This rocky outcrop along the shores of Belfast Lough, on the west side of Groomsport is covered in gorse and shrubs, good for rough walking, and for spotting birds, flowers and foxes.

Ballymacormick is just on the edge of Belfast Lough, so there are interesting views north and west.

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Walk Route

Ballymacormick Point



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  • Was horrified to see a large gorse fire on friday 27th July 2018 at ballymacormick point. We were dog walking on ballyholme beach and at first saw puffs of grey smoke which increased to thick black smoke and tall orange flames into the air. The fire brigade arrived and gained access to the point from across wheat/barley fields and even as they hosed the fire from across the coastal path, it was re-egniting in patches. The whole cliff-face at the wooden seat with the map is blackened and gorse standing dead. The wildlife, birds and coastal habitat e.g. lovely yellow wild irises are ruined. Can anything be done to stop this destruction? What is the National Trust’s solution to this matter?

    sylvia hamilton at 12:48 pm
  • County Down

    Distance 2 miles

    OS Map 15

    Terrain Rocky coastal path, and footpath

    Nearest Town Groomsport

    Route Shape Linear

    Grid Reference J52500 82500

    Route Type Coastal

    The National Trust acquired Ballymacormick Point in 1952 to save this breathtaking section of coastline from being developed.

    Since then, its importance for nature conservation has being recognised through designation as an Area of Special Scientific Interest. It also forms part of the Outer Ards Special Protection Area, recognising its importance on a European scale.

    Ballymacormick Point can be accessed from either Groomsport Harbour or Ballyholme Bay, by following the North Down Coastal Path/Ulster Way. There are stunning views across Belfast Lough to Carrickfergus and as far as the Mull of Galloway on a clear day.

    The informal path meanders around the coastline around Ballymacormick Point through flower-rich grasslands and gorse scrub.

    Visitors will see plenty of birds throughout the year. The coastline supports a range of waterbirds including brent geese which come here in winter from their breeding grounds in Arctic Canada. Both shelduck and oystercatcher breed and you may even catch a glimpse of a seal hauled out on the rocks.

    The National Trust also owns Cockle Island within Groomsport Harbour. This important seabird colony is home to three species of tern, including nationally important numbers of Sandwich and Arctic terns. Cameras on Cockle Island beam live footage of breeding seabirds into the Cockle Row Seabird Centre in Groomsport. This a joint project between National Trust, North Down Borough Council and British Trust for Ornithology. For opening hours, contact: (028) 9127 0069.

    For more information on Ballymacormick Point, contact the National Trust on (028) 4278 7769.

    Ballymacormick Point, Groomsport

    The route can be started from either end of the route, at Banks Car Park at Ballyholme Bay or from Groomsport.

    Translink – journeyplanner.translink.co.uk

    Dogs are allowed. Dogs must be kept under close control

    There are no shops or toilet facilities on site. There are a number of shops, cafes restaurants and toilet facilities in Groomsport.

    Grade 4

    • The path may not be hard and firm in all weathers with loose stones (not bigger than 10cm) with occasional tree roots and pot holes and will be at least 80cm wide for its entire length.
    • The path gradients and cross slopes will be greater than 6 degrees
    • Obstacles such as steps or stiles are to be expected and surface breaks may be larger 75mm in width.
    • There will be a clear head height of greater than 2.10m for the entire length of the route.
    • Passing places and rest areas may not be formalised or provided.