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Ballywalter Harbour

Your Comments: 6 Read or add your comments

Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign


54° 32.65 N 005° 26.2 W


AC2156 East Coast & Strangford Lough, SC5612 Portavogie to Ballywalter, Imray C62 Irish Sea

Rules & Regulations

None Known


Skulmartin Rock Posn 54° 32.327’N, 005° 27.154’W Unlit Beacon stands above rocks which are awash at half tide.

Tidal Data Times & Range

HW as Dover. MHWS 4.7m MHWN 3.9m MLWN 1.4m MLWS 0.6

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General Description

Contacts The harbour comes under the control of the HM at Donaghadee 02891 882377 but the day to day running of the harbour is left to the incumbants.  There's no point in phoning the HM to book a berth as he'll have no idea what's in or out at the time you call!!

Having said that the Council has spent a bit of money here improving the infrastructure; the harbour wall is in a good state of repair and is no longer delineated by weeds. They are intending to put some visitors buoys outside the harbour.

This is a very small harbour which dries at low water.  It has been included in this directory because it has been found to provide a useful place to stop and wait for the tide if crossing to the Irish Coast from Holyhead northbound.

In settled off shore winds it is possible to anchor off the pier head and either set off again at High Water to go further North (Glenarm would be in easy reach) or if your boat can take the ground go inside and rest for a couple of tides.  The harbour was built to service a nearby limekiln and was fairly busy as a port due to the proximity of Scotland over the North Channel.  That has died out now and the town is very quiet having only a pub and a few shops.

In the summer it is popular because of the beach to the south and once a year it becomes the focus of visitors to the Northern Ireland Game Fair held in the nearby Ballywalter Park.

There is Drone video of the harbour at:-



Off the Skulmartin Rock the rates are up to about 2.5 knots springs and....

.... may be expected to funnel a little stronger through the gap between them and the coast. There are no reports of a counter eddy in the bay.

The approach is fairly simple. Aim to pass just to the North of the Skulmartin rocks and pick up a line with the Church Spire in line with the pierhead on a bearing of about 272°T.  Drop anchor off the pierhead in about 4 to 5m where the bottom is sandy and provides good holding.

As has been said it may be possible to pick up an alongside mooring later in the flood but there are several small fishing boats operating out of here so it’s a case of negotiating some room with the local people.

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

This has been dealt with above. There are no harbour dues here.


There’s water available and it is possible to get diesel delivered here. If you have a long enough shore line there is electricity on a coin operated outlet on the pier. 

There are a quite few shops for basic supplies (including a butcher's shop) but,regrettably, the petrol station has closed. Buses call here on the way to Newtownards and Donaghadee.

Eating, Drinking & Entertainment

There’s a nice pub, along with several restaurants/cafes and take-aways.


Restaurants & Places to Eat in Ballywalter 2022 - Tripadvisor


Your Ratings & Comments

Written by Don Thomson 3 | 27th Jul 2022
No changes
Update Early Summer 2021
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 17th Jun 2021
No changes
Update Spring 2019
Written by Don Thomson 3 | 1st May 2019
These notes were reviewed in May 2019. We've uploaded a new chart.
Written by Don Thomson | 5th Apr 2017
These notes were reviewed by Don in April 2107. There are no signs that this harbour is being developed as a leisure destination
Update 2015
Written by dononshytalk | 17th Mar 2015
These notes were reviewed by Don in March 2015. No changes
Update November 2013
Written by dononshytalk | 4th Nov 2013
These notes were reviewed by Don Thomson in November 2013. There are no changes apart from the closure of the petrol station
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