Brittas Bay

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Looking north over Brittas Bay

Brittas Bay (Irish: Cuan an Bhriotáis) in County Wicklow, Ireland is a 4 km stretch of beach on the Irish Sea coast. The beach is accessed from the R750 regional road which runs parallel to the beach, separated from it by extensive areas of sand dunes. The beach and associated dunes are very popular as they are close to Dublin and are one of the most frequented beaches by residents of the capital during the summer.


Brittas Bay is in the civil parish of Dunganstown in the barony of Arklow on the southern coast of County Wicklow.[1]


There was a Christian settlement in Threemilewater prior to St Patrick's arrval in Ireland. This settlement was presided over by a Roman prelate Palladius. He was assisted by two monks named Sylvester and Solinus. Later St Baoithin ruled over a monastery in the area and one of his pupils was St Kevin who founded the Christian settlement in Glendalough. This settlement became world famous as a refuge for learning during the Dark Ages.

A 17th Century smuggler and pirate Captain Jack White operated from Jack's Hole, a secluded cove where he intercepted goods from British merchant ships and imported goods from France to the annoyance of Crown authorities who were thus deprived of customs revenue. His accomplice Charles Acton, the Sheriff of the Grand Jury, felt the bold Captain was being less than forthright in his dealings with him and had him tried and hanged and his body thrown into the sea off the cliffs at Mizen Head. A local pub which was a coachhouse on the present N11 road where Jack White distributed his booty is named after him and There is a reputed copy of an arrest warrant on the wall in the pub. The same premises became a major newstory between 1996 to 1999 when the owner was killed during a robbery which later turned out to have been organised by his wife. [2]


Brittas, as it is commonly known (there is a place of the same name on the Dublin/Kildare/Wicklow border; see Brittas, Dublin), has been a summer holiday home for Dubliners since the 1950s. It brings together a mix of permanent residents and day trippers.

The busiest time of year in Brittas Bay is the public holiday on the first weekend in August (the August Bank Holiday) which brings hundreds of people down from Dublin to camp on the beach or in the dunes. Camping on the dunes however is forbidden under the by-laws issued by Wicklow County Council because of environmental damage to the sand dunes caused by campfires and litter.

The Brittas Bay Coastcare Group hold monthly clean-ups of the beach and sand dune areas by its volunteers. The group also replant marram grass and other indigenous plants in the dune areas. They have also entered Brittas Bay in the Pure Mile Project where they have adopted a mile long stretch of the R750 road along Brittas and are tidying it up. Neighbours will co-operate by painting their homes and walls bordering the road.

Parts of the movie The Count of Monte Cristo starring Jim Caviezel were filmed here.[citation needed]

Public transport access[edit]

The nearest bus stop to Brittas Bay is located around 2 km distant at Jack White's Cross. It is served daily in each direction by several (but not all) coaches on Bus Éireann's Expressway route 2 (Wexford-Arklow-Dublin-Dublin Airport). Jack White's Cross is also served, albeit infrequently by Bus Éireann route 384.[3][4][5] Outside of these times the nearest bus stop to Brittas Bay is located in Arklow. The nearest railway stations are Arklow railway station and Wicklow railway station.

Public dissatisfaction over removal of stop from route 2[edit]

Until the end of September 2012 Bus Éireann route 2 used to stop at Jack White's Cross numerous times each day. There was considerable public dissatisfaction with the decision as the bus provides a useful link to hospitals as well as for commuting and leisure purposes. The stop at Jack White's Cross was reinstated in the route 2 timetable from 25 August 2013 (inclusive).[6][7]


  1. ^ "Cuan an Bhriotáis". Irish Placenames Database. 2016. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  2. ^ "Jack White's Pub History". Jack White's Inn.
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-15.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^
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Coordinates: 52°53′N 6°03′W / 52.883°N 6.050°W / 52.883; -6.050