Down Beaches and Coast

County Down is in Northern Ireland and is known as the Bronte homeland after the famous writers.

This is a coastal county as it borders the Irish Sea to the East and has the most beautiful and varied landscapes which make it a great place for writers and photographers in need of inspiration!

County Down includes the Ards Peninsula, about ten miles outside Belfast and is famous for the biggest sea inlet in the British Isles at its heart.

The Bronte cottage at Emdale is a big attraction as are the granite mountains of Mourne where most climbers want to test their skill on Slieve Donard which is 848m high! This is a rugged countryside with brooding hillsides, majestic mountains, raging rivers and varied weather but the fishing is great and the Celtic charm woos you!

The Lecale Peninsula is home to seven small castles and really worth a visit. Try to see Strangford village as there are five castles within a few miles and all mostly intact. Strangford Lough is great for bird watching and not far from there, in Portaferry, is the Northern Ireland Aquarium.

On the coast between Holywood and Bangor lie the stunning beaches and magical woodlands of Crawfordsburn Country Park. It's a wonderful place to explore and you can take the dogs too!

Another good place to visit here is the Inch Abbey at Downpatrick. This is a Norman abbey lying on the banks of the Quoile River. These are the paths ridden by Dick Turpin, Lord Tennyson and Charles Dickens so if you're up for an adventure in history, this is the right spot!

Nearest Beaches in Down

  • Ballywalter Beach

    Ballywalter beach is long sandy with rock pools and never too crowded. Ballywalter is a village situated on the east (Irish Sea) coast of the Ards Peninsula. Small playground nearby, grass areas behind the beach, car parking and toilets.

  • Crawfordsburn Beach

    Crawfordsburn has two of best beaches in the Belfast area and within the Crawfordsburn Country Park, on the southern shores of Belfast Lough. The river Crawfordsburn flows into Belfast Lough on the beach. Some good coast trails and walks.

  • Ballyhalbert Beach

    Ballyhalbert beach is sandy in a small village with a harbour on the east (Irish Sea) coast of the Ards Peninsula between Ballywalter and Portavogie. Just past the harbour is mainland Irelands most easterly point – Burr Point. Ballywalter also has a nature reserve, an old castle mound and the read more

  • Ballyholme Bay Beach

    Ballyholme Bay beach is a sandy crescent beach of approximatey 1 mile, popular with families and sport enthusiasts. A traditional seaside resort. An all year round favorite with windsurfers and kitesurfers. Why not take the popular walk along the promenade towards the National Trust Wildlife Preserve at Ballymacormick Point.

  • Millisle Lagoon Beach

    Millisle Beach is close to the seaside town of Millisle making it convenient and a perfect spot with its wide, golden sands and lagoon. Having the lagoon makes this beach perfect for families as swimming is really safe and there is a jetty and slipway as well for boats and read more

  • Tyrella Beach

    Tyrella Beach lies in Dundrum Bay and is a very wide sandy beach about two kilometres long with miles of sand dunes and conservation area at its back. It’s a wonderful conservation area and the beach has won the numerous awards. Parking is not close as this is a car free read more

  • Murlough Beach

    Murlough Beach is a wide flat sandy beach with a pebble ridge above high water mark that runs for a length of 6km (5 miles) between Newcastle and Dundrum. The beach is backed by a large sand dune system designated as a National Nature Reserve. There is network of paths read more

  • Cloughey Bay Beach

    Cloughey has one of the most beautiful beaches in the Ards Peninsula boasting a wide sweep of sand with miles of sand dunes and a castle to explore! The bay faces South East with a long spit of stones providing protection from the Irish Sea swell. Cloughey Bay due to the read more

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