If you travel occasionally and are not a globetrotter or veteran, you probably hit the same wall as I did couple of times. The closer to trip, the more you realise that not much have been planned except for some obvious spots to visit.

Most of so-called travel guides show the same, old, touristic destinations, packed with screaming crowds and rarely enjoyable themes. You probably can’t even shot a proper souvenir photo without couple of odd faces in the background, if at all.

If you ever thought to visit Ireland, plan to visit now or in near future, you most likely get suggestions like, Guinness Factory in Dublin, Phoenix Park, then Cliffs of Moher and other places that are nice, don’t get me wrong, but they miss that uniqueness and space you’d probably look for, when thinking about Green Island and Celts’ heritage.

Just north of Dublin, after suburbia of Swords, if you head towards Skerries, Balbriggan, Drogheda, maybe even Belfast, lies small village of Donabate, and just on the shore, a small neighbour – Portrane.

Portrane is barely a place you’d call a town or village. Some house estates and roughly a pub, small grocery shop and a takeaway. That’s it… or is it?

No. This “Bermuda triangle” of retail spots is a nice addition to visit, but the core beauty of Portrane lies in its location and picturesque shoreline. When you head towards the sea, one road divides Portrane into two very different halves. On the left hand, a sandy beach, reaching endlessly in low tides, extremely beautiful spot for a walk and packed with healthy air sea breeze. The Brook Beach is a long sandy beach, 2km in length and extends from the village northwards into the Rogerstown Estuary.

If you come back from the beach and follow the before mentioned road a bit further, after short bend to the right, a completely different, rocky and dangerous shoreline unveils. Spacious car park allows you, depending on weather conditions, to either observe stormy sea directly from your car, with windows slightly open to allow breeze to get in. In a good weather, a walk along the rocky and cliffy shoreline is highly advised.

From both spots, whether it’s beach on the left, or rocks on the further right – Lambay Island shows its magnificent shape and size, in full.

Once you get hungry and don’t mind getting some fast food, head on to Pipers Takeaway. They don’t accept card payment, cash only… but do not worry. Although no ATM can be seen in the near proximity, they can quickly direct you to mentioned grocery shop where you can take a cash back in the similar form. And if you fancy a drink or a beer in a proper Irish environment and style, though no licence for alcohol can be seen in Pipers nor Grogans Shop, again – do not fret, The Brook Pub has you covered.

I’ll cut it short. Not many people visit this spot even in extremely beautiful and hot weather we recently have here, so there’s a lot of space to breathe and enjoy the views.

No brainer, in my humble opinion. See the Brook Beach gallery for yourself and decide the rest.

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