Given that Country Living spent its childhood being dragged around the blustery coastline of Ireland (think water sports in the rain while the cousins were in Malta), we feel confident in our knowledge of Ireland’s beaches, and it’s hard to beat Lahinch, Co Clare – even if it’s wild. But its wild waves are its selling point and why every signpost on the way into the town is labelled with “#surfcity”.

Lahinch is where Fergal Smith – Ireland’s most successful professional surfer – calls home.