North Down Coastal Path

Walking Route

North Down Coastal Path extends from Holywood in the west to Orlock in the east. The path passes through coastline and parkland. Historic relics and flora and fauna are found in abundance, including the grey seals which can be spotted offshore.

North Down Borough Council have recently carried out coastal path improvement works at Seahill that replaced steep steps with sections of upgraded path and an elevated walkway. The works at Seahill are now complete and the bridge and adjoining footpaths are open to the public.


16 miles

Start Point:


Finish Point:


Point of interest:

Grey Fort Point (battery and gun emplacement), views

Nearest town:

Holywood, Co Down

OS map:

Sheet 15


Bitmac, stone & grass paths


The walk begins at the Esplanade in Holywood. Walk under the railway arch and turn right. Follow the linear path along the outer edge of Belfast Lough towards Seapark, a recreational area with a play park.

Continue past the park towards the Royal North Yacht Club. From here follow the public footpath as it rejoins the Coastal Path. At this point a detour to the right will lead to the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum and the railway halt.

Continuing on the path leads to Craigavad, with the Royal Belfast Golf Club on the right. Beyond this point cross the bridge in front of Rockport Primary School.

About 2 miles further round the coast, a set of steep steps takes you inland at the Seahill Sewage Treatment and rejoins the coast path as you descend at the far end.

From here the path leads to Crawfordsburn Country Park, passing Grey Point Fort, Helen's Bay and through to Crawfordsburn Beach.

Leaving the path briefly, cross Swineley Bay and pick up the path at the far side. Continue walking along the path to Wilson's Point, where the path turns towards Bangor Marina.

From here follow the path round to Ballyholme Beach, which leads to the National Trust area of Ballymacormick Point. The path continues to Groomsport Harbour, where the path becomes rural in nature, crossing the beach area round towards Orlock Point, Portavo. A small lay-by indicates the end of the walk.


Toilets, accommodation and refreshments are available along the walk including in the villages and towns of Newtownards, Helens Bay, Groomsport & Bangor

Accessible toilet facilities:


Accessible terrain:

The route crosses a variety of surfaces including smooth concrete to beach and a rocky narrow shoreline section. Contact North Down Borough Council on 028 9127 0371


1. The Coastal Path – Map guide.

2. A Guide to the North Down Coastal Path

Publication availability:

1. Available in Tourist Information Centres, directly from North Down Borough Council or downloadable on this page.
2. Available to purchase for £1.50 at Tower House TIC in Bangor, Cockle Row in Groomsport and North Down Museum, Town Hall.

Getting to the start by public transport:

Holywood in Co Down can be accessed along A2 Belfast to Bangor Road by car, bus or train.

The nearest Tourist Information Centre is:

George Best Belfast City Airport Tourist Information Desk
  • Free (parking charges may apply)
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