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Castlegregory

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Overview





Castlegregory is located on the west coast of Ireland, on the north side of the Dingle Peninsula and the east side of the sandy peninsula that separates Brandon Bay to the west from Tralee Bay on the east. It offers an anchorage off a long beach that has a small inshore village in its southwest corner.

Castlegregory is located on the west coast of Ireland, on the north side of the Dingle Peninsula and the east side of the sandy peninsula that separates Brandon Bay to the west from Tralee Bay on the east. It offers an anchorage off a long beach that has a small inshore village in its southwest corner.

The anchorage is a good anchorage in southwesterly winds but is increasingly exposed to other quadrants if the wind should swing around. In such cases, Fenit Harbour, which provides all-round protection, is only five miles across the bay. Access is straightforward in daylight at any stage of the tide as there are no outlying dangers once in Tralle Bay.



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Keyfacts for Castlegregory
Facilities
Mini-supermarket or supermarket availablePublic house or wine bar in the areaPost Office in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the area


Nature
Remote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: fish farming activity in the vicinity of this location

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
3 metres (9.84 feet).

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.



Last modified
May 3rd 2022

Summary

A good location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Mini-supermarket or supermarket availablePublic house or wine bar in the areaPost Office in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the area


Nature
Remote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Note: fish farming activity in the vicinity of this location



Position and approaches
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Haven position

52° 15.800' N, 010° 0.200' W

This is off the beach near the village of Castlegregory.

What is the initial fix?

The following Castlegregory Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
52° 18.879' N, 009° 58.202' W
This is on the eastern side of the transit of 106° T of the rock islet The Rose with Fenit Castle and a little over 1½ miles east of Rough Point.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in southwestern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Mizen Head to Loop Head Route location. Northward approaches to the bay are covered in the Fenit Harbour Click to view haven entry. There is also a cut in from the west through Magharee Sound detailed in Navigating through Magharee Sound south of the Islands 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 Castlegregory for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Scraggane Bay - 3 nautical miles NNW
  2. Illauntannig - 3.9 nautical miles N
  3. Barrow Harbour - 5.3 nautical miles ENE
  4. Fenit Harbour - 5.3 nautical miles E
  5. Brandon Bay - 5.7 nautical miles W
  6. Dingle Harbour - 12.6 nautical miles SW
  7. Kells Bay - 14.7 nautical miles SSW
  8. Smerwick Harbour - 15.6 nautical miles WSW
  9. Ventry Harbour - 16 nautical miles WSW
  10. Kilbaha Bay - 19.1 nautical miles NNE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Scraggane Bay - 3 miles NNW
  2. Illauntannig - 3.9 miles N
  3. Barrow Harbour - 5.3 miles ENE
  4. Fenit Harbour - 5.3 miles E
  5. Brandon Bay - 5.7 miles W
  6. Dingle Harbour - 12.6 miles SW
  7. Kells Bay - 14.7 miles SSW
  8. Smerwick Harbour - 15.6 miles WSW
  9. Ventry Harbour - 16 miles WSW
  10. Kilbaha Bay - 19.1 miles NNE
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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What's the story here?
Castlegregory Beach
Image: Michael Harpur


This is an anchorage off the eastern side of the sandy peninsula called the Castlegregory Penninsula separating Brandon Bay from Tralee Bay. It is also known as The Gold Coast of the Peninsula as it is home to one of Ireland’s longest beaches that stretches 19 kilometres from the Maharees westwards through Castlegregory to just short of Cloghane village. Sometimes a commercial ship awaiting a berth in Fenit may be seen in the area in deeper waters.


View towards the anchoring area off the Castlegregory Penninsula
Image: Michael Harpur


For leisure craft, it offers an anchorage off this extensive blue flag beach backed by sandhills or off the village of Castlegregory itself located at the foot of a sandy peninsula on the southwest side of Tralee Bay. This is a beautiful anchorage with easy access but it offers little in the way of air protection and can be subject to occasional gusts coming down from the mountains.


