Renowned for its magnificent expanse of sandy beach
Cloughey is located in the most easterly part of Ireland. It is a quiet pretty village with a beautiful sandy beach and unique flora and fauna. Traditionally a seaside getaway, the village will take you back to days gone by.
It dates back to the early 17th century when the Savage family built Kirkistown Castle. The castle was occupied until 1731, then it was deserted. However, in the 1800s the tower house was remodelled in gothic style. Parts of the bawn wall survive with three-quarter round flanker towers at the angles. The Castle is undergoing renovation work and opens periodically.
During the Second World War several airfields were developed on the Ards Peninsula. These were mainly used by the American Air Force. One of these airfields was at Kirkistown, just outside Cloughey. (After the war the airfield was converted into a motor racing track.)
Cloughey also once had an important RNLI lifeboat station which was established in 1884 and remained in service until 1965 saving many lives during its time of operation.
Interestingly, the original village of Cloughey (or Cloghy as it is shown on old maps) was at the south end of the beach.
The village's sandy beach makes a superb spot to spend a sunny day; paddling, playing tennis and in the playpark with the little ones. It is easily accessed by visitors of all ages and levels of mobility thanks to recently installed boardwalks, accessed at the northern and southern ends of the beach. Visitors can reach the shoreline without trampling the dunes or disturbing their rare and valuable plant life. A decked rest area provides the perfect vantage point to enjoy breathtaking views over the coast. The boardwalk is also popular with walkers.
There is a diverse and sensitive environment at Cloughey, in particular at the sand dunes, which are a Designated Area of Special Scientific Interest.
The south end of Cloughey beach is an excellent spot for birdwatching. Winter is the best time to see wading birds as most of them migrate to northern breeding grounds in the summer. Serious birdwatchers often call in at Cloughey and about two years ago a rare American visitor, the white-rumped sandpiper, was spotted.
In 2016, Cloughey’s two tennis courts were replaced with three new 'state of the art' outdoor carpet courts for all-year-round play. There is also a bowls complex where visitors can enjoy a game.
A designated ‘stopping point’ on the Mourne Coastal Route, the village as an ideal spot for visitors to take a break and enjoy some ‘time out’ in stunning coastal surroundings.