From the beach car park at Ballyhornan, I followed the way-marked path, the Lecale Way, south. This section of the path follows Rocks Road along the shore to a gate and stile. Here the path becomes a grassy track, not a route for flip-flops, I might add.
Each rocky outcrop revealed another small cove, waiting for families to come and paddle, dip, swim and explore. Follow the path on and the shore becomes steeper and craggier.
After a good half hour walking, the path moves up high along the cliff, and as it takes a great sweep around, there is a spectacular inlet – deep and clear green waters with high rocks either side. At first I thought it was only accessible by boat, but on closer inspection, I found that one could walk down the grassy bank then climb down the rocks to get close to the waters edge.
The sunlight shining on the deep green water, the pale barnacle covered rocks stretching down into those depths, beckoned me in. Looking out across the Irish Sea, I could see the hazy outline of the Scottish coast as I quietly explored this emerald inlet, perfect for jumping and diving.
A spot that has all the excitement of a great wild swim, a good walk to reach it, followed by a rock climb – then the treasure found – the swim!
Words By Maureen McCoy
Photography By Paul McCambridge
A word of caution, first establish where to climb out again before you take the leap!
Remember, the water level will change as the tide moves in and out, so keep an eye on your exit route.
From Ballyhornan carpark , follow the signs for the Coastal path, Lecale Way, enjoy the views as the path climbs higher over the rocky coastline. On a calm day you will see the inlet, clear green from the path high above.
On a rough day, this inlet churns like a washing machine.
Always ensure you have a clear exit from the water
Philips Street Atlas Co Armagh + Co Down pg 110 C1 (Benboy Hill)