Although it’s the smallest county in Ireland, there’s some stunning beaches in Louth.
From the Cooley Peninsula to the Boyne Estuary further south, Louth has a stunning coastline with long stretches of sand that are a playground for swimming, sandcastles, bird watching and watersports.
From very popular spots, like Blackrock Beach and Port, to often-missed beaches, like Annagassan, there’s plenty to choose from, as you’ll discover below.
Our Favourite Beaches in Louth
The first section of our guide is packed with what we think are the best Louth beaches on offer.
These are stretches of sand that we’ve sauntered on before, loved and know that you’ll enjoy too.
1. Clogherhead Beach
Located just south of Port Oriel, Clogherhead Beach is a beautiful stretch of golden sand. This sheltered Blue Flag awarded beach is regarded by many as the best beach in Louth and it’s backed by low dunes that are a protected area for flora and fauna.
The nearby fishing village of Clogherhead is pretty sleepy during the year, but it comes to life with the arrival of the warmer months.
The beach has good facilities starting with the car park, toilets, slipway and lifeguards in summer (the nearby Clogherhead Cliff Walk is also well worth doing).
It has been the backdrop for many films including Perrier’s Bounty and The Devil’s Own (Brad Pitt). It’s also home to the Doris Bleasdale RNLI lifeboat.
2. Port Beach
With a backdrop of the Mourne Mountains, Port Beach is a remote, low-lying sandy beach tends to be pretty uncrowded during the off-season.
Another one with Blue Flag status, Port Beach is popular amongst swimmers during the warmer months, and with walkers throughout the year, thanks to its 1.5km length.
Saunter along the white sand and softly undulating dunes that make it a nature haven for birds and plants.
3. Blackrock Beach
The stunning coastal village of Blackrock is located along Dundalk Bay and the Cooley Peninsula. Once a bustling resort, it is now popular for kitesurfing and windsurfing. It’s also home to the sandy Blackrock Beach, which is edged by a promenade – perfect for a breezy walk or an evening stroll admiring the coastal views.
Stop to admire the Millennium Sundial, the largest in Ireland. Swimming and watersports are popular at this beach near Haggardstown.
The beach here is arguably best known for the nearby wetlands which are a bird sanctuary for resident and migratory waterbirds including Brent Geese and Dunlins. If you’re looking for beaches near Dundalk, Blackrock is a handy 10-minute spin away.
4. Termonfeckin Beach
Next up is another of the more popular beaches in Louth – Termonfeckin Beach and you’ll find it at Duffsfarm, just north of Baltray Sand and south of Clogherhead Beach.
It has a well-known landmark – the rusting wreck of an old ship which ran aground in 1974. It’s now a popular attraction for photographers.
The mostly sandy beach has some rocks and is backed by sand dunes with golf links further south. Keep in mind that Termonfeckin Beach doesn’t have any facilities, so bring anything you need with you.
Other very popular Louth beaches
Now that we have our favourite Louth beaches out of the way, it’s time to see what else the ‘Wee County’ has to offer.
Below, you’ll find a mix of popular and quiet spots, along with one or two more beaches near Dundalk.
1. Templetown Beach
Nestled at the tip of the Cooley Peninsula, Templetown Beach is a sheltered sandy beach enclosed by two rocky promontories.
The beach is popular for swimming and all types of watersports including kitesurfing, swimming, windsurfing and fishing. The sandy beach is life-guarded in summer and was awarded the Blue Flag for clean waters since 2019.
Facilities include a car park, toilets and a notice board with tide information. This is one of more popular beaches near Carlingford, and can get very busy during the summer months.
2. Annagassan Beach
The remote community at Annagassan was once a Viking stronghold. Its history was only recently uncovered by archaeologists searching for the 9th century shipbuilding settlement of Linn Duchaill.
There is evidence of carpentry, shipbuilding and even an artificial island built by the Vikings for defence. Today Annagassan is a quiet seaside community with a harbour and beach.
Annagassan Beach has far-reaching views across Dundalk Bay to the Cooley Peninsula. This is one of the most overlooked beaches in Louth, which is a shame, as you can pair a stroll here with dinner with a view at the nearby Glyde Inn.
3. Gyles’ Quay
About 18km south if Dundalk, Gyles’ Quay is a long stretch of sand with beautiful coastal views. It draws many visitors to the area and has a caravan park and glamping pods for longer stays.
Stroll along the pier which stretches out into the deeper sea waters (it gets very windy here at times, so dress appropriately).
Take a pleasant amble along the beach to the quay at any time of year and enjoy the serenity and beauty of this lovely spot. This is another of the more popular beaches in Louth for good reason.
Great beaches near Louth
Some of the best beaches in Meath are a short spin away from Louth, so they’re worth considering if you’re nearby.
Below, you’ll find Bettystown, Laytown and the often-missed Mornington Bay Beach.
1. Bettystown Beach
Bettystown Beach is over the border in Meath. Just south of Laytown, it is a close-knit community that has plenty of things to do when summer visitors descend. Kids of all ages will enjoy the Funtasia amusement arcade.
The beach here is lovely and long and it’s nestled between Laytown on one side and Bettystown on the other (you can walk between them – just keep and eye on the tide times).
2. Laytown Beach
Just south of busy Bettystown Beach, Laytown Beach is another popular seaside resort in Meath. It has a long sandy beach stretching south from the River Boyne; right down to the outlet of the River Nanny.
The sandy beach is ideal for canoeing, kayaking and paddle-boarding as well as paddling and sandcastles. The beach is served by a car park, slipway for boats and kayaks, shops and various places to grab a bite to eat and drink. I
t’s also dog-friendly. The excellent amenities make this a popular beach with families and there’s a choice of pubs, take-aways, cafes and a playground.
3. Mornington Beach
Popular for bird watching, Mornington Beach is where the River Boyne flows into the Irish Sea. It is located just east of Drogheda and north of Bettystown.
This beach is right on the border between Meath and Louth. There are several landmarks nearby including the Maiden Tower and Lady’s Finger, probably both constructed as navigational aids for ships entering the Boyne River.
FAQs about the best Louth beaches
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What Louth beaches are best for swimming?’ to ‘Which are the quietest in summer?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
What are the best beaches in Louth?
In my opinion, the nicest beaches in Louth are Clogherhead, Port Beach and Blackrock Beach.
What are the nicest beaches near Dundalk?
The best beaches near Dundalk are Blackrock Beach (10-minute drive), Port Beach (30-minute drive) and Templetown Beach (30-minute drive).