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Stradbally Cove

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Overview





Stradbally Cove is a small coastal inlet situated approximately six miles northeast of Dungarvan and eighteen miles west of the Waterford Harbour Estuary. It provides an offshore anchorage outside a secluded and scenic bay.

The cove only offers an exposed anchorage in settled conditions as the inlet gradually shoals to its mouth. This means that boats have to anchor well outside and are completely exposed to the prevailing winds and swell. Access is straightforward as apart from an outlying rock, that lies a good distance away, it has unimpeded access.



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Keyfacts for Stradbally Cove
Facilities
Shop with basic provisions availablePublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPleasant family beach in the areaPost Office in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote 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
None listed

Protected sectors

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

Approaches
4 stars: Straightforward; when unaffected by weather from difficult quadrants or tidal consideration, no overly complex dangers.
Shelter
2 stars: Exposed; unattended vessels should be watched from the shore and a comfortable overnight stay is unlikely.



Last modified
April 18th 2020

Summary

An exposed location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Shop with basic provisions availablePublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPleasant family beach in the areaPost Office in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote 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
None listed



Position and approaches
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Haven position

52° 7.100' N, 007° 27.659' W

In the middle of seaward end of the cove.

What is the initial fix?

The following Stradbally Cove Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
52° 6.876' N, 007° 27.390' W
This waypoint is about 400 metres outside the bay and about midway between the visible Gull Island and the outlying was that is awash.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in southeastern Ireland’s coastal overview for Rosslare Harbour to Cork Harbour 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 Stradbally Cove for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Ballynacourty (The Pool) - 2.9 miles WSW
  2. Helvick - 3.1 miles SW
  3. Boatstrand Harbour - 3.7 miles ENE
  4. Dungarvan Town Quay - 3.7 miles WSW
  5. Ardmore Bay - 8.6 miles SW
  6. Port of Waterford - 9.7 miles NE
  7. Little Island - 10.2 miles ENE
  8. Youghal - 10.7 miles SW
  9. Dunmore East - 10.8 miles E
  10. Creadan Head - 11.9 miles ENE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Ballynacourty (The Pool) - 2.9 miles WSW
  2. Helvick - 3.1 miles SW
  3. Boatstrand Harbour - 3.7 miles ENE
  4. Dungarvan Town Quay - 3.7 miles WSW
  5. Ardmore Bay - 8.6 miles SW
  6. Port of Waterford - 9.7 miles NE
  7. Little Island - 10.2 miles ENE
  8. Youghal - 10.7 miles SW
  9. Dunmore East - 10.8 miles E
  10. Creadan Head - 11.9 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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What's the story here?
Stradbally Cove
Image: Michael Harpur


Stradbally Cove is a shallow secluded cove where the River Tay falls into the ocean. It is located about four miles northeast of Ballynacourty Point and eleven miles west of Tramore Bay.


The view to seaward from Stradbally Cove
Image: Michael Harpur


The cove offers an exposed anchorage in fair weather or settled conditions in the absence of swell. As it shelves so gradually a vessel will unlikely to be able to come in any closer than a ¼ of a mile out from the shoreline and the anchoring position will be at best just outside the entrance. This is less than an ideal place to spend an extended amount of time, and it would not be a place to anchor overnight as a vessel most likely be rolling uncomfortably. But, in the right conditions, presents a nice lunch stop or place to let kids run on the beach.


How to get in?
Stradbally Cove as seen from the southeast
Image: Michael Harpur


Convergance Point Use southeastern Ireland’s coastal overview for Rosslare Harbour to Cork Harbour Route location for seaward approaches. Stradbally Cove is situated about 11 miles westward of Tramore Bay and a little over 4 miles northeastward of Ballynacourtney Point, on the entrance to Dungarvan.

Western Approach A useful mark for vessels approaching from the west is the 68-metres high Ballyvoyle Head situated 1½ miles to the southwest of Stradbally Cove. It can be distinguished by the ruins of the square tower and Clonea Castle that stands close north of the headland.


Remains of the copper mines overlooking the coast at Tankardstown
Image: Colin Park via CC BY-SA 2.0


Eastern Approach A useful mark for vessels approaching from the east is the village of Bunmahon situated about 3½ miles east-northeast of Stradbally Cove. The buildings and tall stacks in the Bunmahon village are conspicuous from offshore. The square tower of the disused Bunmahon 'Church of Ireland' will be seen up the hill from the village. The shell of an old Cornish engine house will also be seen on the coastline close east of Bunmahon at Tankardstown.


Gull Island and the foul ground at the foot of the cliffs to the east
Image: Michael Harpur


The cove is flanked by the always visible Gull Island and its surrounding reef that stands ½ to the east a ¼ of a mile out from the shore.


The isolated rock that lies southwestward of the entrance
Image: Michael Harpur


What is more of a concern is an unnamed isolated rock, awash, that lies a ½ mile southwestward of the entrance to the cove. It lies ¼ of a mile out from the shore and very much in the path of a vessel cutting in from the west along the shore.

The gap between these two outliers is 1 mile so there is ample room and a clear path in but with the shore either side of the entrance being foul out to 300 metres.

