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Killyleagh

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Overview





Killyleagh is located on the northeast coast of Ireland at the southern end of Strangford Lough’s western shore. It offers a very good anchorage and the possibility to come alongside at the club jetty or town quay at high water.

Killyleagh is located on the northeast coast of Ireland at the southern end of Strangford Lough’s western shore. It offers a very good anchorage and the possibility to come alongside at the club jetty or town quay at high water.

Killyleagh offers complete protection especially if a vessel can dry out by the old quay wall. However with westerly winds, a north-south wave develops that rolls the boat awkwardly, and it can also get choppy in strong easterlies. The enclosed stretch of water provides shelter sailing in all weather, all tides and has ample marks to make daylight navigation straightforward.



2 comments
Keyfacts for Killyleagh



Last modified
May 1st 2019

Summary* Restrictions apply

A completely protected location with attentive navigation required for access.

Facilities
Water available via tapGas availableTop up fuel available in the area via jerry cansMini-supermarket or supermarket 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 areaChandlery available in the areaHaul-out capabilities via arrangementMarine engineering services available in the areaRigging services available in the areaElectronics or electronic repair available in the areaSail making or sail repair servicesBus service available in the areaShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationAnchoring locationSailing Club baseSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration



Position and approaches
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Haven position

54° 23.843' N, 005° 38.806' W

At the south end of the town quay.

What is the initial fix?

The following Killyleagh Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
54° 23.573' N, 005° 37.537' W
Between Barrel and Skate Rocks that are marked by perches. It is set upon the useful transit marked on the Admiralty chart keeping Portaferry pier open upon Chapel Island.


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 Killyleagh for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Holm Bay - 0.4 miles NNE
  2. East Down Yacht Club - 0.6 miles N
  3. Brandy Bay - 0.7 miles S
  4. Moore’s Point - 0.7 miles SSW
  5. Don O’Neill Island - 0.8 miles NE
  6. South of Salt Island - 0.8 miles S
  7. Between Rat & Salt Island - 0.9 miles S
  8. West of Jackdaw Island - 1 miles ESE
  9. Between Jackdaw & Chapel Island - 1.1 miles ESE
  10. Simmy Island - 1.1 miles NNE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Holm Bay - 0.4 miles NNE
  2. East Down Yacht Club - 0.6 miles N
  3. Brandy Bay - 0.7 miles S
  4. Moore’s Point - 0.7 miles SSW
  5. Don O’Neill Island - 0.8 miles NE
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

Resources search



How to get in?


Killyleagh is a village and civil parish in County Down, Northern Ireland. It had a population of 2,483 and is best known for its 12th century Killyleagh Castle.

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.

Having entered Strangford Lough make for the Quoile River Initial Fix between Barrel and Skate Rocks that are both marked by perches. Barrel Rock which uncovers at low water and normally has racing Mark 4 close by lies to the north, and Skate Rock which uncovers at four hours of ebb and normally has a racing mark K close by lies to the south. A useful transit, to pass between the Barrel and Skate rocks, is available by looking astern on approach and keeping Portaferry pier open upon Chapel Island. The Killyleagh Initial Fix is on this transit indicated on the Admiralty chart between the rocks. Continue west from here to the anchorage.

The village of Killyleagh stands at the head of a small drying bight to the north-west of ‘Town Rock’. This is a highly distinctive red brick pillar marker, that looks not unlike a ‘Rook’ chess piece, and is lit QW – a vessel should pass no less than 10 metres south of this mark.


Killyleagh visitor's mooring early morning
Image: © Gary Bagley


Haven location Anchor in depths to your preference between 2 to 4 metres south-southwest of the Town Rock beacon or pick up a visitors mooring at the outer perimeter of the privately owned moorings. For those intending on anchoring good holding will be found on the verge of the anchorage in dense mud. It offers fairly good shelter from any kind of westerly wind, but not that well protected from a wide east sector 0-180°, especially on the outskirts of the anchorage.

Land at the yacht club pontoon jetty to the west of the ‘Town Rock’ beacon where a flagstaff can be seen. If space is available it is permissible to come alongside for loading and unloading but no vessel should berth here. Approximately 2 metres can be found here at LWS.

The Town Quay, to the north-west of the Town Rock, is no longer in commercial use and dries to a quarter of a metre. However with a 3.5-metre range, the quay can service vessels carrying up to 3 metres draft and a yacht drawing 2 metres can go alongside for a short stay at high water –0200. It is also safe to dry out here on mud where you will find good ladders for access. Approach with the spire a little open to the west of the quay.


