Through Newcastle and Annalong, we drove out the Kilkeel Road where, just before we got to Ballymartin village, there was a small track down to the shore. Leaving the car near the bus stop on the road, we walked down the track. Actually, we could have driven down the stony laneway, with care, as there is ample room at the bottom to turn and park.
The sandy beach and rocky outcrop which gives its name to the spot, forms a perfect cove for swimming. The water is clear and quickly getting to a good depth, is a joy.
Only Oonagh and I were brave enough to enter the fresh seawaters. We are not sure whether it was the thoughts of cold water or the curious seal that watched us from afar that put the boys off, but they missed a super dip. The water was crystal clear with the rocky sea bed providing a home to sea weeds of all colours. Fish hiding in the crevasses and tiny crabs scuttling across on their search for food. There was so much to see under the water. We climbed, barefoot over the rocks to slip in a rock pool then swim underwater through a narrow gap into a larger pool, it felt like a great adventure. Then to dive back into the main cove, watched from a distance by the seal, made one feel so alive.
This little bay seems to be a local secret and I’m glad to have discovered it.
Janet’s Rock Ballymartin
From Annalong, drive out the Kilkeel Road, before you enter Ballymartin itself, there is a row of houses on the right, and a bus stop on the left. At this bus stop a stony laneway runs down to the shore.
Driveable in an ordinary car, with care, and space to turn and park near the shore.
A beautiful bay, with a few locals during the summer, and the occasional fisherman taking a boat out to check his lobster pots.
No facilities but very close to Ballymartin village.