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.
Distance 2.1 miles
OS Map 15
Terrain Rocky Coastal Path, and footpath
Nearest Town Groomsport
Route Shape Linear
Grid Reference J525 825
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 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.
- 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°.
- 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.
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walked this a couple.of weekd ago. started at Ballyholme beach and followed the coast. walk was clear and mainly flat. Gorgeous views across the bay and back to Bangor. Walked to Groomspor and had a cheeky wine in the Groomsport arms. Lovely couple.of hours!
I did this walk almost every day during lockdown and now as many times as I can fit it in around work and the fading light. It’s a popular route especially for dog walkers and families but equally it can be very peaceful. The track is a bit uneven so supportive footwear is necessary but a good trainer is sufficient. There is one very short section which has a slope and goes a bit narrow but apart from that it’s a beautiful walk. It gets a bit muddy after rain and rain will stay on ground for a few days after but the wind will get rid of this eventually. Don’t wear your best trainers! Lots of birds and a resident heron frequently near the groomsport end adds to the magic of this walk. Pitch black at night so best avoided due to risk of trips but a very safe walk day to day for people walking alone.
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?