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Cushendall

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Overview





Cushendall is situated on the northeast coast of Ireland about twelve miles south of Fair Head and three and a half miles northwest of Garron Point. Vessels may anchor off to the south of the village towards Red Bay, or pick up a club mooring.

Cushendall is a good anchorage offering shelter from westerly component conditions round to north-northwest and tucked into the bight of the bay is out of the run of the current. It is completely exposed to anything with an easterly component. Access is straightforward thanks to the absence of offshore dangers or any tidal restriction. The direction and velocity of the tide should be the central feature of any navigation planning in this area.
Please note

In Red Bay even moderate south or southwest winds blow with great violence down the valleys, coming off in heavy squalls. Vessels working their way in should be prepared for this and when these conditions exist expect it to be a characteristic of any stay. This is typically not an issue owing to the bay’s highly reliable holding.




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Keyfacts for Cushendall
Club  +44 28 2177 1673      secretary@csbc.co.uk    
Approaches
4 stars: Straightforward; when unaffected by weather from difficult quadrants or tidal consideration, no overly complex dangers.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.


Considerations
Note: fish farming activity in the vicinity of this locationNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require considerationNote: harbour fees may be charged


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderJetty or a structure to assist landingQuick and easy access from open waterNavigation lights to support a night approachSailing Club baseSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinityScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity
Facilities
Water available via tapGas availableTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions availableSlipway availableShore based toilet facilitiesShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaInternet café in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaChandlery available in the areaElectronics or electronic repair available in the areaBus service available in the areaBicycle hire available in the area

Last modified
May 30th 2017; suggest a correction?

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Now Force

Summary

A good location with straightforward access.

LWS draught

3 metres (9.84 feet).

Today's tide estimates

HW 01:59 (1.7m) LW 07:14 (0.4m)
HW 13:55 (1.8m) LW 19:44 (0.4m)
Now approaching Neaps

Swell today




Approaches
4 stars: Straightforward; when unaffected by weather from difficult quadrants or tidal consideration, no overly complex dangers.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.


Considerations
Note: fish farming activity in the vicinity of this locationNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require considerationNote: harbour fees may be charged


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationVisitors moorings available, or possibly by club arrangementBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderJetty or a structure to assist landingQuick and easy access from open waterNavigation lights to support a night approachSailing Club baseSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinityScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity
Facilities
Water available via tapGas availableTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions availableSlipway availableShore based toilet facilitiesShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaInternet café in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaChandlery available in the areaElectronics or electronic repair available in the areaBus service available in the areaBicycle hire available in the area

Last modified
May 30th 2017; suggest a correction?

Position and approaches
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Haven position

55° 4.530' N, 006° 3.020' W

100 metres east of the end of the public slipway, known locally as the Waterford Slipway, where Cushendall Sailing and Boat Club and the Red Bay RNLI station is located. This is just outside Cushendall village on the Coast Road.

What is the initial fix?

The following Red Bay Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
55° 4.071' N, 006° 0.592' W
This is situated a third of a mile northeast of the fish farm located between the Red Bay pier and Garron Point. This is set to keep southern approaching vessels clear of the fish farm and vessels approaching from other direction may approach directly as the fish farm is the only outlying danger in Red Bay.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in the east and southbound Route location or north and westbound Route location sequenced 'Malin Head to Strangford Lough' coastal description. Approaches to bay can be found in the Glenarm Click to view haven entry.

  • Avoid the fish farm in the south end of Red Bay.

  • Approach the slip from the east.



