Lonely Planet Writer

These outdoor baths from the 1800s have been brought back to life in Dublin

In 1886, the Clontarf Baths and Assembly rooms opened in a seaside town on the north side of Dublin in Ireland. Featuring a large tidal seawater swimming pool that jutted out from the promenade wall into the bay, the attraction was extremely popular with locals for over 100 years, before eventually closing in 1996. But now the much-loved baths have been completely restored for the 21st century, and are due to open next week along with a modern restaurant and bar with sea views.

Originally opened in 1886, the baths were a popular local spot for over 100 years.
Originally opened in 1886, the baths were a popular local spot for over 100 years. Image by The Baths

Owned by a local family, the baths have been fully refurbished following a €2.4 million investment and years of work. Due to open in the first week of March 2018, the site’s restaurant offers stunning views of the sea and will serve dinner and drinks, with plans to introduce breakfast, brunch and lunch menus in the near future. The baths themselves will be made available to the public for swimming in late spring through local swimming and polo clubs and will have its own entrance on the site.

A computer-generated view of the seaside-themed restaurant. Image by The Baths

Due to safety reasons, the pool will initially launch on a part-time basis for sports and swim clubs that can provide their own insurance and lifeguards, and The Baths’ website has a dedicated section to help different organisations sign up to use the facilities. The pool is 900-square metres in total, with a maximum depth of 1.875 metres, and is 40 metres wide and 26 metres long. Because it is an external seawater swimming pool with water that is filtered in through a special system, the temperature will only reach 1-2 degrees warmer than the sea itself, which on average is 11.73 degrees. The Baths also have changing facilities, toilets and hot showers on site.

The restaurant and pool will offer stunning views out over Dublin Bay.
The restaurant and pool will offer stunning views out over Dublin Bay. Image by William Murphy / CC BY 2.0

“People are really excited to see the space re-built, as it has been an eyesore for such a long time. They also are reminiscing on a place that they would have swum in when they were much younger,” a representative of The Baths told Lonely Planet Travel News.

More information on The Baths is available at the official website.