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Orlock Coastal Walk, County Down
Stunning coastal walk at Orlock Point, Strangford Lough | © National Trust Images/David Armstrong
Northern Ireland

Orlock Point Walk

With evidence of Vikings and smugglers, a walk at Orlock on the North Down Coast is steeped in archaeology and history. The rocky outcrops of Orlock Point contain a mosaic of semi-natural habitats, which support a rich diversity of plants and animals. The walk affords stunning views of the Copeland Islands and out across the Irish Sea towards Scotland.

Total steps: 5

Total steps: 5

Start point

Orlock Point car park, BT19 6YU

Step 1

From the car park, the walk begins through the stile bearing the National Trust emblem. Walk along the path until you encounter a stony sheltered bay, crossing over the small stream (the Portavo River) with the standing stone to your left.

Step 2

A flight of steps leads up onto the headland and a large expanse of open farmland. While catching your breath, enjoy the views of the Copelands with the Galloway coast, Mull of Kintyre and Ailsa Craig providing a hazy backdrop.

Step 3

Continue on this path, along the top of the slope, through a stone stile. After another 200 yards, the path divides in two. The lower route will take you down towards the sea and onto the 19th-century Orlock Coach Road for a short section. If you want flatter terrain, remain on the top path until they merge again a little further along. The path will then lead you down some more steps before passing under an archway, which was hewn out of the rock by hand as part of the Coach Road. Chisel marks are still evident in places.

Step 4

The path leads past some open shingle bays and sheltered coves. The Second World War lookout hut makes a good vantage point for watching passing seabirds and boat traffic.

Step 5

The walk ends at Sandeel Bay. At this point you can retrace your steps or continue up Sandeel Lane to the main road and back to the start point (this is the route shown on the map).

End point

Orlock Point car park, BT19 6YU

Trail map

Map of Orlock walking trail
Orlock Point Walk Map, County Down | © National Trust Images/David Armstrong

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