When it comes to the closest beach to Cork City, Myrtleville Beach probably wins.
This beach is a short drive from the city center of Cork and offers expansive views of the entrance to Cork Harbour and Roches Point Lighthouse on the other side of the harbor.
In terms of convenience and proximity to Cork City, Myrtleville Beach is a good choice, especially for families with young kids.
Hours of fun can be enjoyed paddling in the water and building sand castles.
As a teenager, I babysat twin toddler boys on this beach so I can vouch for the hours of fun it can provide!
Myrtleville Beach in Cork is also a popular spot for boat watching as the beach is situated near the mouth of the harbor.
It a prime location for observing passing marine traffic from small boats to shipping containers, large ferries and of course, the occasional cruise liner that docks in Port of Cobh.
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What to do on Myrtleville Beach?
Myrtleville beach has sandy and stony areas, as well as rocky outcrops and crumbly cliffs.
It is perfectly situated close to the city of Cork and Fountainstown Beach to go for a short stroll and get some fresh sea breeze.
The beach is also a good vantage point for watching boats and even the larger cruise ships entering and leaving the Port of Cork.
Kids enjoy the stream that runs down the center of the beach.
This water feature typically provides hours of fun for youngsters who end up diverting the water around their sand castles.
People also opt to go paddling or swimming at this beach.
Open water swimming has become popular in recent years and there is a Myrtleville swimming group. (Please note that no lifeguards are stationed at this beach at any stage throughout the year.)
Anyone interested in geology will appreciate the rock exposed outcrops of sedimentary rocks (part of the Old Kinsale Sandstone formation).
There are also extensive glacial deposits in the area some of which are visible in the exposed cliff area, which is subject to intensive erosion.
(Funny story: I visited this beach as part of a geology field trip once and had to wear a hard hat for safety reasons. This certainly was entertaining for all the families watching us scribbing down notes!)
Further along the shore is Fennel’s Bay.
This is a stoney, pebbly beach which offers nice view of Myrtleville. It is possible to walk from Myrtleville Beach to Fennel’s Bay over the rocky path near the cliffs.
The next beach along the coastline closer to Cork Harbour is Church Bay, where you can get very good views of Roche’s Point Lighthouse.
Myrtleville Beach FAQs
Where is Myrtleville Beach?
Myrtleville Beach is located close to the entrance to Cork Harbour.
The beach is situated next to a small village, which falls between the townlands of Ballinluska and Myrtleville.
There are a small number of houses in the village.
Crosshaven is located about 15 minutes to the north of Myrtleville and Carrigaline is less than 15 minutes drive to the north west of the beach.
Cork City is roughly 30 minutes away by car.
Myrtleville Beach – How do I get there?
Distance Myrtleville Beach to Cork City: 24 km or 15 miles
Time to Drive from Cork City: ca. 30 minutes
If you plan on driving by car, it takes about 30 minutes to drive from the Cork City Centre to Myrtleville Beach.
For Myrtleville Beach directions from Cork City, please see the map below.
Myrtleville Beach Bus
Getting to Myrtleville with public transport is possible, but it is a bit more difficult and involves walking along narrow country roads.
It is possible to travel to Myrtleville Beach by bus (the 220x bus from Cork City) and get off at Myrtleville Cross and walk about 20 minutes to the beach.
(Note: This means that you will have to walk along the narrow road without a footpath).
Alternatively, it is possible to get off the same bus at the Fountainstown Beach bus stop and walk along the cliff path and coastal road to Myrtleville Beach, which takes about 25 minutes
(Along the Fountainstown Beach Myrtleville Beach Walk parts are along a narrow road without a footpath!)
What is Myrtleville Beach parking like?
Myrtleville Beach does not have a designated car park for visitors to the beach.
There are some car spaces available near the beach, but these fill up quickly at this popular location when the weather is good.
As there are a number of houses in the area, it is important not to block the entrance to any of the private residences.
There are also double yellow lines marking where parking is not permitted.
Make sure that you do not park on these lines or block any entrances, as ticket wardens have been known to issue traffic tickets in the area.
Are there public toilets at Myrtleville Beach?
No, unfortunately there are no public toilets at Myrtleville Beach.
What facilities are at Myrtleville Beach?
