Following Groomsport Road, come off at Bank Lane and park in Ballymaccormick carpark. Access the shore on foot from here and swim out in a northerly direction towards Ballymaccormick Point. Snorkel/dive in the area off Ballymaccormick Point or follow the headland.
Free car parking and public toilets are available in Ballymaccormick Carpark.
Nearest tank filling is DV Diving, Newtownards.
Recreational boat traffic in Ballyholme Bay.
As you swim out from the beach you cover an area of bare rippled sand, which transitions to an area of cobbles, pebbles and shell (visible from Google satellite). As you get closer to Ballymaccormick Point, the seabed is dominated by tall patches of seaweed attached to larger cobbles, boulders and bedrock outcrops.
The sandy area is bare aside from worm cases and shore crabs (often half buried in the sand). The cobble/pebble/shelly area is colourful, dominated by red encrusting algae, tube worms and tufts of brown algae. The rocky area beneath Ballymaccormick Point is dominated by tall brown fucoids (seaweed) with shoals of juvenile fish, including the two-spotted goby. This is an interesting site for seabirds, keep an eye out for activity at the surface!
View all species records from this siteA link to the dive site location on the NBN Atlas Northern Ireland website, showing all species records from within a 1km boundary of the site centroid. Any new species records from the site submitted to Seasearch, iRecord, CEDaR Online Recording or iNaturalist will appear here
- In an emergency call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.
- Follow VHF radio Channel 16 (156.8 MHz), the international distress frequency. Send a distress alert followed by ‘MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY’ and ‘This is [boat name]’.
- Find nearest defibrillator (AED) here
- Bangor Harbour Master: 028 9145 3297
- When navigating within the harbour/marina, use VHF Channel 11
2 thoughts on “Ballyholme Beach East”
Very handy site for snorkelling with easy access to the shore, parking and toilets. It’s a long swim to the more interesting rocky area towards Ballymacormick Point but we got a lovely day for it! 14/08/2020
A lovely evening snorkel. Great visibility close to sure, but reducing with distance away from the shore due to dense plankton. Plenty of shore crabs, periwinkles and shoals of small fish including two-spotted goby. Highlight was a juvenile black guillemot swimming past me! Plus a camouflaged Dragonet! A great site for snorkelling with easy access, parking and toilet facilities close by. Would love to hear what this is like as a dive!