England Ireland Find Havens
England Ireland Find Routes
Boat
Maintenance
Comfort
Operations
Safety
Other



NextPrevious

Audley's Roads

Tides and tools
Overview





Audley Roads is located on the northeast coast of Ireland, on the western shore at the head of Strangford Lough’s "Narrows", that leads into the magnificent sailing area and marine nature reserve that is Strangford Lough. It offers a picturesque anchorage in a quiet bay adjacent to Strangford Harbour.

Audley Roads is located on the northeast coast of Ireland, on the western shore at the head of Strangford Lough’s "Narrows", that leads into the magnificent sailing area and marine nature reserve that is Strangford Lough. It offers a picturesque anchorage in a quiet bay adjacent to Strangford Harbour.

Audley Roads provides a good anchorage out of the main tidal stream. However to the south of the anchorage is the open Strangford Bay with lowlands and a funnelling river bed. Thus the anchorage has an uncomfortable fetch with southerly quadrant winds of force five and above. The enclosed stretch of water provides shelter sailing in all weather, all tides and has ample marks to make daylight navigation straightforward.



Be the first
to comment
Keyfacts for Audley's Roads



Last modified
July 18th 2018

Summary* Restrictions apply

A good location with careful navigation required for access.

Facilities
Water available via tapSlipway availableShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderJetty or a structure to assist landingSailing Club baseScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: strong to overwhelming tides in the localityNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration



Position and approaches
Expand to new tab or fullscreen

Haven position

54° 22.682' N, 005° 34.119' W

Upon the five metre contour in the middle of the marked small craft anchoring area. It is in the approximate midpoint between the small stone pier, under the ruins of Audley Castle, and the pole marking Sleuth Rocks at the southeast most point of the anchorage.

What is the initial fix?

The following Strangford Lough Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
54° 18.226' N, 005° 29.492' W
Two miles out from the Angus Rock Lighthouse, a white tower with a red top Fl. R. 5s 15m 6M. It is situated upon the 323° leading line provided by the tower in-line with the Cross Roads anchorage beacon that is a grey stone pillar. It is just over half a mile southwest of the Strangford Light buoy (safe water marker L Fl.10s) and it leads into the Lough’s preferred East Channel.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details for vessels approaching Strangford Lough from the north are available in the northeast Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Malin Head to Strangford Lough Route location. Details for vessels approaching from the south are available in eastern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Strangford Lough to Dublin Bay Route location. Details of the approaches, tidal timings and the run up the Narrows to about a ½ mile below Strangford are covered in the Entering and exiting the Strangford Narrows Route location.


Not what you need?
Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Below are the ten nearest havens to Audley's Roads for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Audley’s Point - 0.3 miles NW
  2. Strangford Harbour (Strangford Village) - 0.4 miles SE
  3. Ballyhenry Bay - 0.4 miles NNE
  4. Portaferry - 0.4 miles E
  5. Chapel Island - 0.6 miles WNW
  6. Between Jackdaw & Chapel Island - 0.7 miles WNW
  7. West of Jackdaw Island - 0.9 miles W
  8. Cross Roads - 1.2 miles SSE
  9. Don O’Neill Island - 1.6 miles NW
  10. South of Salt Island - 1.6 miles W
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Audley’s Point - 0.3 miles NW
  2. Strangford Harbour (Strangford Village) - 0.4 miles SE
  3. Ballyhenry Bay - 0.4 miles NNE
  4. Portaferry - 0.4 miles E
  5. Chapel Island - 0.6 miles WNW
  6. Between Jackdaw & Chapel Island - 0.7 miles WNW
  7. West of Jackdaw Island - 0.9 miles W
  8. Cross Roads - 1.2 miles SSE
  9. Don O’Neill Island - 1.6 miles NW
  10. South of Salt Island - 1.6 miles W
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

Resources search



How to get in?


Audley's Roads is situated to the north of Strangford Harbour between Church Point and Audley's Point and at the north end of Castleward Bay. It is overlooked from a rocky height by the 15th-century Audley's Castle a three-storey Tower House. Strangford Sailing Club moorings are also located in Audley’s Roads and they allow visitors to use them.

Convergance Point Details of the approaches, tidal timings and the run up the Narrows to about a ½ below Strangford are covered in the Entering and exiting the Strangford Narrows Route location route description.

On final approach keep well north of Church Point in order to avoid the ‘Zara Shoal’ that extends 300 metres north-west from the point.

The current halves when entering Audley's Roads and attention should be paid to steerage when passing from the main tidal streams of the fairway into the comparative slack water of the anchorage.
Anchor in 4.5 metres on the west shore of Audley Roads by Audley Castle.




