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Dunabrattin (Boatstrand)

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Dunabrattin is a small coastal pier situated on the south coast of Ireland approximately ten miles north east of Dungarvan and twelve miles west of the Waterford Harbour Estuary. It provides an anchorage off a secluded boat harbour.

Dunabrattin is a small coastal pier situated on the south coast of Ireland approximately ten miles north east of Dungarvan and twelve miles west of the Waterford Harbour Estuary. It provides an anchorage off a secluded boat harbour.

This is an exposed fair weather anchorage as Dunabrattin Head affords little protection. The bay has unimpeded seaward approaches making access and anchoring very straightforward.

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About Dunabrattin (Boatstrand)

Dunabrattin, locally known as Boatstrand, derives its name from the fort, Dún, of a Celtic clan called the Brattins who held this cliff top around 2,000 years ago.

The cliffs immediately east of the harbour are a soft mudstone laid in an Antarctic ocean 460 million years ago. Further east lava dykes can be seen intruding into the mudstone and baking it into a harder consistency. At various places on the cliffs and on fallen rocks, patches of iron pyrite often called Fools gold, glitter in the sun. All along the cliff-tops lie the debris from the glaciers deposited a mere 12,000 years ago.

Dunabrattin defensive features are still very much in evidence. A fosse and embankment across the headland formed a fort, ‘Dún’ to protect its Celtic clan. Dunabrattin’s promontory fort covered an area of around 6 hectares and was the largest to be found along the Waterford coastline.
The little harbour below, locally called Boatstrand harbour, was built in the late 1880s though as the name implies the strand had been used for boating and fishing for generations before. On the cliffs behind the harbour is a well, the remains of a 19th century lime kiln, and an area which was explored for copper in the 19th century.

Today the area consists of around 14 cottages, and the harbour is a hub of activity especially in the summer months. A small fishing fleet and leisure craft launch from its slip and piers. Dunabrattin Head is also very popular with anglers as it is reportedly one of the best fishing spots in County Waterford. This is due to the rocks at the end of the head which attract fish such as mackerel because of the warmer temperatures there.

It is also a popular point for sea bathing with many swimmers using Boatstrand as the finishing point for their swim. The ebbing tide on the beach to the east reveals rock pools, miniature universes in themselves. At low tide the ubiquitous bladder-rack dominates with its blister-like ‘bladders’ and its rounded regular leaves. The thin red strips of dilisk, called dulse elsewhere in Ireland, left plastered on the rocks by the ebb of the water are a local delicacy once washed and boiled.

Those who come aloft to explore the ‘Dún’, or promontory fort, will find a look-out post built during World War II at the tip of the headland. From here, at the outer end of Dunabrattin Head, there is a fine coastal panorama east towards Tramore and west to Dungarvan Bay and Helvic Head. Silhouetted behind are the great blocks of the Comeragh Mountains.

The very popular Annestown beach lies close east with is shallow strand. It is a popular destination for surfers when there is a large swell up.

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:
Stradbally Cove - 3.7 miles WSW
Ballynacourty (The Pool) - 6.6 miles WSW
Dungarvan Town Quay - 7.4 miles WSW
Helvick - 6.4 miles WSW
Ardmore Bay - 11.8 miles SW
Coastal anti-clockwise:
Dunmore East - 7.2 miles E
Creadan Head - 8.2 miles ENE
Passage East - 8.5 miles ENE
Cheekpoint - 8.6 miles NE
Little Island - 6.8 miles NE

Navigational pictures

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