Sandymount Strand a.k.a. "Dumhach Thrá" is just a short 3 km walk from downtown Dublin. It is a large strand on the east coast of Ireland adjacent to the village and suburb of Sandymount in Dublin. This is a premiere location of the south side of Dublin Bay and is great for walking but not good for swimming. It's gradual slopes make the water too shallow to swim near the shoreline. In fact the tide is so tricky that cars and people sometimes get trapped by the incoming tide as it sneaks up on you and has gotten the nickname of "Cockle Lake". In 1883 swimming baths were built measuring 40x40 meters with a 75 meter pier added in 1884 hosting a bandstand halfway along it and was a commonplace for summer concerts. Unfortunately by 1920 the pier had deteriorated and had to be demolished and now lay in ruins. An old defense structure called Martello tower remains that was built to warn of an invasion by Napoleon. This was once converted to a popular cafe in the 60's, then attempted into a restaurant that never opened and leaving a modified window in its seaward side. This strand is also the location for James Joyce in Ulysses referring to Cock lake making it one of the most famous beaches in Irish fiction where young Gertie lifts her skirt as Bloom pleasures himself and was the section that caused the book to be banned in the USA for alleged obscenity. The Strand stretches from Irishtown through Sandymount and Merrion and on to Booterstown. It is a shallow tidal mudflat that attracts thousands of birds especially during winter and becomes a prime location for birdwatching. Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
This is just what it says, and although it seems obvious that if you were on the beach you might go for a walk, most visitors never get near this area. Sandymount village itself is worth a stop - there are a couple of nice places to eat, and at least one excellent pub - but the strand is perhaps the best place to really stretch your legs without leaving the city too far behind. It's only two miles from the city centre - a quick ride in a cab - and the strand, at low tide, stretches for miles. You can walk all the way down to Blackrock and beyond if you choose, exchanging hellos with the locals walking their dogs.
If that's not enough, head in the direction of Poolbeg Power Station - you'll not be able to miss the tall red-and-white chimney stacks - and from there make your way along the lengthy South Wall pier. You'll be invigorated enough that a stop into Borza's chip shop or Ryan's pub, both in Sandymount village, will be obligatory on the way home!
I suppose many of my "off the beaten path" tips are posted because they're place that I liked but I had the time to visit them because I lived there. An ordinary tourist might not neccessarily have the time for these places unless you're particularly interested in this kind of thing.
Anyway, Sandymount strand is a huge beach (not really swimmable though) south of the river. You'll see it from the DART if you're travelling south (but only during low tide). On a nice day it's a good place for a stroll.