Best beaches in County Down

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Below are a list of the top 12 beaches in County Down as selected by the users of the Beach Guide website.

The current most popular beach in County Down is Murlough. If you would like to have your say on which are the best beaches in County Down just follow the link to the beach and vote by clicking the star ratings at the top right of the page.

  • 1. Murlough Beach

    Murlough © Paul Mcilroy | BY-SA

    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…

  • 2. Tyrella Beach (Clough)

    Tyrella Beach (Clough) © Rod Allday | BY-SA

    The flat, wide, sandy beach of Tyrella in Downpatrick, County Down, is an enclosed two kilometre complex of dunes within Dundrum Bay. It backs on to 25 hectares of mature dunes located in a conservation area. There are pleasant scenic walks nearby, and the area is known as a haven for local fauna and flora.…

  • 3. Helens Bay

    Helens Bay © Eric Jones | BY-SA

    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…

  • 4. Warrenpoint Beach

    Warrenpoint © Oliver Dixon

    Warrenpoint Beach lies on the shores of Carlingford Loch, where the Clanrye River and Newry Canal enter the sea.  The views over the mouth of the loch and the scenic Mourne Mountains make this a beautiful location.

    The shingle beach slopes gently into the water and the beach is known for its many organised watersport activities. …

  • 5. Ballywalter Beach

    Ballywalter © Roberta Mckeown

    Ballywalter is a sandy beach to the south of Ballywalter village, stretching along the coast for about 3 kilometres. The beach is in a rural setting, backed mostly by fields, making it ideal for walkers looking for some peace and quiet. Families will enjoy Ballywalter as well, with a number of rockpools in the rocky…

  • 6. Millisle Lagoon Beach

    Millisle Lagoon © Rossographer | BY-SA

    Located on the doorstep of the seaside village of Millisle is a small sandy beach.

    The beach forms a natural seawater lagoon which makes it ideal for swimming. There is also a large open air pool located next to the beach.

    Along with a jetty, slipways and rockpools there is plenty of exploring to be…

  • 7. Newcastle Beach

    Newcastle © Eric Jones | BY-SA

    This sand and pebble beach lies next to the small seaside resort town of Newcastle, where the beautiful Mourne Mountains sweep down to the sea. The beach is about a mile and a half long, and the scenic views of the nearby mountains make this a popular destination for walkers. Murlough Beach and Murlough National…

  • 8. Groomsport Beach

    Groomsport © Ross | BY-SA

    Groomsport is a small, attractive, sandy beach, backed by the residential part of the picturesque village of the same name. A promenade runs along the western end of the beach. A number of rocky outcrops ensure that rockpooling is a popular pastime on the beach, as are bird-watching, and walking. Parking is available next to…

  • 9. Rossglass Beach

    Rossglass © Alastair Rae

    A large sandy beach extending for over a mile. Sandy shingle at high tide with rocks beyond the shoreline

  • 10. Ballyholme Beach

    Ballyholme © Ross | BY-SA

    Ballyholme is a sandy beach in a crescent-shaped bay in an eastern suburb of the town of Bangor. The strand stretches for slightly over one kilometer, and is interspersed by a number of wooden groynes. For most of its length, Ballyholme beach is backed by a sea wall, with a walking promenade above it. The…

  • 11. Ballyhalbert Beach

    Ballyhalbert © Ross | BY-SA

    Ballyhalbert is a kilometer-long beach with a rock and pebble top section. At low tide, a wide expanse of flat sand is exposed. The beach is a good spot for both fishing and walking, whilst boating trips from the harbour are also popular. The area is part of a peninsula formed by Strangford Lough and…

  • 12. Cranfield Bay

    Cranfield Bay © Albert Bridge | BY-SA

    Cranfield Bay is a sand and shingle beach in front of Cranfield Bay Holiday Park. It offers excellent views of the mouth of Carlingford Lough, the surrounding Mourne Mountains and out to Haulbowline Lighthouse. 

    Towards the western end, the beach is backed by a promenade and a grassy area, a good spot for picnics, with a…