Kearney Coastal Walk

Walking trail

Sitting on the southern tip of the famous Ards Peninsula, Kearney is a picturesque traditional fishing village full of unspoilt timeless character. Picture-perfect whitewashed cottages hug the rugged beauty of its coastline creating one of Northern Ireland's most scenic walks. Kearney was a flourishing community in the 19th century. Stories are told of a 'she-cruiser', crewed entirely by women, which set out to fish in the surrounding waters. Kearney is also home to an abundance of wildlife making it a great place for bird watching. Spot breeding birds all along its coast include oystercatcher, rock pipit and shelduck. The dramatic white form of the gannet can be seen diving out to sea, and tern, eider and wintering waders are common. Turnstone can also be seen feeding around the seaweed-covered rocks.

Other information

Waterproof and windproof clothing are essential as the weather on the peninsula can be wild at times. Take care when walking through the rocky shoreline areas. Despite being a short trail you are advised to inform someone of your intended route before you leave. There is a dogs on leads policy around the village. Please respect the privacy of the village residents.

Follow the coastal path from Kearney


Map of Kearney coastal walk




From the car park, walk through the stone wall and follow the path running south until you come to a traditional cast iron gate.


Pass through the gateway and continue along the grass path passing blackthorn hedges. In the summer look out for common blue butterflies and meadow pipit.


At the cross roads follow the grass path to your right, passing through areas of dog rose and elderberry.


Keep right, continuing along through coastal grassland. Enjoy the scent of gorse blossom in the air in spring.


Take in the beautiful views from the simple wooden bench, then turn left to walk along the shore. Keep eyes peeled on the water where common and grey seals relax.


Continue along the shore, in spring try to spot rare yellow horned poppies, sea kale and oyster plant.


Stay right to continue along shore path. At low tide venture to the rock pools and search for sea creatures lurking there.


At this point you can loop back round through the village to the car park or continue straight ahead along the coastal path.


After watching the gannets flying out at sea and many waders along the shore, turn back when the path finishes.



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Kearney Coastal Walk


Grass, sand and rocky shoreline with uneven surfaces.

Kearney Coastal Walk

How to get here

Kearney village, County Down
By road

Kearney is on the coast directly east of Portaferry. From the west and south the ferry is needed leaving from Strangford village. From the north the A20 or A2 south will take you to the country lanes leading to Kearny.

Kearney Coastal Walk

Facilities and access

  • Car park
  • Toilets
  • Small visitor centre