Bangor – Ulster Scots Walk

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This 3mile coastal walk goes from Bangor’s Ballyholme Beach to Groomsport and back. Both settlements were developed by Sir James Hamilton and his Scottish tenants in the early 1600’s, so the area has strong Ulster-Scots connections.

Aerial view of Bangor coastline.
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Walk Route

Bangor – Ulster Scots Walk

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County Down

Distance 3 miles

OS Map 15

Terrain Rocky coastal path, and footpath

Nearest Town Bangor

Route Shape Circular

Grid Reference J52500 82500

Route Type Coastal

Route Description

A path at the eastern end of the beach skirts around Ballymacormick Point and along the short to Groomsport harbour. It’s mostly flat but certain sections may not be accessible for all users. The Ballymacormick carpark is off the Groomsport road and is the starting place for this dander. Take the steps down to the beach and turn right following the curve of the shore all the way. The beach ends in a line of boulders but the walk continues along a thin path. There is a bench which is a good place to pause, looking back across the bay at the town.

Continue along the path between fields and rocky shore. Thick gorse bushes soon flank the trail – a feature of so much of the coast both here and in Scotland, and a feature too of much Ulster-Scots poetry.

The trail continues above calm little coves and inlets. On a clear day you can see Scotland. You’ll have to turn back once you reach the harbour. Retrace your steps to return to Bangor.

Check out the additional videos with more Ulster-Scots details about the area. The videos are designed for smart phones or tablets so you can listen while you walk:

Additional content:

Point of Interest

Ballymacormick Point, Groomsport

Getting to the start

The Ballymacormick carpark is off the Groomsport road and is the starting place for this dander.

Public transport

Translink –

Dog Policy

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.

Accessibility Grade

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.