Haven location The recommended berthing area is to the south of the club starting area, which is a transit between Audley’s Quay, a small stone pier under the Castle, and Church Point. Do not drift too far south as Sleuth Rocks, marked by a pole, extend out 300 metres into the south-east side of the bay.

The bay provides good holding ground with a sand/mud bottom for anchoring but can be subject to kelp over boulders that may foul a CQR. Hence an anchor watch is advisable and the vessel should not be left unattended until the security of the holding has been assured. At weekends in the summer, or during race days, it may be busy with local boats. However, there is plenty of room if you are prepared to anchor in depths of up to 10 metres when the area is busy.

Strangford Sailing Club does not have any designated visitor moorings but they allow visitors to use vacant club moorings for a short stay at your own risk. If a mooring is borrowed, and you are leaving your boat with no one onboard, please leave a visible note so that the owner of the mooring can contact you on their return. The moorings are well sheltered except from the south.
Please note

SSC or its members will not be liable for the condition of any mooring in Audley’s Roads. Visitors who use them do so totally at their own risk.



Land by dinghy at the quay and slip at all stages of the tide.


Why visit here?
Audley Roads is a very beautiful quiet rural part of County Down with small fields and low hills. The deepwater anchorage below the castle has been a traditional boating haven from the tides of Strangford Lough 'Narrows' throughout the centuries.




The picturesque ruin of Audley’s Castle, that overlooks the anchorage, was the home of the Audley family from the 1550s. The Audleys lived in the castle until the mid-17th Century, when the last recorded Audley sold his land to the Ward family. The Wards (subsequently Lords Bangor) absorbed the castle and part of the Audleystown lands into their demesne of ‘Castle Ward’ where they lived for several hundred years.


The first ‘Castle Ward’ house built by the Ward family, in about 1610, was a tower house designed with defence rather than comfort in mind. In the 18th-century Viscount Bangor invested largely in perfecting his country estate in order to keep up with the latest Georgian era aristocratic fashions.




Using Audley’s Castle as a focal point at the end of their lake, he built a large mansion with sweeping views down to Strangford Lough. Nothing was spared in his zeal for perfection. For instance, in the 1840s he completely demolished a village called Audley's Town that had been built at the shoreline. It was felt this would spoil the ‘naturalistic’ panoramas across his parkland from the mansion. Hence the tenants of the small settlement of Audleystown were shipped off to America, and the Bangor's planted the more aesthetically pleasing Audley’s Woods over the fields. In other areas, it is believed, the Viscount may have had to retreat from his personal view of perfection. The centre of the mansion is quirky inside and laid out in the distinctly different styles of classical Palladian and Gothic. It is said that this occurred due to the Viscount Bangor and his wife not being able to agree and each insisted on a different style.


‘Audley’s Castle’, ‘Audley’s Woods’ and ‘Castle Ward’, including walks through beautiful countryside, are all available today to the visiting boatman. Audley's Castle is well worth a visit which affords excellent views of the 'Narrows' and the towns of Portaferry and Strangford. It is possible to land at the little beach and jetty beside it and climb to the top.




The resultant 820 acre Castle Ward is now one of Ireland’s finest demesnes or country estates. The winding woodland, lough shore, parkland and lakeland trails are owned by the National Trust and open to visitors. There is a pleasant walk from the anchorage (1 mile west of Strangford on Downpatrick Road on the A25; GR 575497) via dinghy access that is best gained during HW as there are extensive mudflats in the bay.


Available on site you will find WCs, tea room, shop, adventure playground, a Wildlife Centre and a Victorian Past heritage centre. The Barn has excellent audio-visual displays and videos of the marine wildlife, particularly the bird and mammal life found at the Lough. Finally, it is worth the visit to take in Viscount Bangor’s superb views across the waters of the Lough.


What facilities are available?
Showers available on race days at Strangford Sailing Club and a boat slip with fresh water is available at Audley’s pier. Nearby Strangford Harbour has basic provisions plus pubs and restaurants that you would expect with a population of approximately 500. A bus service runs from Strangford Harbour to the larger town of Downpatrick that serves as a commercial and administrative centre for the locality. The nearest international airport is at Belfast 56 km. Portaferry, on the Ards Peninsula, is available by a car ferry service that runs every half hour (weather permitting) from Strangford Harbour.


Any security concerns?
Never a problem known to have occurred at Audley Roads.


With thanks to:
Brian Crawford, local Strangford Lough boatman of many decades.


Expand to new tab or fullscreen
Please zoom out to see the 'initial fix' for this location.
The above plots are not precise and indicative only.





















