Weekend Walk: Donaghadee Town Trail, Co Down

Ah, Donaghadee for a chip by the harbour

Area: Ards Peninsula

Distance: 1.5 miles circular

Map: Sheet 15 of Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland Discoverer Series available from Land & Property Services or

Facilities: Toilets and refreshments available in the town.

Publication: Donaghadee walking guide available online and at Ards Tourist Information Centre.

Terrain: Flat concrete footpaths.

Walk Description: Discover the history of Donaghadee town before taking a seat at the harbour to enjoy fish and chips and an ice cream.

Starting at the harbour, you will see the best-known landmark of this historical and popular seaside town, the lighthouse, at the end of the south pier. Enjoy the views across to the Copeland Islands. Once farmland, the three small islands – one of which, Mew, also has a lighthouse – are now home to colonies of sea birds and seals. Turning back towards the town along the pier, you will pass the lifeboat station which first made international headlines when its crew rescued survivors from the MV Princess Victoria sinking in 1953.

The trail will then take you to the Old Quarter where the street names serve as a reminder of the industries that once thrived in Donaghadee. It is also home to Rosebank, one of the town's oldest houses. Heading towards the centre of town you can visit an ancient walled garden before passing Grace Neill’s Bar. Dating from 1611, many claim this to be the oldest pub in Ireland. Continue past the Church of Ireland to the Moat which looks like an ancient castle and was actually built for storing gunpowder.

The last part of the walk will take you past the Moat Inn and the Manor Hall before passing a row of quaint redbrick coastguard cottages. Heading back to the harbour, you’ll skirt the sandy bay, which during low tide offers an easy walk out to the North Pier. From here return to the harbour and start of the walk.

Responsible Walking: Please remember to practice the principles of ’Leave No Trace’ when enjoying the outdoors in order to minimise your impact on the environment. For more information, visit

Disclaimer: This information has been provided by in association with The Irish News. Every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information. However, neither nor The Irish News can accept responsibility for errors or omissions. Where such are brought to our attention, the information for future publications will be amended accordingly.

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