How to get in?
The southwest end of Tralee Bay
Image: Graham Seeley via CC ASA 4.0


Convergance Point Use Ireland’s coastal overview for Mizen Head to Loop Head Route location for seaward approaches. Castlegregory lies in the southwest corner of Tralee Bay the entrance to which is a little over 5 miles wide between Magharee Islands and Kerry Head. Northward approaches to the bay are covered in the Fenit Harbour Click to view haven entry. There is also a cut from the west between the Magharee Islands and the head of the peninsula through Magharee Sound detailed in Navigating through Magharee Sound south of the Islands Route location.


The lough lying Rough Point (left)
Image: Michael Harpur


Initial fix location The Castlegregory Initial Fix is on the east end of the charted Magharee Sound 106° T of the rock islet The Rose with Fenit Castle and 1½ miles to the east of the low lying Rough Point. The low lying Rough Point, situated on the northeast extremity of the sandy peninsula, has an old tower. It should be given a wide bearing as it is foul with Illaundonnell reef to the east, and with other reefs continuing southward out to nearly a ½ mile offshore of Kishannig Point, close southeast of Rough Point.

Pass southward from the initial fix to the east of the peninsula. This passes charted fish farms, located off the peninsula to the south by southeast of Rough Point, 1½ mile southward, although they do not appear to be present currently.


The view over the north end of the Castlegregory Penninsula
Image: Michael Harpur


Haven location Anchor anywhere off the beach according to draught and conditions over an excellent sand and mud ground holding. The beach to the east of the peninsula shelves gradually out from the shore so vessels will be a long way out.

The view over the south end of the Castlegregory Peninsula
Image: Michael Harpur


Vessels anchoring off the village should note there are a few small shoals ¾ of a mile off the beach to the northwest of Castlegregory. The shallowest of which has 1.5 metres LAT. It is also possible to anchor beyond Castlegregory off the head of the bay. This is composed of a low rocky shore, lying at the foot of high mountains, that bends to the southeast and then east to the swampy flat of Derrymore Point.


Why visit here?
Castlegregory in Irish 'Caisleán Ghriaire' derives its name from a 17th-century castle built by the local chieftain Gregory Hoare. The castle was entirely destroyed by Cromwell’s forces in 1650 save for a remnant arch, which can be seen standing by the village supermarket.


The north end of The Gold Coast
Image: Michael Harpur


The settlement has a deep connection with the sea as a post-medieval midden was discovered, which included shellfish deposits, to make up the infill of a ditch of a site found in the village. But the additional seafood was not enough to save it from the ravages of the famine and the population is now a quarter of what it was before the Famine. Nevertheless, it remains the principal village and the only place in the area which resembles a real village.


Castlegregory Penninsula's inviting beach
Image: Michael Harpur


Today it is its miles of blue flag beach, The Gold Coast, that draws in its summer harvest. The whole peninsula is a thriving mix of varied holiday making. There are endless campsites, houses, schools for diving, surfing, windsurfing and all forms of water sports. The clean beaches that lie on both sides of the long, exposed sandbar are perfect for surfers and windsurfers.


Brandon Bay has the Atlantic's long rolling swells that provide a good break
Image: Tourism Ireland


The Brandon Bay beaches have the Atlantic's long rolling swells that provide a good break for surfers. This contrasts with the protected eastern Tralee Bay which is said to be some of the best windsurfing in the world being good in all wind directions and suitable for all levels of ability.


Tralee Bay is one of the best places in Ireland for Windsurfing
Image: Public Domain


Of course, if all that sounds too energetic, it is more than acceptable to draw up the tender and flop out on the beach east-facing Sandy Bay. Despite being a tourist attraction, the beach is so large that even on its busiest of days it only has a scattering of people. The tourist trade adds to the village by supporting local shops, cafes and a great food scene. Tourism has driven a culinary renaissance on the Dingle Peninsula with various areas having unique delicacies. In the case of Castlegregory, it is an award-winning Dingle Peninsula seaweed-flavoured cheese.


