WalkNI.com Your definitive guide to walking in Northern Ireland
Quality Walk

Ballymacormick Point

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.




2 miles

OS Map


Nearest Town


Route Shape


Route Type



Rocky Coastal Path, and footpath

Grid Reference (Start)

J525 825

Grid Reference (End)

J539 833

Point of Interest

Ballymacormick Point, Groomsport

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Other Area

Route Description

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. 

Getting to the Start (by Public Transport)

Translink - journeyplanner.translink.co.uk

Getting to the Start (by Car)

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

Getting to the Start (on Foot)

Access can be from the North Down Coastal Path.


Dogs are allowed. Dogs must be kept under close control

Accessibility Grade

Grade 4


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

Walk Location
Map of Northern Ireland
Image Gallery
Maps and Downloads

Ratings and Comments

sylvia hamilton 31 July, 2018 @ 19:59

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?

WalkNI 23 August, 2016 @ 11:28

Response from National Trust:

There is an ongoing issue with coastal deposition continually blocking the culvert underneath the path, which causes the stream to back up periodically and in hot water it can stagnate and get smelly.

We have sought advice and unfortunately there is very little we can do about this as the coastline is designated as SPA/ASSI.

Sylvia Hamilton 14 August, 2016 @ 18:25

National Trust - can someone please clear out the stinking water in the little stream which runs in the culvert under the path which is not far from the beach side of the point. We have seen it twice and it catches your breath. It is the only bad point of this area of beauty. Many thanks.

Flobang 17 November, 2015 @ 11:36

Good walk with a mix of beach and path. Dog walkers be aware of beach restrictions at certain times of the year.

Unfortunately some dog owners seem to have an inability to clear up after their dogs but I don't let this put me off as the walk is very scenic and a good way to relax while taking in the varied scenery around you.

You can retrace the route for a return to your starting point or for the more adventurous amongst you you can keep walking and tag your walk into the rest of the gorgeous North Down Coastal Path.

Derek Flack 5 August, 2015 @ 12:54

A pleasant short walk with a rich variety of wildflowers to discover. I chose a very wet, miserable morning but the path was still quite busy with joggers and dog-walkers. Not a walk for anyone nervous about dogs.

Add Your Rating

Know a good walk that is not included on the site?

Suggest a Walk >