Dublin City

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Bull Island

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Contact details


North Bull Wall, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
T: +353(0)18331859
E: biodiversity@dublincity.ie

Bull Island is a low lying sandy beach in the northern part of Dublin bay, County Dublin. It contains a range of natural habitats including sand dunes and salt marshes. The island is popular for walking and bird watching.

Bull Island is a low lying, dune covered sand spit in Dublin Bay off the coast of the city’s north side. As a National Nature reserve it is a paradise for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts, a good place for walking , cycling and beach activities . It is adjacent to private golf courses The Royal Dublin and St Anne’s.

Bull Island was created 200 years ago due to the construction of the north bull wall to Dublin Port. It continues to grow seaward and is a rare natural occurrence in Ireland. Its current size is 5km long by 1km wide.

Its habitats include beach, dunes, mud flats, grassland and marsh. The island was the first official bird sanctuary in the country in the 1930’s. In 1981 it achieved status as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve due to its rare and threatened habitats and species along with its use by important numbers of overwintering birds.

It is accessible from the coastal road between Dublin and Howth. Visitors can reach Bull Island by car, or by bus and by rail (a 20 min walk from Raheny DART Station). There is drive on access to the beach. Check by telephone above for opening hours to the visitors centre. Public toilets are on site of the visitors centre.

For events at the centre check events section on the Dublin City Council website. The beaches are busy in summer, but the further away from the car park, the less people. Strong winds usually bring out the kite­surfers. Nature lovers should head for the visitor’s information centre and then into the wild. ­The variety of birds is stunning and in winter visitors might even see Brent geese. Visitors are strongly advised not to walk into the salt marshes due to risk of getting stuck.