Following in the Footsteps of James Joyce in Dublin Bay, Ireland.
Sandy Cove has been a popular swim spot for hundreds of years and author James Joyce loved swimming here so much he had a house overlooking the bay.
Back in the 1970s a group of feminists invaded the spot and plunged into history, leading the way for women and children being allowed to swim there.
The Forty Foot is a legendary swim spot about 40 minutes by train from Dublin where people have been jumping into the Irish Sea for some 250 years. The spot used to be male only and very popular with naturists. Indeed get down here early in the morning and you'll still spot lots of elderly men taking the plunge naked, with scant and scanty regard for the sign that says "Togs Must Be Worn." Back in the 1970s a group of feminists invaded the spot and plunged into history, leading the way for women and children being allowed to swim there.
While the brave jump from the rocks into the deep water (be careful, obviously), the name The Forty Foot doesn’t actually refer to the depth of the water, but a regiment of the British Army who were once stationed there. This inlet is truly stunning, while the various steps, railings and changing facilities hint at the incredible history this special place has. In the first chapter of Ulysses, Buck Mulligan heads to The Forty Foot for a morning swim and famously describes it as “the snot green sea. The scrotumtightening sea.” James Joyce once lived overlooking the spot and loved swimming here.
To celebrate people dress up in period costume and there's a real party in Sandy Cove with lots of live entertainment.
Why not try and coincide a swim with Bloomsday (16 June) which is named after Leopold Bloom, the protagonist in Ulysses. The book is set on this date (which was also the day Joyce met his wife) and follows Bloom's epic walk across Dublin's fair city. To celebrate people dress up in period costume and there's a real party in Sandy Cove with lots of live entertainment. Mind you, it's a beautiful place to swim any time of the year, including Christmas Day when hundreds of brave souls join the annual dip. Don’t forget to make a donation to the Sandycove Bather’s Association who maintain this historic spot.