Chasing Sunsets: A Quest to See the Irish Sunset over the Ocean

As a girl who grew up in the Midwest, seeing the sun set over a body of water is a bit of a rarity for me. In fact, seeing an ocean sunset was something that had even made its way onto my bucket list.

So, a few years back, as I was planning a trip to Ireland, I realized Ireland might be the perfect place to see my ocean sunset. I made it my mission. I planned and charted and booked several of my B&Bs based on the view. Ocean views were a plus, especially on the west coast.

The luck of the Irish was with me the entire trip, bringing clear, sunny days, and visible sunsets nearly every night.

Unfortunately, my grasp of Irish geography was a little off.

In Dingle, one of the southwestern-most peninsulas of Ireland, I had heard about the gorgeous ocean views and sunsets. I also had an amazing view of the water from my B&B in Dingle. Unfortunately, the water was the Dingle Bay, not the ocean, and the view faced south, not west.

I was still blessed with a clear evening and a sunset off behind the mountains and trees. But no ocean sunset here.

Next I was on my way to Galway, farther north up the west coast. Like Dingle, Galway has a view of the water, but not of the Atlantic. My B&B here overlooked Galway Bay and faced south.

However, I did get a view of the sun reflecting off the water at dusk, which made for some of my favorite photos of the trip. Still, I couldn’t cross “sunset over the ocean” off my list.

Two west-coast waterfront towns down, and no ocean sunset under my belt. I left the Republic of Ireland, disappointed, and headed up to Northern Ireland. I had pretty much given up on the sunset-over-the-ocean aspirations for this trip, because now I was on the north coast and would be ending the trip in Dublin.

But I was in for a surprise. Somehow just outside Bushmills, near Giant’s Causeway, the sun sets over the water!

I would have loved to see the sunset over Giant’s Causeway itself, but it was pretty cool watch sitting on a picnic bench right outside the inn.

I finally saw my sunset over the ocean.