The Info List - Carlingford Lough

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Carlingford Lough
(Irish: Loch Cairlinn; Ulster Scots: Carlinford Loch[1] or Cairlinfurd Loch)[2] is a glacial fjord or sea inlet that forms part of the border between Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
to the north and the Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
to the south. On its northern shore is County Down and on its southern shore is County Louth. At its extreme interior angle (the northwest corner) it is fed by the Newry River
Newry River
and the Newry
Canal. The name is derived from the Old Norse
Old Norse
Kerlingfjǫrðr, which means "narrow sea-inlet of the hag".[3] Historically it was called Cuan Snámh-Aighneach, Snámh-Aighneach or Cuan Cairlinne in Irish.[4] An older English name was Nury (Newry) Bay.[5]


1 Geography 2 Tourism 3 Flora and fauna 4 Protected areas 5 Railway access 6 See also 7 References 8 External links

Geography[edit] The Newry River
Newry River
and the Newry Canal
Newry Canal
link the lough to the nearby city of Newry
(the canal continues on towards the River Bann
River Bann
and Lough Neagh; the river, under the name River Clanrye, loops around County Down). The only other glacial fjords in Ireland are Lough
Swilly and Killary Harbour.[6] On the northern coast, in County Down, are the coastal towns of Warrenpoint
and Rostrevor, backed by the Mourne Mountains. On the southern coast are Omeath, Carlingford and Greenore
backed by the Cooley Mountains, all on the Cooley Peninsula
Cooley Peninsula
in County Louth. The seaward entrance to the lough is marked by the Haulbowline Lighthouse, which was built in 1824. Tourism[edit] The area has been a popular tourist destination since Victorian times when the railway between Dublin and Belfast
was opened. Situated approximately halfway between the two cities, the easy access to the area combined with its scenery and sheltered location are still important factors in its popularity today. This is where the "Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the Sea"' and together with the Sleve Foy ridge on the County Louth
County Louth
shore of the lough they offer scenic drives, forest parks and many miles of good footpaths and trails to explore. Rambling, hillwalking and climbing are popular, with local outdoor education centres offering courses and activity holidays. It's a similar story on the water, with marinas in Carlingford and Warrenpoint. Craft of various types can be hired at both locations, or the visitor can take a cruise on one of several tour vessels that operate from Omeath, Warrenpoint
and Carlingford during the peak season of June, July and August. Culturally, there is a varied offering of events and festivals. Highlights include the International Blues on the Bay Festival at the end of May in Warrenpoint, Carlingford Oyster Festival, Newry
Arts Festival, The "Maiden of the Mournes" in Warrenpoint, Rostrevor's "Fiddlers Green International Folk Festival"' and the Mourne Walking Festival which involves a wide programme of events at a variety of locations. The majority of these festivals are free, although bookings and or entry fees may be payable for some events. More informal entertainment is widely available throughout the year in hotels and bars. Short-term tourist accommodation includes award-winning hotels, B&Bs, self-catering holiday cottages, and campsites, although is interspersed among residential dwellings in an unregulated an wanton manner which dramatically reduces quality of life and wellbeing of many of Carlingford's residents. Early booking is always advisable during holiday periods as even the campsites are often full to capacity. Opportunities to eat out are largely confined to the Hotels, small restaurants and local bars (although many smaller bars do not serve meals), but there is generally a good balance between quality and value for money. However, long term residential possibilities in Carlingford village are dwindling. In a recent town planning meeting, long term residential provision and quality of same were ranked #18 on the compiled list of planning considerations going forward in the area, being outranked largely by suggestions to improve tourism and therefore business for the village's longest established families. In 2008, the area was designated a European Destination of Excellence (EDEN), and continuing investment in infrastructure, services and facilities on both sides of the border is assured. Flora and fauna[edit] The northern shores have extensive mudflats and salt marshes which provide winter feeding areas for the pale-bellied brent goose (Branta bernicla hrota). At the mouth of the lough are several small rock and shingle islands which are breeding areas for terns that feed in its shallow waters.

The mouth of Carlingford Lough
from Knockree.

