The forty foot, which is a deep sea water inlet hidden amidst therugged rock strewn coast of the enchanting seashore between

Sandycove and Bullock harbours just south of Dun Laoghaire,

Ireland, has for ever been a favourite swimmers’ place

throughout the whole year even in the depth of winter.

Because of its relative inaccessibility in pre-modern times it

came to be a particularly favourite place of bathing for Dublin’s

small band of male naturists to whom the promontory afforded a

high degree of shelter from prying eyes and from the ladies.

The Gentlemen’s Swimming Club was establish to conserve and develope this deep water inlet for their sole use all year round and at all times independent of tides and it continued to be their preserve until liberated women plunged in to its depths with women’s liberation back in the seventies.
James Joyce would have enjoyed bathing here as , undoubtedly, did his character Leopold Bloom afore he set out on his exhaustive walk through Dublin’s fair city from the Martello tower built leeward of the inlet as a look-out for ships of the enemy approaching across the water, perhaps,from Howth on the north side of the bay from which many latter day blow-ins come to this sheltered haven.The forty foot gentlemen’s swimming club now welcomes all careful and considerate swimmers irrespective of sex to their club and expect that they make contributions towards the voluntary upkeep of the facility.

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2 thoughts on “Fortyfoot

  1. Im a member of San Francisco’s South End Rowing Club and will be in Dublin until July 18th. I hope to take a dip at Fortyfoot and would love to chat with local open water swimmers.

  2. Great place to swim! I worked at RTE for five months in the 1980s. Swam at the Forty Foot two or three times a week. Very atmospheric, secluded and bracing! The sea can be both cold and rough but that’s all part of the experience. A special place for sea bathing.

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