Initial fix location The waypoint is about 400 metres southeastward the bay so you can appraise the current conditions and decide if you would like to come in. If conditions lend themselves to a visit, come straight in towards the middle of the entrance which presents a clear path.


The entrance to Stradbally Cove
Image: Michael Harpur


Haven location Anchor according to draft outside the entrance to the cove where excellent sand holding will be found. It would be prudent to make a note of the tide when anchoring.

Land by tender on the beach. The beach gradually shelves so be prepared to carry the tender a long way on a falling tide.


Why visit here?
Stradbally Cove, in Gaelic Cuas na Straidbhaile, takes its name from the English form of the Irish word 'An Srad Bhaile' meaning 'the street-town'. This name refers to the cove's small village a little way inshore to the east and is a term used to describe a village with a regular street, as opposed to a homestead or a mere cluster of farmhouses, that would have been undefended by either walls or castle.


The head of Stradbally Cove
Image: Michael Harpur


Being a generic description it is the name of several villages, parishes, and townlands in the southern half of Ireland. Unfortunately, akin to many of County Waterford's river names, the origin and meaning of the cove's river name Tay, or 'Taoi', is no longer known.


Stradbally Cove's almost flat beach that gradually descends to the sea
Image: Michael Harpur


Stradbally Cove is a lovely secluded beach where the River Tay has cut a deep cove along a fault line in the volcanic rock and soft brown shales of the coast. The result is a very unusual deep narrow cove with high cliffs along both sides with the signature sea stacks Waterford's Copper Coast at the entrance. What is also striking about the beautiful cove is the thatch of oak, ash, hazel and alder trees that grow along its craggy ridges and along the river up the valley. It is almost like a vision of what Ireland might have looked like to its neolithic people.


Sea stacks of the western entrance
Image: Michael Harpur


The small river that created the cove still runs down the east side of the beach into the sea but its thatch of wonderful trees are largely thanks to one man Maurice Uniacke. He was the local landowner in the early 1740s and during his time he planted in excess of 150,000 trees in the area. When completed he covered almost all of the lower three kilometres of the Tay valley with a wide mixture of species both native and exotic. All that can be seen today are the direct descendants of his plantings. The native shrubs, including Furze/Gorse, Blackthorn and Hawthorn, are all tolerant to salt spray and thrive near the outer parts of the cove. The native trees of Oak, Ash, Hazel and Alder stand alongside the introduced Beech, Sycamore, Scots Pine and Norway Spruce.


Boat moored in the River Tay, Stradbally Cove
Image: Michael Harpur


Early season sailors who come up from the cove and stroll into the woods will be particularly rewarded. During April and May large sections of the forest floor are carpeted in bluebells. This beautiful sight is rare in the rest of Europe but characteristic of the woodlands of Ireland and Britain. Bluebells thrive in the British Isles mild wet climate and are helped by the absence of wild pigs who tend to eat the bulbs. A walk along the cliff top, accessible from the beach, is also well worth enjoying.


Cottage on the road between the village and cove
Image: Tourism Ireland


The small village of Stradbally can be reached via a road that leads up through deep deciduous woods. It is about 2km away and attractive thatched cottages will be seen along the way. Today it comprises a village green with a square that provides the focal point of four converging roads. It is a pretty village with medieval origins and has just enough shops not to leave you stranded. The area is characterised by landscaped, planted open spaces with stone boundary walls, and it has won numerous awards in the National Tidy Towns Competition.


Stradbally Village
Image: Colin Park via CC BY-SA 2.0


From a boating point of view, Stradbally Cove is not by any measure a great anchorage. It is one that could only be used temporarily on a very settled day or offshore winds. In good conditions, it makes for a nice lunch stop and place to go ashore for a short amount of time to have a picnic or a pleasant walk. It would be a perfect place to land a family to play, swim and enjoy the spectacular forests that surround the cove and river.


Stradbally Cove beach is particularly safe for your children
Image: Tourism Ireland


It is particularly good for younger children to splash around in, as although it has no lifeguards, the beach shelves very gradually, so they have to travel a good distance into the water before it attains any depth.


What facilities are available?
There is nothing in the cove save for a landing beach. The village of Stradbally is located approximately 13km from Dungarvan, and approximately 7.5km south of the N25 to Waterford (near Kilmacthomas). Stradbally's services comprise of two Public houses, one of which also functions as a tea garden, a local shop (which also provides a Post Office outlet), and a butcher's shop.


Any security concerns?
You are most likely to be completely alone at this beach and away from any interference.


With thanks to:
Burke Corbett, Gusserane, New Ross, Co. Wexford.


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The above plots are not precise and indicative only.




Stradbally Cove, County Waterford
Image: eOceanic thanks PapaPiper via ASA 4.0


Stradbally Cove's almost flat beach that gradually descends to the sea
Image: eOceanic thanks Norah Davis


Stacks on the western entrance
Image: eOceanic thanks Tourism Ireland


Boat moored in the river Tay, Stradbally Cove
Image: eOceanic thanks PapaPiper via ASA 4.0


Birds at home in Stradbally Cove
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur




Aerial views of Stradbally Cove



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