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Gyles’ Quay

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Overview





Gyles’ Quay is situated on the northeast coast of Ireland, on Dundalk Bay’s northern shore and at the foot of the Carlingford Mountains. It is an isolated and drying quay that offers the only viable anchoring location in the extensive but shallow Dundalk Bay.

This is a good anchorage in wind conditions from west round to northeast with very good sand holding. A vessel will find completely flat water anything up to a mile offshore in these conditions. However, with winds from any other quadrant, the anchorage is completely exposed. Access is straightforward as there are no off-lying dangers and the quay is completely open to a seaward approach.
Please note

Being exposed to the swell of the bay, the anchorage is uncomfortable as soon as the wind is weaker than the swell.




2 comments
Keyfacts for Gyles’ Quay
Facilities
Shop with basic provisions availableSlipway availableShore based toilet facilitiesHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this location


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderQuick and easy access from open waterNavigation lights to support a night approachScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pier

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
2 metres (6.56 feet).

Approaches
5 stars: Safe access; all reasonable conditions.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.



Last modified
May 22nd 2018

Summary* Restrictions apply

A good location with safe access.

Facilities
Shop with basic provisions availableSlipway availableShore based toilet facilitiesHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this location


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderQuick and easy access from open waterNavigation lights to support a night approachScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pier



Position and approaches
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Haven position

53° 59.064' N, 006° 14.394' W

This is the head of the pier where a light stands Fl G 3s.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in eastern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Strangford Lough to Dublin Bay Route location.
  • The area to the south of the pier is deep, gradually rising and has no outlying dangers. It may be freely approached from south round to east.


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 Gyles’ Quay for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Carlingford Harbour - 2.5 miles NNE
  2. Carlingford Marina - 2.7 miles NNE
  3. Greer’s Quay - 3.3 miles N
  4. Dundalk - 3.4 miles WNW
  5. Killowen - 3.6 miles NNE
  6. Greencastle - 3.6 miles NE
  7. Rostrevor - 3.9 miles NNE
  8. Omeath - 4 miles N
  9. Warrenpoint - 4.2 miles N
  10. Kilkeel Harbour - 6.1 miles ENE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Carlingford Harbour - 2.5 miles NNE
  2. Carlingford Marina - 2.7 miles NNE
  3. Greer’s Quay - 3.3 miles N
  4. Dundalk - 3.4 miles WNW
  5. Killowen - 3.6 miles NNE
  6. Greencastle - 3.6 miles NE
  7. Rostrevor - 3.9 miles NNE
  8. Omeath - 4 miles N
  9. Warrenpoint - 4.2 miles N
  10. Kilkeel Harbour - 6.1 miles ENE
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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Chart
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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How to get in?


Gyles’ Quay is a 120 metre long stone pier extending southward from the southern shores of the Cooley peninsula. It is situated on the north shore of the broad and open Dundalk Bay that is located between Dunany point and Cooley point. From Gyles’ Quay extensive sand-banks sweep around the bight of Dundalk Bay on the southern shore to beyond Anagassan, uncovering at low water for a distance of up to two miles from the high-water line.

Initial fix location The Gyles’ Quay initial fix is two miles east of the Dundalk Pile Lighthouse. A bearing of due north for one mile will take a vessel directly to the stone pier from the initial fix. The 120-metre pier should be highly visible from the initial fix and will most likely have a lobster boat nearby as at least one commercial potting vessel is based here. As such beware, the entrance of the harbour/access to the quay as it can be barred by lines of floating fish pots. By night the pierhead light Fl G 3s stands on an extending spur at the outer end pier but stand well off for fear of the lobster pots.

Haven location The pier dries beyond its head at low water so vessels planning to stay afloat should anchor off according to draft. Depths of 2 metres are available in an area that ranges from 200 metres south of the pier head stretching across 200 metres west of the pierhead. Any further west and the depths drop off to 1 metre and then less. Excellent sand holding will be found throughout this area. Land at the slip.
Please note

Anyone coming into the slip, especially in a rib, should make note of some nasty rocks that lie on the northern edge of the slip’s approach.



Vessels that can take-to-the-hard can come alongside any part of the pier and dry out. Those intending to come in temporarily will find the deepest water alongside the pierhead’s 17-metre spur. Expect to find two metres here at half tide and a convenient ladder to come ashore.


Why visit here?
Gyles Quay, also 'Gyles’s' or 'Giles' Quay, derives its name from Ross Gyles who built a wooden pier here in 1780. The original wooden structure eroded away in time and was later rebuilt in stone in 1824.

This pier served as a local quay for fishermen, and the 19th Century boarding point for pilots to bring ships into Dundalk port. During this period the location also became convenient for the illegal importation of wine and tobacco. The easy seaward access with a long isolated strand combined with an accessible hinterland made it ideal for smugglers to land their trade on the beach. It was to stem this illegal importation that the coastguard watch station was constructed in 1823. Alongside this, a small quaint village grew around the pier. It includes a scattering of three rural churches and some buildings that include an interesting early classical house.


Today Gyles Quay is very popular with holidaymakers that stay at the caravan park situated on the cliff above the quay. The areas attractiveness is readily apparent. The extensive stone pier, with former coastguard houses at the base, is very pretty, especially when coupled with vast stretches of isolated sand-gravel beaches. Add the backdrop of the Cooley peninsula, with the Carlingford Mountains, dramatic views across Carlingford Lough and County Down’s ‘Mountains of Mourne’, and you have all the ingredients that make up one of the most picturesque regions in Leinster.


From a boating point of view, Gyles' Quay is a beautiful location to drop anchor in northerly quadrant winds.




What facilities are available?
Gyles’ Quay has very little other than the pier with a slipway. At the top of the hill above the pier there is a shop, takeaway and pub with basic provisions servicing a small caravan park in the season. The pier is located 1 km south of the R173/R175 road that is the main Dundalk-Carlingford road about 11km from Dundalk.


Any security concerns?
Never an issue known to have occurred anchored off Gyles’ Quay.


With thanks to:
Charles Floody, Drogheda Harbour Pilot for more than three decades, and Brian. Photography with thanks Michael Harpur.


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People jumping off the quay providing good footage of the harbour are




Gyles Quay and the beach next to it



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:


Rodolphe Thimonier wrote this review on Jun 25th 2016:

Good holding. Beware, the entrance of the harbour/access to the quay can be barred by lines of floating fish pots. Being exposed to the swell of the bay, the anchorage is uncomfortable as soon as the wind is weaker than the swell.

Average Rating: ***


Michael Harpur wrote this review on May 22nd 2018:

Thankyou Rodolphe,
Updated the main body of the text with your additional information.

Average Rating: Unrated

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