Not what you need?
Try our Advanced Havens Search tool to find locations with the specific attributes you need, or click the 'Next', coastal clockwise, or 'Previous', coastal anti-clockwise, buttons to progress through neighbouring havens. Below are the ten nearest havens to Cushendall for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line distance
  1. Red Bay Pier (Glenariff Pier) - 0.4 miles S
  2. Cushendun - 1.9 miles N
  3. Carnlough Bay and Harbour - 3.3 miles SSE
  4. Torr Head - 4.3 miles N
  5. Glenarm Bay and Harbour - 4.5 miles SSE
  6. Murlough Bay - 5.2 miles NNW
  7. Ballycastle - 6.4 miles NW
  8. Ballygalley Bay - 7.7 miles SSE
  9. Church Bay - 8.6 miles NNW
  10. Ballintoy Harbour - 9.3 miles NW
Ten nearest havens by straight line distance
  1. Red Bay Pier (Glenariff Pier) - 0.4 miles S
  2. Cushendun - 1.9 miles N
  3. Carnlough Bay and Harbour - 3.3 miles SSE
  4. Torr Head - 4.3 miles N
  5. Glenarm Bay and Harbour - 4.5 miles SSE
  6. Murlough Bay - 5.2 miles NNW
  7. Ballycastle - 6.4 miles NW
  8. Ballygalley Bay - 7.7 miles SSE
  9. Church Bay - 8.6 miles NNW
  10. Ballintoy Harbour - 9.3 miles NW
Alternatively the above can be ordered by compass direction or coastal sequence


How to get in?
Please use our integrated Navionics chart to appraise the haven and its approaches. Navionics charts feature in premier plotters from B&G, Raymarine, Magellan and are also available on tablets. Open the chart in a larger viewing area by clicking the expand to 'new tab' or the 'full screen' option.

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The extensive and picturesque Red Bay is entered between Garron Point and Limerick Point situated 3.25 miles to the northwest. Cushendall is a small coastal village on the north side of the bay. It is located about a third of a mile south of Limerick Point and less than a mile north of Red Bay pier. Ashore it is overlooked by the spectacular summits of Lurigethan and Tievebulliagh. Sitting at the foot of Glenaan and being on the convergence of Glenballyemon and Glencorp it is known as the ‘Capital of the Glens’.

Convergance Point The Glenarm Click to view haven entry provides directions for general approaches to the area as Red Bay is about five miles to the north of Glenarm, with Carnlough and Glenarm Bays being separated from Red Bay by Garron Point. Garron Point is a bold and precipitous headland that rises abruptly to a height of 230 metres. It is a highly conspicuous headland with no outlying dangers and good depths close in. A berth of 400 metres clears all dangers here.




Initial fix location Southern approaching vessels should steer west by northwest for 1.7 miles to the anchorage from the Red Bay Initial Fix. Vessels approaching from all other directions may head directly for the anchorage as, apart from the well-marked fish farm on the south side of Red Bay between the pier and Garron Point, there are no off lying dangers.

A yellow outflow marker Fl (4) Y 12s will be passed on approach about 600 metres east of the Cushendall Sailing & Boating Club and the RNLI station. It is marked with a standard yellow buoy with a yellow “X” on top. The outflow is on the sea bed so it is safe to pass the buoy on all sides as there is deep water, in excess of 16 metres, all round.




Haven location The sandy bottom shoals gradually to the shore at Cushendall. Anchor in 2 to 4 metres to the east of the slip.

Adjacent to the ‘Cushendall Sailing & Boating Club’ and the RNLI station there are five visitors’ moorings. The yellow moorings have a weight limit of 10 tonnes and are located about 300 metres off the club and RNLI station. A payment of £10 per night should be made to Red Bay Boats whose premises are nearby.

Red Bay Moorings - position: 55° 04.565’N 006° 02.865’W.



The slip has a depth of 1.7 metres for 3 hours either side of high water. Those wishing to come alongside should seek local advice. There is a rock situated 50 metres north-by-northeast of the slipway. It is clearly marked with a yellow triangular beacon.


What's the story here?
Cushendall derives its name from the Irish, ‘Cois Abhann Dalla / Bun Abhann Dalla’ meaning ‘foot of the River Dall’. The Dall, which flows into the sea here, is formed by the convergence of the Glenaan River with the Ballyemon River located 1km to the west. The name Dall is believed to be derived from Bun an Dalla meaning the ‘dark one’.




