While certainly not for the faint-hearted, cliff diving or cliff jumping is a popular and relatively accessible extreme sports activity enjoyed around the world. Dublin is no exception, with sunny weather regularly drawing people out to the coast to enjoy the thrills of cliff diving.
Although there are a number of established cliff diving spots along the Dublin coast, it should be noted that cliff diving is a risky sport and should only be attempted at high tide by those who have taken the proper precautions.
In this post, we share the best cliff diving spots in Dublin.
Map of Cliff Diving Spots
The following map shows the location of every cliff diving spot highlighted in this post:
Lions Head, Howth
The first entry on our list is Lions Head at Howth, one of the oldest cliff diving locations in the country. In 1920 a university professor by the name of James Bayley Butler established a diving area on the small rocky promontory known as Lions Head at the south of the Howth peninsula, with several diving boards, trapezes, and even amenities such as changing rooms and toilets. He also built concrete steps down the steep cliff face to allow for easier access. The group of diving boards were called The Bailey Jumps, after the nearby Bailey lighthouse.
Sadly, the facilities fell into disrepair following Butler’s death in 1964, and sections of the steps have disintegrated. While the wooden diving boards have rotted away, the concrete foundations are still visible, showing the individual diving areas on the outcrop.
For those who wish to take the plunge, the best way to access the Lions Head now is to book a stand-up paddle tour of Howth with Pure Magic SUP and reach the promontory from the sea.
Information on booking a tour with Pure Magic SUP can be found here.
Howth Head Peak, Howth
Staying in Howth, we move to the north of the peninsula to the Howth Head Peak diving spot. This location can be reached by following the cliff walk path east from the car park before turning north towards the sea. The primary diving spots are located on the small rocky island close to the shore.
The following video by The Bucket List Boys is an excellent guide to reaching the spot and the diving fun on offer.
As previously noted, diving should only be attempted at high tide by those who have taken all proper precautions.
Bullock Harbour, Dalkey
Moving south, we come to the diving spots beside Bullock Harbour in Dalkey, just to the south of the famous Forty Foot bathing site at Sandycove. The diving spots can be reached by heading east from the harbour over the rocks until you reach the sea. For those who have never dived from here before, the only truly safe way to start diving at this spot is to follow the lead of the locals who frequently dive during spells of sunny weather.
For those who aren’t ready to take the plunge, the short trek over the rocks to the diving spot is still well worth the effort for the stunning vista of Dublin Bay, with the Forty Foot promontory and Dun Laoghaire harbour in full view.
Forty Foot, Sandycove
The final entry on our list is the Forty Foot bathing area in Sandycove. While the rocks here are quite small in comparison to the other entries on our list, there are spots where you can safely jump into the water from several feet up. This spot is perfect for beginners who are looking for a relatively safe way to experience the rush of cliff diving.
This famous bathing spot is also well populated throughout the year, so visitors can learn the ropes of where to jump from more experienced locals.