Inch Strand appears to be the go to area for naturism in Kerry these days, and who can blame any self-respecting naturist who chooses to plant their bare feet on that vast, varied expanse of sand dunes, machair plains and miles of golden sand washed over by the never-ending caress of the Atlantic Ocean.
But Kerry, unbeknownst to the average Irish and non-Irish naturist, isn’t a one-hit-wonder when it comes to naturist sites like Inch Strand.
Allow yourselves to be introduced to another naturist location in Kerry, a lesser known gem, but just as inviting an Inch Strand; Banna Strand.
Technically, I could split Banna Strand into two sections – Banna Strand (which faces the Atlantic Ocean) and Poll Gorm (a tidal inlet located behind a spit of sand dunes on the southern end of Banna).
For the purpose of this article, our attention will be focused on the southern end of Banna.
In the Google Map below, you see the main car park at Banna Strand marked by a Red Dot with a Yellow outline, which approximately 4.5 kilometres from Ardfert village.
The main naturist area in Banna is located within the Red Circle, further to the south of the main car park, approximately 2 kilometres away.
You have two options to reach this naturist site.
First, you could park up in the main car park and walk south for roughly 25-30 minutes and cross over the sand dunes.
Or alternatively, you can drive down the back road towards Casement Monument until you reach a lane that leads of the right that is adorned with an anti-caravan barrier.
You then drive down this laneway; you can either park off to the sides or continue to the end of the passage way.
However, you are advised that the lane is deeply rutted in places and parking places are limited, so proceed with caution.
Once you reach this barrier on your right, you know you’ve reached the right spot.
The Banna/Poll Gorm naturist site is located down this road. In the map below, the entrance is indicated by a Yellow Circle, the laneway is indicated by a Red Dotted-line.
The unofficial car park (limited spaces) is located at the end, as indicated by the Yellow Square.
Futhermore, there are two routes, in Blue lines that you can take from the car park to reach the Poll Gorm Mudflats via the Machair landscape.
A further route off of these, in Yellow, takes you across an eroded sand dune in order to reach the seaward side (Banna Strand).
Once the tide is out fully, it is safe to traverse the mudflat so long as it is firm underfoot.
Locals can be seen walking from one side of the mudflat to other.
Owing to the tidal nature of the Poll Gorm mudflat, it is not advised to swim in the area, instead you should opt for the Banna Strand side of the site for swimming.
In the map below, the zone with the Blue Circle can be designated for naturist activities, especially when high tides restrict the rambling range of naturists to the sand dune spit that comprises of Banna south.
Looking over Poll Gorm the tide is going out, revealing an expansive plain of mudflats and sand.
This view is from the sand dunes of Banna looking across to Tullagh.
Poll Gorm nearing high tide. Looking at this photo you can see how this place got its name (Poll Gorm meaning Blue Hole).
View of Banna Strand looking north, with Kerry Head in the background.
View of Banna Strand looking south, with the Sliabh Mish Mountains and the Dingle Peninsula in the background.
As the Strand has a relatively high volume of walkers on good days, common sense should be exercised by the prospective naturist when choosing to practice naturism on this section of Banna Strand.
Morning and evening times tend to be the best times.
However, with the Poll Gorm section it is the opposite as that area is sparsely populated with people and so naturism can be practiced on much of that section.
So, if you ever find yourself in the North Kerry area and looking for a naturist opportunity, then by all means pay a visit to Banna and Poll Gorm.
It’s a trip worth taking.