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. It dates back to the mid 1800s during which time 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 and 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 coastline that offers enjoyment for all, especially bathers and walkers. Along with its rock pools, ready for children to explore, there is also a small playground located nearby. At the Lime Kilns, a raised area provides great views of the Irish Sea coastline.
During the winter, Ballywalter Beach provides great opportunities for birdwatchers. It is used by over-wintering birds including Ring Plover, Golden Plover, Turnstone, Manx Shearwater to name but a few.
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; home to Lord and Lady Dunleath. It has been in their family for 70 years. Ballywalter Park is a Grade A* listed stately home, deemed to be of exceptional architectural importance. The mansion house, which was built in the Italianate Palazzo style by renowned architect, Sir Charles Lanyon, also boasts 30 acres of pleasure grounds. The walled demesne of 270 acres is home to one of Northern Ireland’s largest dairy herds. It is open to the public, by appointment only.
More information can be found at, The Second World War in Northern Ireland website; ww2ni.com