Helens Bay

Helen’s Bay is a popular sandy beach, next to the village bearing the same name. The village was built in the mid-19th century after the construction of the Belfast and County Down Railway, with aspirations of becoming a luxury holiday resort for visitors from the city. The closest city is Bangor, but it is also close to Belfast, making it very popular with day trippers.
The railway station is only about 500 meters from the beach.

The sands shelve gently into the sea and the water is very clean, making this a good destination for summer bathing. The beach is considered to be one of the best in the Belfast area but this means it can get quite busy at peak times.

The local area is a haven for wildlife.  Look out over Belfast Bay, for seals and porpoises which can sometimes be spotted off-shore.  During the summer months, eider ducks and terns can be spotted in the surrounding area.  In winter, wading birds make their home here.

The beach is backed by Helen’s Bay Golf Club, and also by Crawfordsburn County Park where visitors can enjoy tranquil footpaths leading through fields and wooded areas. The park boasts a spectacular waterfall.

There is a car park along Grey Point, about 100 meters from the beach. There are also public toilets located here.

Grey Point Fort, a gun emplacement built in 1904 and improved during the Second World War is close to the beach. The site is home to a small museum.

Type of beach


Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

There is a dog ban during the summer months

County Down dog friendly beaches »


  • Picnic area

Nearest town


OS grid ref.

NW 5922 3732


Parking available though there is a charge.

Water quality

Water quality star rating


Marine Conservation Society Recommended

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Helens Bay Reviews

Helen’s Bay

Jun 20th 2019

What a beautiful place.We arrived early and left late.A fantastic day plus the added bonus of a lovely suntan.Weve been goingt to Helen’s Bay for years despite living in the UK. Many happy memories dating back to 1981-1984 when I lived in NI. What a beautiful Isle it is and certainly lives up to its name of THE EMERALD ISLE

What did we get wrong?