There are free cold water shower facilities at the beach which allow swimmers to rinse off after a swim.
(Cold fingers can make it so difficult to open toggles and zips on wetsuits, but at least you won’t be sandy!)
A limited number of refuse bins are located at the entrance to the beach. These tend to fill up quickly on busy days in summer.
Please remove all waste from the beach and if there is no space in the bins, bring it home and dispose of it there.
(Local volunteers have resorted to cleaning the beach and removing rubbish that is left behind by the crowds on summer days. The beach is for everyone to enjoy so please leave it as you would like to find it the next time.)
Can you swim at Myrtleville?
There is no lifeguard on duty in Myrtleville beach at any time of the year, so caution is strongly advised before entering the water.
People swim at Myrtleville Beach. Shoes are sometimes advised, when entering the water as it can be quite stoney in places, and occasionally weedy as well.
Please be aware of safety when swimming in open water.
Do not enter the water if you are not a capable swimmer and the weather and tide conditions also need to be suitable.
Myrtleville Beach Swimming Group
A popular open water swimming group is based at this location.
For more information about swimming at Myrtleville Beach, recommended safety information check the Myrtleville Swimmers Open Water Sea Swimming website.
What is the water quality at Myrtleville Beach?
Accessing water quality reports for Myrtleville Beach is difficult.
Information for the nearby Fountainstown Beach (Blue Flag Status) is available online.
Myrtleville Beach Tidal Information
Useful information about the tide times can be found here. The tide times are based on the tidal information for Cobh.
Generally the Myrtleville Beach tides occur roughly 5-10 minutes earlier than in Cobh.
Myrtleville Beach Weather Information
Sea temperature estimates for Myrtleville Beach can be found here.
Are dogs allowed on Myrtleville beach?
It is difficult to find official information stating whether dogs are allowed on the beach or not at Myrtleville Beach.
There is a sign reminding people to clean up all dog waste in the area. Please ask locally and keep your dog on a leash.
Things to do near Myrtleville Beach
In the high season, temporary coffee shops or even a portable Myrtleville Beach sauna are occasionally stationed near the beach.
Why not sample some of the tasty cookies and treats or or pop into the sauna, if the opportunity arises!
Take a stroll to Fountainstown Beach, which is located about 2 km away from Myrtleville Beach.
It is a pleasant walk with nice views of Cork Harbour and Fountainstown Beach.
It is possible to reach the beach by walking along the coastal road, which connects with the cliff walk to Fountainstown Beach en route.
(Keep in mind that the road is narrow and does not have a footpath!)
Bunnyconnellan Coastal Restaurant (also known by the name of Bunny’s) with views of Myrtleville Beach and Cork Harbour has been a long standing tradition for many Corkonians down through the years.
Unfortunately it has (temporarily) closed.
Crosshaven is a short drive away from Myrtleville Beach.
As well as visiting its colorful boating and yachting marine, a trip to the nearby Camden Fort Meagher is also well worth it.
(Before you go, check out the website for opening times as they are limited!)
Insider Tip: If nothing else, you will get spectacular views of Cork Harbour from the vantage point at the car park at the entrance to the fort!
Beaches in Cork
Myrtleville Beach is just one of many beaches in County Cork. For an overview of some of the best beaches in the area, you can check out our in depth content guide to Cork Beaches, such as Inch Beach and Youghal Beach in East Cork.
In the Kinsale area, there are also some great beaches that are worth visiting. If you want to check out some of our favorites (including the surf friendly Garretstown Beach), here is our Beaches near Kinsale Guide.
For those of you who would like to test out some other great beaches on the island of Ireland, perhaps head to the west and see the stunning coastline and beaches in Connemara.
(Irish Nature Expert and Celtic Enthusiast from Ireland)
Emer Walker, founder of LetsGoIreland.com, is a Cork native with profound expertise in Irish nature and ecology. Holding a PhD in Restoration Ecology and backed by extensive research in ecological sciences, she’s delved deep into Ireland’s natural wonders, from its rugged landscapes to its serene beaches. Emer’s passion also encompasses Celtic art and traditions. As a true authority on Ireland’s natural and cultural heritage, she invites readers through LetsGoIreland.com to immerse themselves in the authentic Irish experience.