An aerial overview of Audley's Roads and Strangford Lough.




An aerial overview of Audley's Castle


About Audley's Roads

Audley Roads is a very beautiful quiet rural part of County Down with small fields and low hills. The deepwater anchorage below the castle has been a traditional boating haven from the tides of Strangford Lough 'Narrows' throughout the centuries.




The picturesque ruin of Audley’s Castle, that overlooks the anchorage, was the home of the Audley family from the 1550s. The Audleys lived in the castle until the mid-17th Century, when the last recorded Audley sold his land to the Ward family. The Wards (subsequently Lords Bangor) absorbed the castle and part of the Audleystown lands into their demesne of ‘Castle Ward’ where they lived for several hundred years.


The first ‘Castle Ward’ house built by the Ward family, in about 1610, was a tower house designed with defence rather than comfort in mind. In the 18th-century Viscount Bangor invested largely in perfecting his country estate in order to keep up with the latest Georgian era aristocratic fashions.




Using Audley’s Castle as a focal point at the end of their lake, he built a large mansion with sweeping views down to Strangford Lough. Nothing was spared in his zeal for perfection. For instance, in the 1840s he completely demolished a village called Audley's Town that had been built at the shoreline. It was felt this would spoil the ‘naturalistic’ panoramas across his parkland from the mansion. Hence the tenants of the small settlement of Audleystown were shipped off to America, and the Bangor's planted the more aesthetically pleasing Audley’s Woods over the fields. In other areas, it is believed, the Viscount may have had to retreat from his personal view of perfection. The centre of the mansion is quirky inside and laid out in the distinctly different styles of classical Palladian and Gothic. It is said that this occurred due to the Viscount Bangor and his wife not being able to agree and each insisted on a different style.


‘Audley’s Castle’, ‘Audley’s Woods’ and ‘Castle Ward’, including walks through beautiful countryside, are all available today to the visiting boatman. Audley's Castle is well worth a visit which affords excellent views of the 'Narrows' and the towns of Portaferry and Strangford. It is possible to land at the little beach and jetty beside it and climb to the top.




The resultant 820 acre Castle Ward is now one of Ireland’s finest demesnes or country estates. The winding woodland, lough shore, parkland and lakeland trails are owned by the National Trust and open to visitors. There is a pleasant walk from the anchorage (1 mile west of Strangford on Downpatrick Road on the A25; GR 575497) via dinghy access that is best gained during HW as there are extensive mudflats in the bay.


Available on site you will find WCs, tea room, shop, adventure playground, a Wildlife Centre and a Victorian Past heritage centre. The Barn has excellent audio-visual displays and videos of the marine wildlife, particularly the bird and mammal life found at the Lough. Finally, it is worth the visit to take in Viscount Bangor’s superb views across the waters of the Lough.

Other options in this area


Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Alternatively here are the ten nearest havens available in picture view:
Coastal clockwise:
Strangford Harbour (Strangford Village) - 0.4 miles SE
Cross Roads - 1.2 miles SSE
Kilclief Bay - 1.7 miles SSE
Ardglass Harbour (Phennick Cove Marina) - 4.4 miles S
Killough Harbour - 4.9 miles SSW
Coastal anti-clockwise:
Audley’s Point - 0.3 miles NW
Chapel Island - 0.6 miles WNW
Between Jackdaw & Chapel Island - 0.7 miles WNW
West of Jackdaw Island - 0.9 miles W
South of Salt Island - 1.6 miles W

Navigational pictures


These additional images feature in the 'How to get in' section of our detailed view for Audley's Roads.
















An aerial overview of Audley's Roads and Strangford Lough.




An aerial overview of Audley's Castle



A photograph is worth a thousand words. We are always looking for bright sunny photographs that show this haven and its identifiable features at its best. If you have some images that we could use please upload them here. All we need to know is how you would like to be credited for your work and a brief description of the image if it is not readily apparent. If you would like us to add a hyperlink from the image that goes back to your site please include the desired link and we will be delighted to that for you.


Add your review or comment:

Please log in to leave a review of this haven.



Please note eOceanic makes no guarantee of the validity of this information, we have not visited this haven and do not have first-hand experience to qualify the data. Although the contributors are vetted by peer review as practised authorities, they are in no way, whatsoever, responsible for the accuracy of their contributions. It is essential that you thoroughly check the accuracy and suitability for your vessel of any waypoints offered in any context plus the precision of your GPS. Any data provided on this page is entirely used at your own risk and you must read our legal page if you view data on this site. Free to use sea charts courtesy of Navionics.