See & Do

Nature and Wildlife

Bull Island

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, and a good place for walking. 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.

Bull Island is located between Dublin and Howth. There is no drive on access to the beach. Check by telephone above for opening hours to the visitor centre. Public toilets are on site of the visitor centre.

For events at the centre check events section on the Dublin City Council website. The beaches are busy in summer. 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.

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