Kearney coastal walk
Keaney sits at the southern tip of the Ards Peninsula. In the nineteenth century Kearney was a flourishing community with fishing as the central occupation. Stories are told of a 'she-cruiser', crewed entirely by women, which set out to fish in the surrounding waters. Kearney is now a place of recreation and a splendid place for bird watching. Breeding birds along the 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.
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.
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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