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Portmarnock Beach (Velvet Strand)

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Portmarnock Beach - County Dublin

© William Murphy and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Within a stone's throw of Ireland's capital, Dublin, the beach at Portmarnock is also known as the Velvet Strand. This is on account of the beautiful smooth sand that makes up the three miles of Portmarnock Strand.

The beach here is backed by sand dunes which lead onto the Portmarnock Championship golf course. These dunes are an important natural feature and are home to a variety of flora and fauna.

Portmarnock beach has been the starting point for two pioneering flights. The most famous of these was the Southern Cross flown by Charles Kingsford Smith for which there is a monument on the beach. In 1930 Smith flew his aircraft from the beach here across the Atlantic and then continued to circumnavigate the world.

The town's name ((Port Mearnóg) derives from the Irish word port – meaning bank (as in river) - and Saint Marnoch or Mernoc.

Also known as:

Velvet Strand

Type of beach


Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Restrictions may apply (usually from Easter until the end of Summer)

County Dublin dog friendly beaches »


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Blue Flag AwardGreen Coast Award