The nine glens are scattered with traces Neolithic man, but none are more significant than those at Cushendall. Tievebulliagh, situated close inland, was host to a prodigious Stone Age flint factory. The 401 metres high mountain forms part of the watershed between Glenann to the north and Glenballyeamon to the south and was formed from a volcanic plug. The intense heat generated in this process gave rise to the formation of a special kind of flint that is called ‘porcellanite’ because of its blue-grey porcelain-like colour. Unlike the commonly available flint, porcellanite is an extremely tough rock capable of taking a keen edge especially when polished with sandstone. Not being brittle it was the ideal and preferred Neolithic material for axes employed in forest clearances, but it also made excellent arrow and spear heads.


It was Tievebulliagh porcellanite that formed the geological basis for a Neolithic axe factory here. Around five to six thousand years ago, stone-age settlers produced axes en mass. Several axes were found locally on the mountain but they were also traded throughout Britain and Ireland with some discovered as far away as Greece.


More than 10,000 beautifully polished and highly distinctive Antrim porcellanite axes have been discovered to date. This is by far the largest number from an identified source in the British Isles. Nearby Rathlin Island also had a similar ‘axe factory’ that exploited the same type of rock. A rich collection of Tievebulliagh porcellanite artefacts are displayed today in the Ulster Museum, some of them exquisite in form and texture.


After stone came bronze, and the focus shifted to Lurigethan from 500 B.C. to 500 A.D. The magnificent mountain Lurigethan, overlooking the village from the south, hosts one of the most spectacularly situated Stone Age promontory forts in Ireland. The promontory fort encloses 30 acres of the mountain and is discussed in the Red Bay Click to view haven entry. The Normans seized the glens from local chieftains and held power here until the late 1300s. Then John Mor MacDonald, 3rd chief of Dunnyveg, married into the Norman Bissett family and the area came into the possession of the McDonnell clan. Over time the clan expanded their power base right along the north coast and held the Glens by force of arms for over 200 years, most famously under the leadership of ‘Sorley Boy’, 1505-89.


The village of Cushendall commenced during the plantation period of the 1600s and was driven by water power and the migration of Scottish settlers. Then came the turbulent years when the estate was lost and regained. Finally, following the 1690 Williamite victory, the area around Cushendall was forfeited by the clan and sold to the ‘Hollow Sword Blade Company’ that acquired large tracts of Irish land after the Williamite victory. But the company failed and Cushendall was subsequently bought by a Dr. Richardson who is chiefly remembered for changing its name to ‘Newtown Glens’.


In the early 19th century Francis Turnly was to transform the fortunes of the village. He made his own fortune with the East India Company in China and returned to buy the village. Living in Carnlough, he set about improving the coast road creating the Red Arch. In its day the Red Arch was a magnificent engineering feat that not only allowed him access but also connected many isolated communities along the coast. Indeed until then, Cushendall would have looked towards Scotland as its neighbour,, as it was easier to travel across the sea than across the mountainous areas which surrounded the village. In the village Turnly started a major development programme which included building an inn, a bath house, a new mill, and a village school. In 1817 work began on the famous Curfew Tower in the centre of the village. Influenced by designs he had seen in China the tower was built to confine 'idlers and rioters'. Dan McBride, an army pensioner, was given the permanent job of guarding the tower garrison. He was armed with one musket, a bayonet, a brace of pistols and a thirteen-feet-long pike. Turnly not only set the village on a path to prosperity but he also restored it to its original name of ‘Cushendall’ and so it has remained ever since.


Today, situated at the convergence of three Glens - Glenaan, Glenballyemon and Glencorp - Cushendall is known as the ‘Capital of the Glens’. Add to this the magnificent summits of Lurigethan and Tievebulliagh that overlook the village and it is fair to say that the views here are spectacular, both ashore and afloat. In addition to its natural beauty Cushendall is endowed with such exceptional architecture that it was also made a conservation town in 1973. Much of the town’s development, particularly the Georgian buildings of the town’s four original streets on the north bank of the River Dall, remains entirely intact today. The town also keeps it historical ‘fair days’ tradition alive for ten days each August with the 'Heart of the Glens' festival. This features traditional Irish music sessions and friendly pubs, and it would be an ideal time to plan a visit.




