In a list of the 10 Best Places to Swim in the World published in the New York Times, Ireland’s 40 Foot in Sandycove, Dublin, came out on top.
The article was an opinion piece from singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III, whose most popular songs include 'Your Mother and I' and, as inspired the article, 'The Swimming Song.'
Wainwright opens the piece by talking about how swimming featured largely in his family life and upbringing before going into his top 10 swimming spots.
Naming the 40 Foot his number one place to swim after '50 years on the road', he writes: ‘The first section of “Ulysses” ends with Buck Mulligan taking a dip there, plunging into “the scrotum-tightening sea.” Originally a men’s-only nude bathing spot, it is now frequented by swim-suited crazies of both sexes.
‘I’ve been going to the 40 Foot for about 30 years, and it’s always really cold. It’s not really a swim, as such, but rather an in-and-out experience, often punctuated by a bloodcurdling scream upon submersion.’
Yup, that pretty much sums it up.
In case you’re looking for other spots around the globe to swim, the rest of his list goes as follows:
2. The Andrew “Boy” Charlton (Woolloomooloo Bay in Sydney, Australia)
3. The Highgate or Hampstead Ponds (Hampstead Heath, North London)
4. The Western Baths Club (Hillhead, Glasgow)
5. Deep Eddy Pool (Austin, Texas)
6. Barton Springs Pool (Austin)
7. Lake Waccabuc (northern Westchester County)
8. “East Beach,” Watch Hill, R.I
9. Palm Beach (north of Sydney)
10. Aquatic Park, San Francisco