Why visit here?
Killyleagh is derived from the Irish Cill Uí Laoch, meaning "church of the hero's descendants". It is the largest town on the shores of Strangford Lough and is dominated by the splendid Castle that was originally built after the Norman invasion in 1205.

The origins of the history of Killyleagh date much further back than this to prehistoric man, as is evidenced by the many ‘raths’ still visible around Strangford Lough. St Patrick's arrival here in 432 AD brought Christianity to the local people, known as Dufferin who inhabited the Killyleagh woodlands, and the area peaceably thrived. Then came waves of Viking raids who would have found the anchorage at Killyleagh a major attraction.




In the 11th-century the Normans arrived, led by John de Courcy who married the daughter of the King of Man and built the original Killyleagh Castle. Later Norman families fought with the local clansmen for possession of the castle, which changed hands several times until a Scot, Sir James Hamilton, took over the property in 1610. It has been the home of the Hamilton family ever since and acquired its fairy-tale silhouette in the 1850s when the turrets were added.

Dating to 1180 and believed to be one of the oldest inhabited castles in the country, Killyleagh is the quintessential Disney pile: dungeons, spiral staircases, handsome turrets and secret passages. Although the castle itself is private and one gatehouse was spectacularly blown up in 1649. It hosts occasional concerts and is one of the oldest castles in Ireland that remains a family home.

Along with the spectacle that is the castle, Killyleagh offers fine walks, good provisions, and a welcoming yacht club with good facilities. It is a must on the Strangford Lough Cruising circuit.


What facilities are available?
Fresh water is available on the pontoon but no power. There are showers and a bar in the yacht club, and alternative hotels and pubs in the immediate vicinity a short stroll from the jetty. With a population of almost two and half thousand the town has good shopping plus a basic chandlery, garage, bank, taxis and buses. A five tonne crane is available for hire on the quay and some boat and rigging repairs can be addressed here. It is situated on the A22 road to Downpatrick which is a sizeable town that serves as a commercial and administrative centre for the locality.


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


With thanks to:
Brian Crawford, local Strangford Lough boatman of many decades. Photography with thanks to Eric Jones, Albert Bridge and David Hawgood.


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























About Killyleagh

Killyleagh is derived from the Irish Cill Uí Laoch, meaning "church of the hero's descendants". It is the largest town on the shores of Strangford Lough and is dominated by the splendid Castle that was originally built after the Norman invasion in 1205.

The origins of the history of Killyleagh date much further back than this to prehistoric man, as is evidenced by the many ‘raths’ still visible around Strangford Lough. St Patrick's arrival here in 432 AD brought Christianity to the local people, known as Dufferin who inhabited the Killyleagh woodlands, and the area peaceably thrived. Then came waves of Viking raids who would have found the anchorage at Killyleagh a major attraction.




In the 11th-century the Normans arrived, led by John de Courcy who married the daughter of the King of Man and built the original Killyleagh Castle. Later Norman families fought with the local clansmen for possession of the castle, which changed hands several times until a Scot, Sir James Hamilton, took over the property in 1610. It has been the home of the Hamilton family ever since and acquired its fairy-tale silhouette in the 1850s when the turrets were added.

Dating to 1180 and believed to be one of the oldest inhabited castles in the country, Killyleagh is the quintessential Disney pile: dungeons, spiral staircases, handsome turrets and secret passages. Although the castle itself is private and one gatehouse was spectacularly blown up in 1649. It hosts occasional concerts and is one of the oldest castles in Ireland that remains a family home.

Along with the spectacle that is the castle, Killyleagh offers fine walks, good provisions, and a welcoming yacht club with good facilities. It is a must on the Strangford Lough Cruising circuit.

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:
Moore’s Point - 0.7 miles SSW
Quoile - 1.1 miles SSW
Between Rat & Salt Island - 0.9 miles S
Brandy Bay - 0.7 miles S
South of Salt Island - 0.8 miles S
Coastal anti-clockwise:
Holm Bay - 0.4 miles NNE
Don O’Neill Island - 0.8 miles NE
East Down Yacht Club - 0.6 miles N
Simmy Island - 1.1 miles NNE
Pawle Island - 1.7 miles NNE

Navigational pictures


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











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 Jul 30th 2016:

Good holding on the verge of the anchorage in dense mud. Fairly good shelter from any kind of westerly wind, but not that well protected from a wide east sector 0-180°, specially on the outskirts of the anchorage.

Average Rating: ****


Michael Harpur wrote this review on May 22nd 2018:

Thank you Rodolphe,
I have added your insights into the main body text.

Average Rating: Unrated

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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.