Dubliners have known it for years, and James Joyce’s Ulysses even ended with Buck Mulligan taking a dip there, but now the Forty Foot in Dún Laoghaire has officially been ranked among the best places to swim in the world.
The inclusion was printed in The New York Times at the weekend in opinion piece titled “The 10 Best Places to Swim in the World, According to Me,” written by Loudon Wainwright III, a singer-songwriter and father of Martha and Rufus Wainwright.
Long Island native Loudon begins the article with an ode to his love of water, in all forms, from pools, ponds, reservoirs to rivers, oceans and bays.
Over 50 years he has travelled the globe seeking out the very best places to take a dip and shared his favourites in the esteemed broadsheet.
Although he overtly states that the list is not in any particular order, we are going to go ahead and read into the fact that the Forty Foot is listed number one.
Travelling to the South Dublin swimming mecca for 30 years, Loudon admits that water is very cold, “scrotum-tightening” and “often punctuated by a bloodcurdling scream upon submersion.”
But still these in-and-out experiences have kept him coming back for more.
The complete list reads as follows:
1. The 40 Foot, Sandycove, Dublin
2. The Andrew “Boy” Charlton, Woolloomooloo Bay, Sydney
3. The Highgate or Hampstead Ponds, Hampstead Heath, North London
4. The Western Baths Club, Glasgow
5. Deep Eddy Pool, Austin, Texas
6. Barton Springs Pool, Austin, Texas
7. Lake Waccabuc, Westchester County, New York
8. “East Beach,” Watch Hill, Rhode Island
9. Palm Beach, North Sydney
10. Aquatic Park, San Francisco