Home to one of Northern Ireland’s most popular country parks...
Lof pottery, the Old Inn, Old Inn, waterfall
The small village of Crawfordsburn grew around a 17th century coaching house (now transformed into a luxury hotel, The Old Inn). The village is now mainly a commuter suburb although it is home to one of Northern Ireland’s most popular country parks.
With two excellent beaches, spectacular scenery and views across Belfast Lough, tranquil walks through peaceful meadows and wooded glens and a stunning waterfall, Crawfordsburn Country Park provides a relaxing natural retreat.
Its sandy beaches are exceptionally popular and well used. Both boast gentle shelving and excellent water quality that are ideal for bathing. But take care - Crawfordsburn beach is occasionally effected by the wake from high speed ferries!
The country park’s facilities include a large visitor centre and café, an Adidas-approved 5K running trail, a new natural play area and a geology garden. Crawfordsburn Scout Activity Centre is adjacent to the Country Park. It consists of 22 acres (9 hectares) of camping ground including several accommodation buildings. There is free parking at the country park, as well as public toilets and a café.
The park is home to a wide range of wildlife which include hedgehogs, rabbits, badgers, a large rookery and jays in the wooded glen, grey wagtails and dippers along the streams and seals, herons, shags, guillemots. In winter, Brent geese can be seen when walking along the Park's coastal path.
Its coastal path is part of the North Down coastal path - a 16 mile route along one of the finest shoreline’s in Ireland. It is popular with walkers and runners alike. Download the Crawfordsburn and Helen's Bay Walking Trail (PDF)
The Park also includes Grey Point Fort - the old coastal defence at Grey Point. Grey Point Fort is one of the best preserved early 20th century coastal forts anywhere in the British Isles.
Grey Point Fort houses a most unusual hands-on military museum. Visitors can see the original observation post and three searchlight positions as well as an array of military memorabilia, including medals, uniforms, photographs and weaponry from the First and Second World Wars. There is also a unique collection of radio equipment, together with a section devoted to the Titanic. Expert guides are on hand to assist visitors of all ages.
Throughout holiday periods the Fort is open to the public and re-enactment days are held. It also hosts a number of special commemorative events during the year.
Please be aware that sections of the North Down Coastal Path follow private roads. Please respect the Highway Code when walking, cycling or running along these sections where residential traffic will have right of way. Northern Ireland has very few public rights of way and therefore in many areas walkers can only enjoy countryside walks because of the goodwill and tolerance of local landowners. In the interests of your own safety please be respectful when using the area for recreational purposes.