Reader Travel Awards: Curracloe in Co Wexford wins ‘Ireland’s Best Beach’ for 2022
A great beach goes beyond good looks, according to our readers.
Of course, words like “beautiful” and “clean”, and phrases like “miles and miles of sand” cropped up time and again in your comments on Curracloe, Co Wexford. But so did oodles of others, reflecting the diversity, scale and treasure trove of memories this strand provides.
Curracloe feels “unspoilt”, you told us. “Once you go over the dunes, you could just pretend you’re a world away.” It’s “just bliss”, “not commercialised” and “like being in Portugal”, readers said — “the abroad feeling at home”.
You can read the full results of our Reader Travel Award 2022 here. For the full list of Top 10 beaches, scroll down.
Curracloe is more than sea and sand, judges agreed. It feels like a community touchpoint.
Stretching over 10km, it’s close to Wexford, safe for swimming, has a Blue Flag, big car park and decent facilities (including the brilliant Surf Shack).
Traffic plans have eased congestion and added safety during peak times and the pandemic, and the beach and walking loops in the nearby Raven Nature Reserve create “the ideal combo”, you told us.
Wildlife ranges from seals to terns, red squirrels and pine martins, and, of course, the strand gave much comfort and solace to locals during Covid too.
A previous winner of our Best Beach award, this Wexford wonder has been “amazing — hail, rain or shine” for generations, you said. “Every time we’ve been, it has given us beautiful pics and memories.”
1. Curracloe, Co Wexford
“No competition here, nothing but sand; it stretches for miles with a lovely forest trail beside it,” our readers said.
2. Inch, Co Kerry
“Miles of unspoilt beach which looks divine no matter the season,” readers told us. “Clean water, soft breeze in the Kingdom County - what more could one want?
3. Dog’s Bay, Connemara
"If you've been you'll just know why, if not then please just go,” you said. “It's simply beautiful.”
4. Keem Bay, Co Mayo
“What a location - even the drive to it on the narrow coastal road fills you with excitement,” readers said. “It most definitely doesn't disappoint.”
5. Inchydoney, Co Cork
"It’s the most beautiful beach and there’s plenty to do there to entertain – kite flying, surfing and the traditional walks, plus great coffee and pizza at the food truck,” readers said. “Plus the beautiful hotel!”
6. Enniscrone, Co Sligo
"It’s just amazing, it’s so soft on the feet and it’s a good length for a walk or run,” you told us. “Lovely for a dip in the sea.”
7. Lahinch, Co Clare
“There is so much to do there, whether you want to go for a nice walk or a surfing experience, this is the place to go to,” you said.
8. Ballybunion, Co Kerry
"Great waves, caves, cliff walks and beach walks, seaweed baths, variety of restaurants and bars,” readers told us. “Clean, safe and beautiful.”
9. Silver Strand, Co Donegal
“You feel like you could be anywhere, from the Med to the Caribbean, with neither having the scenery to support this magic location.”
10. Portmarnock, Co Dublin
"The Velvet Strand is a hidden gem, a sandy beach with a grass space for picnics, and a community of wild swimmers who are so welcoming and friendly to all who happen to pop by for a dip. This is real, down to earth Ireland. No 'notions' here!”