Arklow , County Wicklow

Arklow has a long and prosperous history based on fishing , shipbuilding and the export of copper ore , pyrites and even gold , mined further up the valley. While no longer a major port , shipbuilding continues to be important – Gypsy Moth IV , Sir Francis Chichester’s prize winning transatlantic yacht now moored at Greenwich in London , was built at John Tyrrell’s yard here.

For some historical background , stop off at the Maritime Museum , a delightfully haphazard collection of local finds , it claims a history for Arklow that goes back to Ptolemy’s celebrated 2nd century map of the world. It also emerges that Arklow was a major centre for arms-smuggling during the upheavals of 1798.

Arklow’s beach , white sand like the rest of this part of the coast , is sand wiched between the docks and a gravel extraction plant – you may prefer to head North to Brittas Bay , or just South to the sheltered , sandy Clogga Beach.

Arklow has wonderful beaches that are a must see on your Ireland tours.