Dublin: 11 °C Monday 19 April, 2021

The Forty Foot got a great shoutout in the New York Times as one of the 'best places to swim in the world'


Morning local

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IT LOOKS LIKE The Forty Foot in Dún Laoghaire is going to get even more rammed on the next relatively hot day with an influx of tourists – because it’s got a write up in none other than The New York Times.

Loudon Wainwright III (the most NYT-appropriate name ever) is a singer-songwriter and father of Martha and Rufus Wainwright. He penned a piece over the weekend titled “The 10 Best Places to Swim in the World, According to Me”:

2approval Source: New York Times

He explained that he’s got the swimming experience to make such an assessment:

For 50 years I’ve been traveling around the world performing, and along with my guitar I always pack a bathing suit and goggles. From the beginning, a lot of my life has been about me in the water, and it’s stayed that way for decades, in pools, ponds, reservoirs, rivers, oceans and bays.

And right at the top of the list is The Forty Foot

Loudon writes in glowing terms – with an obligatory mention of Ulysses:

In Sandycove, just south of central Dublin. The first section of “Ulysses” ends with Buck Mulligan taking a dip there, plunging into “the scrotum-tightening sea.” Originally a men’s-only nude bathing spot, it is now frequented by swim-suited crazies of both sexes.

And he definitely paints an accurate picture of its less-than-welcoming temperature:

I’ve been going to the 40 Foot for about 30 years, and it’s always really cold. It’s not really a swim, as such, but rather an in-and-out experience, often punctuated by a bloodcurdling scream upon submersion.


His story checks out – he’s definitely been there plenty of times before.

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Far flung places like Sydney, San Francisco and New York make the list too, but it’s nice to see The Forty Foot represent


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Fair play Loudon.

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David Elkin

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