With over 70km of coastline, Louth has several Blue Flag sandy beaches offering unrivalled family fun, activitives and water sports. Nature lovers will enjoy the coastal parks, beauty spots and bird watching reserves dotted around the County. All beaches have stunning views, are popular with bathers on hot days and walkers of all kinds.
Seapoint Beach, accessed in 2 places via Termonfeckin Village, and Baltray is overlooked by 2 top class golf links, and boasts a shipwreck. Popular with locals who flock there on hot days and walkers in all weathers.
Clogherhead beach boasts stunning views, miles of sand, and a water adventure centre. The beach has received the International Blue Flag award for 2019, and is lifeguard patrolled during the bathing season. Lifeguard times can be on the information notice board at the beach.
Clogherhead headland is the only high, rocky headland on the east coast between the Mournes and Howth in County Dublin. It is also of international significance for its geology as the site where the Iapetus Suture reaches Ireland's east coast. Clogherhead is a Special Area of Conservation and is also listed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty because it supports rare, coastal heathland vegetation. there are several informal paths over the headland between the village and Port Oriel and is well worth a visit. Grey seals are often seen in the harbour, waiting for fish waste. Black guillemots nest in special ‘burrows’ in the harbour wall.
Port beach is located a few kilometres north of the fishing village of Clogherhead. It is a popular destination in summer due to its Blue Flag status (awarded annually), wide sandy beach and dunes, stunning view of the Mournes and a wide range of flora and fauna. Lifeguards patrol this beach during bathing season (check notice board locally).
Annagassan was originally a small port with a busy harbour pier, Vikings raided and plundered Ireland for much of the ninth century, eventually establishing two outposts. The fates of those two settlements couldn't be more different. The Dubh Linn outpost became Dublin, but the other was lost forever... until now.
Annagassan has a great history, according to The Annals of Ulster, the Vikings started wreaking havoc on Ireland in 795, but eventually they settled down enough to found a couple of longphorts, (term used in Ireland for Viking ship enclosure). Dubh Linn and Linn Duachaill. The ultimate fate of Linn Duachaill had been an archaeological mystery for centuries, until the recent announcement that the settlement had been found 45 miles north of Dublin in the village of Annagassan. The recent evidence uncovered indicates that Linn Duchaill was a significant Viking settlement with evidence of shipbuilding, carpentry, smelting, and even an artificial island that would have been used for defence against the locals.
Blacrock (Na Creaghacha Dubha) is a rapidly expanding seaside village on the coast south east from Dundalk. The town and shoreline have many natural assets including inter-tidal mudflats, river estuary, salt marshes, coastal rock outcrops, hedgerows, mature stands of trees, drystone walls, scrubland and small watercourses. The entire shoreline is designated as a Specially Protected Area (SPA) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The village also features a choice of select accommodation, bars, cafes and Dundalk Golf Club, making it the perfect place to visit and relax.
Dundalk Bay is a very large, open, shallow, sea bay with extensive saltmarshes and intertidal sand/mudflats, extending some 16km from Castletown River on the Cooley Peninsula in the north to Annagassan/Salterstown in the south. The bay encompasses the mouths and estuaries of the Rivers Dee, Glyde, Fane, Castletown and Flurry. The site contains five habitats listed under the EU Habitats Directive, i.e. perennial vegetation of stony banks, tidal mudflats, salt marshes, Salicornia mudflats and estuaries.
The extensive sand flats and mud flats (over 4,000 ha) have a rich fauna of bivalves molluscs, marine worms and crustaceans and are the main food resource of the tens of thousands of waterfowl (including waders and gulls) which feed in the intertidal area of Dundalk Bay. This site is one of the most important wintering waterfowl sites in the country and one of the few which regularly supports more than 20,000 waterfowl. It supports three species in numbers of International Importance and a further 15 species in numbers of National Importance. The populations of Golden Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit, Red-throated and Great Northern Divers are of particular note as these species are listed on Annex I of the EU Birds Directive. The site is also a designated Ramsar site. The site is monitored annually as part of I-WeBS.
Gyles' Quay is a stretch of beach located approx 18 km south of Dundalk. Tourists are drawn to the area for the long beach expanse and the caravan park located overlooking the area.
Templetown Beach on the Cooley Peninsula is a sandy, sheltered beach protected on each side by low level rock promontories. It is ideal for young families and visitors to the beach can swim, walk, kite surf and take part in many other water sports. The beach is lifeguarded during the bathing season and more information can be found on the notice board located at the beach. There is a car park at the beach and toilet facilities are provided. The beach has received the International Blue Flag award for 2019.