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10th Aug 2022

Stunning Mayo beach named the best place to swim in Ireland and the UK

Hugh Carr

best beaches ireland

Beaches in Donegal, Galway, Sligo, and Cork also made the list.

A beach in Mayo has been named as the best place to swim in Ireland and the UK, and deservedly so.

The stunning Keem Bay in Achill was named as the top place to go swimming in the sea by Ocean Bottle, a company that manufactures reusable water bottles with a commitment to collecting the equivalent of 1,000 plastic bottles from the ocean for every bottle sold.

The list of beaches was compiled following a study of average water quality across the past year, including the E.coli and intestinal Enterococci count, to first determine how safe the beach was for swimming.

This was then cross-referenced with the location’s Google Ratings and reviews, with any location with less than 100 reviews being removed.

Here’s the top 20 places to swim across Ireland and the UK:

  1. Keem Bay, Achill Island, Mayo
  2. Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire, Wales
  3. Mwnt Beach, Ceredigion, Wales
  4. Marloes Sands, Pembrokeshire, Wales
  5. Upton Towans, Cornwall, England
  6. Trá na Dóilín, Galway
  7. Porthcurno Beach, Cornwall, England
  8. Rhossili Beach, Swansea, Wales
  9. Dooey Beach, Donegal
  10. Durdle Door, Dorset, England
  11. Woolacombe Beach, Devon, England
  12. Curracloe Beach, Wexford
  13. Dog’s Bay, Galway
  14. Enniscrone Beach, Sligo
  15. Holywell Bay, Cornwall, England
  16. Long Sands Beach, Tyne and Wear, England
  17. Porth Dafarch, Anglesey, Wales
  18. Church Cove Beach, Cornwall, England
  19. Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire, Wales
  20. Seacliff, Berwick, Scotland

A Blue Flag beach in Galway was also named as the top hidden gem in Ireland and the UK.

Aillebrack (Silverhill Beach) in Galway topped the list due to its high water quality, but had very few reviews.

Ireland’s beaches dominated the list of hidden gems, with 12 of the 20 beaches named along the coasts.

Here’s the full list of hidden gem beaches across Ireland and the UK:

  1. Aillebrack, Galway
  2. Polstreath, Cornwall, England
  3. Pembrey Beach, Carmarthenshire, Wales
  4. Harbour Beach, Dyfed, Wales
  5. East Cowes Beach, Isle of Wight, England
  6. Tránaun Beach, Mayo
  7. Limeslade Bay, Swansea, Wales
  8. Oysterhaven Bay Beach, Cork
  9. Gurteen Beach, Galway
  10. Boat Strand, Waterford
  11. Golden Strand, Achill Island, Mayo
  12. Stroove Beach, Donegal
  13. Jacobs Ladder Beach, Devon, England
  14. Garnish Beach, Cork
  15. Druidston Haven Beach, Pembrokeshire, Wales
  16. Carrigaholt Beach, Clare
  17. Shelling Hill Beach, Louth
  18. Trá na Reilige, Galway
  19. Elly Bay, Mayo
  20. Broad Haven South Beach, Pembrokeshire, Wales

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