we used to go to Dollymount strand for walks in Winter and Spring. We never swam in the sea as, if my memory serves me well, it was not the cleanest of beaches then. Today it is super clean and known for its ecological uniqueness.  The island is a UNESCO biosphere reserve boasting a bird and wild life sanctuary at the Northern end.  There is plenty of space to walk, run, fly a kite or just chill.
The fresh air did the trick and I've got a number of design ideas floating in my head (if you'll excuse the unintended pun please.)

For more inspiring walks around or close to Dublin, click HERE
To catch a glimpse of a curious bathing area at Dollymount click HERE

Some sea pottery, sea glass and sea themed items from my Etsy store:

Brown Sea Pottery Pendant. Irish Beach Pottery Necklace on Crochet Chain. Storm in a Teacup  Irish Beach Glass & Copper Pendant or Ornament. Stirring Sea 
 Labradorite Pendant. Starfish. Sterlng Silver Star Fish & Gemstone Pendant. Sea Maiden Seaglass Fairy Suncatcher, Christmas Ornament, Rear View Mirror Charm or Pendant
Irish Keychain. Seaglass from Ireland. Vintage Teal Beach Glass Keychain  Irish Sea Pottery Pendant or Charm. Wire Wrapped Sea Porcelain. Ocean Blue


  1. Great article Anne-Marie,
    full of very useful information for any would be traveller.
    I really enjoyed the day out, fresh air, fun and freedom!!

  2. Yes I agree with Mo, a most interesting piece, full of information, thank you