Ned Natterjack's pub in the west end of the village
Image: David Hobday


Traditional Irish music can also be heard in the village's pubs, particularly in the summer months. Most notably at Ned Natterjack's pub in the west end of the village. This is a great place to enjoy live music. It acquired its unusual name because nearby Lough Gill is a breeding place for the rare, and noisy, natterjack toad.

Castlegregory offers the boaters another anchoring opportunity in an area once described by National Geographic as 'the most beautiful place on earth'. In fine settled weather, this is a truly lovely place to swing on anchor or make a stop before proceeding to Fenit.


What facilities are available?
Castlegregory is a village which has a permanent population of about 200 that is vastly swelled by an influx of holidaymakers attracted to its extensive blue flag beaches. To cater for this there are two small supermarkets, a post office, a doctor and a pharmacist. All resources are available in either Tralee or Dingle from which Castlegregory is about midway.


Any security concerns?
Never an incident known to have occurred off Castlegregory.


With thanks to:
Batty McCarthy, Fenit Harbour Master







Castlegregory




Castlegregory and Brandon Bay


About Castlegregory

Castlegregory in Irish 'Caisleán Ghriaire' derives its name from a 17th-century castle built by the local chieftain Gregory Hoare. The castle was entirely destroyed by Cromwell’s forces in 1650 save for a remnant arch, which can be seen standing by the village supermarket.


The north end of The Gold Coast
Image: Michael Harpur


The settlement has a deep connection with the sea as a post-medieval midden was discovered, which included shellfish deposits, to make up the infill of a ditch of a site found in the village. But the additional seafood was not enough to save it from the ravages of the famine and the population is now a quarter of what it was before the Famine. Nevertheless, it remains the principal village and the only place in the area which resembles a real village.


Castlegregory Penninsula's inviting beach
Image: Michael Harpur


Today it is its miles of blue flag beach, The Gold Coast, that draws in its summer harvest. The whole peninsula is a thriving mix of varied holiday making. There are endless campsites, houses, schools for diving, surfing, windsurfing and all forms of water sports. The clean beaches that lie on both sides of the long, exposed sandbar are perfect for surfers and windsurfers.


Brandon Bay has the Atlantic's long rolling swells that provide a good break
Image: Tourism Ireland


The Brandon Bay beaches have the Atlantic's long rolling swells that provide a good break for surfers. This contrasts with the protected eastern Tralee Bay which is said to be some of the best windsurfing in the world being good in all wind directions and suitable for all levels of ability.


Tralee Bay is one of the best places in Ireland for Windsurfing
Image: Public Domain


Of course, if all that sounds too energetic, it is more than acceptable to draw up the tender and flop out on the beach east-facing Sandy Bay. Despite being a tourist attraction, the beach is so large that even on its busiest of days it only has a scattering of people. The tourist trade adds to the village by supporting local shops, cafes and a great food scene. Tourism has driven a culinary renaissance on the Dingle Peninsula with various areas having unique delicacies. In the case of Castlegregory, it is an award-winning Dingle Peninsula seaweed-flavoured cheese.


Ned Natterjack's pub in the west end of the village
Image: David Hobday


Traditional Irish music can also be heard in the village's pubs, particularly in the summer months. Most notably at Ned Natterjack's pub in the west end of the village. This is a great place to enjoy live music. It acquired its unusual name because nearby Lough Gill is a breeding place for the rare, and noisy, natterjack toad.

Castlegregory offers the boaters another anchoring opportunity in an area once described by National Geographic as 'the most beautiful place on earth'. In fine settled weather, this is a truly lovely place to swing on anchor or make a stop before proceeding to Fenit.

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:
Fenit Harbour - 3.3 miles E
Barrow Harbour - 3.3 miles ENE
Foynes Harbour - 24.1 miles ENE
Askeaton - 26.6 miles ENE
Limerick Docks - 34.1 miles ENE
Coastal anti-clockwise:
Illauntannig - 2.4 miles N
Scraggane Bay - 1.9 miles NNW
Brandon Bay - 3.5 miles W
Smerwick Harbour - 9.7 miles WSW
Great Blasket Island - 13 miles WSW

Navigational pictures


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




























Castlegregory




Castlegregory and Brandon Bay



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