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UNOFFICIAL Naturist Locations in Connaught

There are no officially designated naturist beaches or sites in Ireland. There was a fundamental change in the law on public nudity following the enactment of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017.This new Section replaced the old law on public indecency. The new law, which is similar to the law on public nudity in the UK, states that for an offence to be committed the person exposing him/herself must intend to cause fear, distress or alarm to another person. Being naked in itself is not illegal under this law. It is our opinion that this law, in effect, enables the provision of official public naturist facilities at suitable beaches and bathing areas and that erecting signs such as "Beyond this point you may encounter nude bathers" will ensure that non naturist members of the public will not suffer fear, distrss or alarm.


There is only one officially recognised naturist area in Ireland, Hawk Cliff, in County Dublin.. Official signs advising the public that nude bathers may be encountered are due to be erected there in 2018. Here are details of some other beaches and bathing places where naturism is tolerated. Apart from those listed, there are many more secluded beaches where you could have the beach to yourself all day.

Some of the beaches and bathing places are recommended with reservations - please take care and heed all warnings given. .Please use discretion and common sense in using any of the beaches and bathing places listed below. Naturism is not as accepted in Ireland as it is in many other European countries. The Irish Naturist Association accepts no responsibility if you encounter problems.


   Please also heed any warnings regarding currents and tides.


Barna, Puppy's Cove and Mannin Bay

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BARNA: Directions: Take the Galway-Spiddal road (R336). Barna is approximately four miles from Galway city. The naturist area at Barna is about half way between Silver Strand (which is a popular textile beach) and the Pier at Barna village along the shoreline and can be reached from two directions. The first way is to park at Silver Strand, and walk to the right over the stones along the shore towards Barna Pier. Alternatively, drive towards Barna village. Pass the road for Silver Strand, pass the church (Barna parish church) and take the next turn to the left. At the end of this short road park your car and walk towards the sea. There walk to the left where you will see a rocky point in the distance. That is the naturist area. Hopefully, in the not too distant future the area may be signed ‘clothing optional’ and this will make the area easier to locate. The area is a rocky outcrop but for swimming the sandy area immediately beside the rocks on the Barna side can be used. When the tide is in there is a nice swimming area off the rocks.



Dog’s Bay, or Cuan an Madra, is a small beach about 2 ½ miles on the Ballyconneely road [Clifden coast road] from Roundstone. On the way you pass the entrance for Gurteen Bay Caravan Park. Take the next turn left after Gurteen Bay Park. Walk through a gate at the end of the carpark and continue to the far end of the lovely sandy beach. At the beach end climb slope to the right where you will come to a fence with a gate. Go through and walk along the cliff and you will come to a small secluded sandy cove. This is your dream area, Puppy’s Cove.



Mannin Bay has many beautiful beaches and a number of these are very suitable for naturist activities.
Coming from Roundstone, towards Clifden, you pass through the village of Ballyconneely (passing Keoghs Pub on your left), and take the left after Ballyconneely village down the road for Connemara Sands hotel. Drive past this hotel and keep going for a few miles down a narrow road until you come to a fork - you go to the right and then watch out for a gate on your right hand side. You park here on the side of the road and through the gate there is a well-worn track which leads you to the first beach. From there, just walk west and you will find multiple long uninhabited beaches where are perfect for naturism and beautiful pristine waters for a swim (if you dare).



This beach is in Westport Bay and is approximately five miles from Westport.
Directions: Take the R335 from Westport towards Louisburg. After passing the village of Murrisk take the next turn to Bartraw Beach which is on a small peninsula. Use the eastern side of the peninsula.

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Trawmore Sand

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This long beach is on Achill Island. It was sandy but has now become very rocky. Use the eastern end of the beach at Dookinelly.
Directions: Take the R319 from Achill Sound towards Keel for approximately five miles. There is a turn off for Dookinelly. You can also get there from Keel by a long walk up the beach.

Keem Strand

This fine beach is also on Achill Island. Although it is not secluded it is frequently used by naturist foreign visitors. A small area among the rocks at the northern end of the beach is suitable.
Directions: Keem lies at the very end of the R319 from Achill Sound. Park in the car park and walk onto the beach.

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Old Head

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This beach is in Clew Bay near Louisburgh, approximately ten miles west of Westport. There is a small secluded cove north of the main beach which is used by naturists.
Directions: Take the R335 from Westport towards Louisburgh. The road follows the coastline. Watch for the turn to Old Head before Louisburgh


Yellow Strand


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This fine long beach is on the northern side of Sligo Bay, near Drumcliff Bay.
Directions: Take the N15 from Sligo for approximately 6 miles. Turn off just past Drumcliff towards the village of Carney. Just before Carney take the minor road in the direction of Knocklane which is on the tip of the headland. About half a mile before the road ends at Knocklane, which has only a few cottages and caravans, take a left turn. Continue on straight until the road ends at a gate beside a barn. Park here and walk up the beach.
   CAUTION: Beware of currents.

Trawalua Strand


This long beach is on the western side of Mullaghmore Head, south of Roskeragh Point. Naturists use the more secluded northern and southern ends, particularly during the week. Discretion is required at weekends.
Directions: Take the main N15 Sligo - Bundoran road for approximately 15 miles until you come to the village of Cliffony. Turn off onto the R279 towards Mullaghmore. Just after this road veers to the right there is a small turn left which leads to the beach. Park at the end of the road near a football pitch and walk over the sand dunes onto the beach.
   CAUTION: Beware of currents.

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Here is a lovely picture taken by one our members on Trawalua Beach.

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