Murlough Beach

Murlough Beach - County Down
© Paul McIlroy and licensed for reuse under this Licence

Murlough is a vast, five-mile long, golden sand beach, nestling under the beautiful Mourne Mountains.  The winds along this stretch of the coast can be strong, making it a popular place for surfing, kite surfing, and windsurfing. However, the main attraction of the area is walking, either along the beautiful sandy beach, or amongst the sand dunes. 

Behind the beach, Murlough Nature Reserve, a 6000 year old system of dunes is renowned for its wildlife, being home to a diverse range of plant and animal life including badgers, stoats and 23 species of butterfly, as well as a large variety of birdlife. The reserve became Ireland’s first nature reserve, after the National Trust took ownership in 1967.  

Seals are also a common sight along the coast, and porpoises can occasionally be spotted in the waters. Dogs must be kept on a lead in the nature reserve. 

The closest parking is the Murlough National Nature Reserve Car Park, located next to Lazy BJ Ranch and Mourneview Caravan Parks. There are also toilets here. To access the beach, visitors must walk a few hundred meters through the nature reserve.

The nearest town to the beach is Newcastle, about two miles to the south west of the nature reserve. It can be reached directly along the beach, past the Royal County Down Golf Club. It is a small resort town with plenty of facilities to cater to every need, including two open air swimming pools and a promenade along the seafront.

During the summer months there is a lifeguard service at Murlough.

Type of beach


Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Dogs allowed

No dog restrictions.

County Down dog friendly beaches »


  • Kite surfing
  • Surfing
  • Wind surfing


  • Toilets
  • Disabled facilities

Nearest town


OS grid ref.

SB 4896 8856


Parking is available but invoolves a short walk over the dunes

Water quality

Water quality star rating


Blue Flag Award

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