Seaside and holiday destination with an award winning beach
Ballywater is a popular seaside and holiday destination with an award winning beach and picturesque harbour that dates back to mid-1800s when it supported a small fishing industry.
The village itself was founded in the early 1600s when it was part of James Hamilton’s lands during the Ulster Scots settlement. It has strong links to the Irish rebellion of 1798 when a group of United Irishmen attempted the occupation of Newtownards in which nine men from the village were killed 13 wounded. After the insurrection bands of soldiers and yeomen scoured the country looking for United Irishmen. It is said locally that some Ballywalter men escaped capture by spending days at sea in hiding behind the Long Rock!
The area has been awarded a 2017 Seaside Award for its facilities and water quality. Ballywalter Beach is a long, sandy beach which offers enjoyment for all. Bathers and walkers can make use of this expansive stretch at Ballywalter Beach, along with its rock pools ready for children to explore. A small playground is located nearby, along with public toilets. At the Lime Kilns, a raised area provides great views of the Irish Sea coastline.
During the winter, Ballywalter Beach is used by over-wintering birds including Ring Plover, Golden Plover, Turnstone, Manx Shearwater to name but a few and provides great opportunities for birdwatchers.
In the village, visitors will find a selection of facilities such as places to eat, drink, and stay, as well as a small fishing harbour.
On the outskirts of the village lies Ballywalter Park estate. Ballywalter Park is a Grade A* listed stately home, deemed to be of exceptional architectural importance, on the outskirts of Ballywalter. The mansion house, which was built in the Italianate Palazzo style by renowned architect, Sir Charles Lanyon, also boasts 30 acres of pleasure grounds within the walled demesne of 270acres and is home to one of Northern Ireland’s largest dairy herds. It is home to Lord and Lady Dunleath and has been in their family for 70 years. It is open to the public, by appointment only.