There is of course plenty here for walkers. In the immediate village area there is a path that can be taken to Layde Church. The name means ‘Church of the broad place’ and the ruins are one of the oldest and most important historical sites in the Glens. Established in 1306 it replaced an earlier religious house that already existed on the site. The exact origins of this structure are unknown but it probably began life as a holy place in the Iron Age or before. The church was in ruins in 1622 but was rebuilt about 1696 and remained the site of Protestant worship until 1790 when it was replaced by a new building in Cushendall. The long narrow structure was built of local red sandstone and schist and had a thatched roof. It has a graveyard alongside and a fast flowing stream that cascades into the sea at Port Obe. Many of the MacDonald clan are buried in this graveyard or at Bonamargie Friary at Ballycastle.


The ancient church and graveyard is a quiet place from which to enjoy spectacular views of Lurigethan, Red Bay Castle and Garron Plateau. Across the North Channel, the Scottish Islands of North Islay, Mull of Kintyre, Rhyns of Galloway, Paps of Jura and Paddy's Milestone or Ailsa Craig can be seen, as the North Channel is scarcely 11 miles wide here. The round trip to the church and back can be accomplished comfortably in an hour, but please note the path is steep in places.


For the more energetic a hike to the top of Lurigethan will reward a walker with unforgettable views not only across the bay to Scotland but over the surrounding glens and small hamlets laid out like patchwork below. Direct access to the summit is from the northern foot along the zigzag paths, clearly visible from the bottom but difficult enough to follow on the ground. A race is held annually from the watchtower on the beach at Cushendall to the summit. The record currently stands at an astounding 26 minutes. There is also a golf course a short walk from the town.




From a sailing perspective Cushendall offers a stop-off point for boats bound in either direction through the North Channel or indeed crossing from the Western Isles of Scotland; visible all the way from here. Access to Cushendall is straightforward as it is non-tidal and available at all times plus free of off-lying dangers. Hence it serves as a tide wait location to allow vessels to take full advantage of favourable tidal streams that are the dominant feature of this area of the coast.


Cushendall Sailing & Boating Club is small, young and very active club. It is open most evenings throughout the summer months and they are particularly welcoming. Visiting Yachtsmen may come in to freshen up and share a pint and a tale in the bar. All the time taking in stunning north and south views of headlands plus, on a clear day, Scotland and some of its western islands. Set well into the bight of the bay Cushendall is a good anchorage with secure moorings. As such it is an excellent base to visit a particularly picturesque coastal village and designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.




What facilities are available?
Cushendall is a coastal village with a population of 1,250 people and as such has ample provisions. Visitors will find shops, a garage, a hotel, and a hospital, but no shelter or landing facilities except a beach. Water is available at the slipway and diesel at nearby Red Bay Boats. Alighting by dingy, water and diesel will have to be carried in containers. The Moyle District Council provides and maintains public toilets, two large car parks, and the slipway. CSBC clubhouse sits in its own grounds to the side of the RNLI station. The Club is open all summer (weekends only in winter) and visitors are welcome, and showers/changing facilities are available free of charge,

From the club it is only a fifteen minute walk to Cushendall where all the usual shops, post office and restaurants are to be found. Less than ten minutes from the club is the home of the very helpful Red Bay Boats and boat yard. The village is situated on the A2 coast road between Larne and Portrush.


Any security concerns?
Never an issue known to have occurred to a vessel anchored off Cushendall.


With thanks to:
Burke Corbett, New Ross, County Wexford. Photography with thanks to Burke Corbett, Anne Burgess, Lindy Buckley, Garry Smales and Albert Bridge.


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The above plots are not precise and indicative only.
































The following videos may be useful to help first time visitors familiarise themselves with Red Bay and Cushendall.


This video present aerial footage of the pier and anchorage at Cushendall.








This 50 minute video covers the 'History of The Glens of Antrim' in great depth.




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