Protected areas[edit] The Lough
is an Important Bird Area.[7] The Carlingford Lough
Ramsar site (wetlands of international importance designated under the Ramsar Convention), is 830.51 hectares in area, at latitude 54 03 00 N and longitude 06 07 00 W. It was designated a Ramsar site on 9 March 1998. It is a cross-border site. The northern shore is in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
and includes the most significant mudflats in the lough, and an area of salt marsh. The southern shore is in the Republic of Ireland. At the mouth of the lough are several small rock and shingle islands which are of importance to terns.[8] The Ramsar Site lies between Killowen
Point and Soldiers Point on the northern shores of Carlingford Lough
and the landward boundary coincides entirely with that of the Carlingford Lough
Area of Special Scientific Interest and the Carlingford Lough Special
Protection Area.[9] The site qualified under Criterion 2 of the Ramsar Convention
Ramsar Convention
because it supports important groups of vulnerable and endangered Irish Red Data Book bird species. It supports nationally important breeding populations of common tern. Roseate terns returned to the site after an absence of six years with two breeding pairs recorded in 1997. It has also supported nationally important numbers of Arctic tern.[8] It also qualified under Criterion 3c for supporting internationally important breeding populations of Sandwich tern
Sandwich tern
and of overwintering light-bellied brent geese.[9] Railway access[edit] Newry
is the nearest station located on the Dublin- Belfast
railway line with trains running on the Enterprise between Belfast
Central, Portadown and Dublin Connolly, whilst other trains may call at additional stations en route to Belfast
Great Victoria Street. See also[edit]

List of loughs in Ireland


^ North-South Ministerial Council: 2010 Annual Report in Ulster Scots Archived 27 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Jordan's Castle – Department of the Environment ^ "Carlingford", Placenames Database of Ireland, retrieved 8 December 2011 . ^ Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland: Index (1856) ^ Placenames Database of Ireland: Carlingford Lough
(see archival records) ^ Whittow, J.B. Geology and Scenery in Ireland. Penguin, 1974. ^ BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Carlingford Lough. Downloaded from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 July 2007. Retrieved 2012-10-20.  on 17/06/2015 ^ a b "Designated and Proposed Ramsar sites in Northern Ireland" (PDF). Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Retrieved 7 July 2008.  ^ a b "Carlingford Lough
Ramsar site". NI Environment Agency. Archived from the original on 23 December 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2008. 

External links[edit]

Official Carlingford Online website Links to Omeath
and Carlingford area information on Omeath
Online Information about the Connemara-Retriever disaster @ the BBC Landscapes Unlocked – Aerial footage from the BBC Sky High series explaining the physical, social and economic geography of Northern Ireland Carlingford and Cooley Tourism Association website

v t e

Places in County Down

List of places in County Down


(part) Lisburn
(part) Newry


Ballynahinch Banbridge Bangor Carryduff Comber Donaghadee Downpatrick Dromore Dundonald Holywood Kilkeel Newcastle Newtownards Warrenpoint

Villages and townlands

Annahilt Annalong Annsborough Ardglass Attical Aughnacloy Ballela Balloo Ballybannan Ballydargan Ballygowan Ballyhalbert Ballyhay Ballyholme Ballyhornan Ballykinler Ballylesson Ballylough Ballymacmaine Ballymartin Ballynagarrick Ballynahatty Ballynoe Ballyskeagh Ballywalter Benraw Blackskull Bleary Braniel Bryansford Burren Cabra Carnalea Carrowdore Castlewellan Clandeboye Cloghy Clough Conlig Corbet Corcreeny/Gibson's Hill Crawfordsburn Cregagh Crossgar Cultra Derryneill Dollingstown Donaghcloney Dromara Drumaness Drumbeg Drumbo Drumlough, Hillsborough Drumlough, Rathfriland Dundrum Dunnaval Edenderry Gamblestown Gilford Gilnahirk Gransha Greencastle Greyabbey Groomsport Helen's Bay Hillhall Hillsborough Hilltown Katesbridge Kilcoo Kilcooley Killinchy Killinure Killough Killowen Killyleagh Kinallen Kircubbin Lawrencetown Legacurry Legananny Leitrim Lenaderg Loughbrickland Loughinisland Lurganare Lurganville Magheraconluce Magheralin Mayobridge Maze Millisle Moira Moneyreagh Moneyslane Monteith Portaferry Portavogie Poyntzpass Rathfriland Ravernet Ringhaddy Rostrevor Saintfield Saul Scarva Seaforde Seahill Sheeptown Shrigley Spa Strangford Struell Tievenadarragh Tullylish Tullynakill Waringsford Waringstown Whiterock


Ards Peninsula Burr Point Carlingford Lough Cloughmore Copeland Islands Cranfield Point Lecale peninsula Lough
Island Reavy Mournes Slieve Croob Strangford


Ards Lower Ards Upper Castlereagh Lower Castlereagh Upper Dufferin Iveagh Lower Iveagh Upper Kinelarty Lecale Lower Lecale Upper Lordship of Newry Mourne

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