Cloghy Rocks

Cloghy Rocks

A peaceful nature reserve with a small car park. Shore walking available.

As the Strangford Lough tide ebbs, seals haul out to rest on this group of rocks. Both Common and Grey seals may be easily viewed. Common seals favour the site for breeding, with pups being born in July. Energetic displays by males can be seen prior to mating in August.

The reserve covers a large area of foreshore between the high and low water marks. The variety of habitats, from rocks to fine mud are home to many small shellfish and worms, providing a rich feeding ground for shore birds.

Oystercatchers, redshank and other wading birds feed as the tide falls and later roost on the rocks and islands still exposed at high tide. Grey herons stand motionless for long periods, waiting to catch small fish or shore crabs. Mute swans nest on the adjacent islands. In the summer, common and sandwich terns dive for fish in the Strangford Narrows. The pale-bellied brent geese, so numerous in the north of the lough in early winter, appear here in March to graze eel-grass on the mud-flats.

Dense growths of brown seaweeds occur with clearly defined zones of different species running down the shore levels, from channelled wrack at the top to kelp at the lowest part of the shore. In summer, an edible red seaweed called dulse is harvested from around the rocks.




Opening Hours

Open all year round



No charge


No charge

Getting There

Take the A2 Shore Road south from the village of Strangford. The car park is on your left after 1.8km.

Walk Trails

Linear, 47 miles

Lecale Way. Long, flat walk around very scenic coastline.

Circular, 8.7 miles

Castle Ward Boundary Trail. A walking & cycling trail around the boundary of Castle Ward Dem.

Circular, 1.8 miles

Castle Ward Castle Trail. A short walk close to the shore of Strangford Lough..

Circular, 1.6 miles

Castle Ward Farm Trail. A cycling & walking trail through woodland and farmland.

Linear, 0.7 (one way) miles

Castle Ward Shore Trail. An all-ability multi-use trail on the shores of Strangford Lough.

Cycling Routes

Circular, 37 miles

Lecale Cycle Route. 37 mile circular route starting and ending in Downpatrick.

Circular, 82 miles (132km)

Strangford Lough Trail. Cycle through Saint Patrick's country and around one of Europe's most important wildlife sites..

Canoeing Routes

Strangford. On the Strangford Lough Canoe Trail.

Kilclief. On the East Coast Canoe Trail.


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+44 (0) 28 4461 5520


Shore Road

Image Gallery

Photo of Cloghy Rocks
This site is funded
courtesy of
Big Lottery Fund Ulster Garden Villages
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