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The Forty Foot

A Unique Bathing Place in Sandycove - Nudies Included


At the Forty Foot (and a few inches)

At the Forty Foot (and a few inches)

© 2006 Bernd Biege licensed to About.com, Inc.

The Forty Foot in Sandycove, just a short stroll from the James Joyce Tower, is an unlikely attraction. It is one of the traditional bathing „pools“ of Dublin Bay, basically a set of steps into the sea from a ramshackle changing room. And only the brave venture into the sea here, often observed by definitely puzzled seals with better insulation against the (frankly) freezing cold.

Why to people go here? Is it because James Joyce mentions Buck Mulligan taking a dip here in „Ulysses“?

Well, maybe. But maybe it is the spectacle of mostly elderly men stripping off and jumping into the sea like they did at Joyce's time and well before. And the slight frisson in knowing that the odd user of this formerly strictly „men only“ establishment still has the nerve to hop around stark naked. If you are easily offended, be warned – even at a distance it occasionally is obvious that there is no swimming trunk to inhibit the free movement of all body parts ... Irish nudism.

By the way, the name „The Forty Foot“ does not refer to width or depth – it is an allusion to a regiment that once used to frequent the pool.

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