Clogherhead Beach is one of the more popular beaches in Louth for good reason.
Golden sands, pristine waters, gorgeous views, food, a sauna (yes, a sauna!) and even a bit of Hollywood stardust thrown in too – what’s not to like about Clogherhead Beach?
There are plenty of reasons why this cracking little strand is one of the most popular in Ireland’s Ancient East.
In the guide below, you’ll find info on everything from parking to things to do while you’re there – dive on in!
Some quick need-to-knows about Clogherhead Beach
Although a visit to Clogherhead Beach is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
Situated in the small fishing village of Clogherhead on County Louth’s southeast coast, Clogherhead Beach is a 15-minute drive from Drogheda, a 30-minute drive from Dundalk and a 45-minute drive from Dublin Airport.
There’s a gravel car park that’s conveniently placed right in front of the beach (here on Google Maps). It should be quiet enough during the week, but it gets very busy on fine weekends, especially during the summer.
Almost a mile long, Clogherhead Beach is known for the quality of its water and has been awarded Blue Flag status. And since those waters are great for swimming, there are lifeguards on patrol during the bathing season from 11am to 6pm (weekends in June; Everyday – July and August; First two weekends in September).
4. A fine spot for a day out
But as great as the beach is, it’s not the only reason this area fills with visitors throughout the year. Make sure to check out the pleasant town and definitely give the mighty Clogherhead Cliff Walk a whirl!
5. Water safety (please read)
About Clogherhead Beach
Sandy and gently sloping, Clogherhead beach is a cracking beach for a swim and offers some of Ireland’s best waters. It’s also surrounded by an area of dunes and there are rocks to the north which are outside the designated bathing area and are partially submerged at high tide.
Only a short walk north of the beach is the Clogherhead headland which offers beautiful trails and a stunning perspective. Jutting out into the Irish Sea, its cinematic location means you’ll get remarkable views of the distant Cooley and Mourne Mountains 30km to the north and of Lambay Island 35km south.
As a Special Area of Conservation, the area receives plenty of wildlife too so you might catch a glimpse of a few nearby grey seals or black guillemots larking about. Dating back to 1885, the harbour just to the north is also known as Port Oriel and was extensively enlarged and re-opened in 2007 (definitely look out for the fish and chip shop when you’re there in the summer!).
Oh, and that Hollywood connection I mentioned earlier? Well, Clogherhead welcomed Rock Hudson for Captain Lightfoot (1955), Harrison Ford and Brad Pitt for The Devil’s Own (1997) and Cillian Murphy, Jim Broadbent and Brendan Gleeson for Perrier’s Bounty (2008)!
Things to do at Clogherhead Beach
One of the beauties of Clogherhead Beach is that there’s plenty to see and do (and eat!) around it.
From coffee from The Beach Hut to a peach of a walk nearby, there’s plenty to see and do around Clogherhead.
1. Grab a coffee to go from The Beach Hut
Are there more welcome sights at a beautiful beach than a friendly cafe full of delicious treats? One of the many arrows in Clogherhead’s bow is the presence of The Beach Hut, a deadly little beachfront cafe selling everything from generously filled toasties to chocolate muffin brownies.
But if you’re in need of a little caffeine kick to perk up your morning then don’t hesitate to grab a coffee to go from The Beach Hut. Whether you’re in the mood for a sharp espresso hit or and an indulgent mocha, this is the place to go.
2. Then head for a saunter along the sand
Once you’ve got your hot drink sorted, don’t hesitate to then head out onto Clogherhead’s perfect golden sands and enjoy feeling the wind on your face.
At almost a mile long, there’s plenty of ground to cover and that drink will taste all the better with the beautiful views on offer! If you’re lucky, then the sun might come out too and you could be treated to a golden sunrise on your walk.
3. Tackle the Clogherhead Cliff Walk
As the only high, rocky headland on the east coast between the Mourne Mountains and the Howth peninsula, Clogherhead is a pretty unique spot so make sure you take on the superb Clogherhead Cliff Walk if you’ve got the time.
It should be roughly 2km depending on your route and there are several informal paths over the headland between the village and Port Oriel.
4. Warm your bones in the Hot Hut sauna
Speaking of bad weather! Actually, it doesn’t matter too much what the weather is like but a nice steamy sauna is always more satisfying when it’s cold outside. The Hot Hut sauna does exactly what it says on the tin and is perfectly placed right next to Clogherhead Beach.
Step inside their perfectly crafted wooden hut and enjoy its gorgeous coastal views without worrying about getting cold. In fact, you can even bring drinks in to make the experience that much more indulgent!
5. Polish off your visit with a bite to eat in The Smugglers Rest
Once you’ve felt the wind in your hair following the cliff walk or you’ve picked yourself up from the soft Clogherhead sands, make sure to make the short walk into the village and head over to the unmistakable sight of The Smugglers Rest! With a warm welcome and jaunty pirate decor, you can’t help but be charmed here.
Even better, their hearty food is great and don’t miss their signature Smugglers Scampi. They also offer an indulgent breakfast menu and have food to takeaway.
Places to visit near Clogherhead Beach
One of the beauties of Clogherhead Beach is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best places to visit in Louth (and Meath!).
Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from Clogherhead Beach (plus places to eat and where to grab a post-adventure pint!).
1. Beaches galore (5 minutes +)
Clogherhead’s a cracking beach but it’s not the only one in this pretty area. If you’re here for the weekend and have a car then you’ll only be a few minutes from the likes of Templetown Beach, Mornington Beach, Bettystown Beach, Laytown Beach and Annagassan Beach. Why not sample a couple?
2. The Boyne Valley Drive (15-minute drive)
Whether it’s gorgeous natural sights like the Hill of Tara or epic historic ruins like Mellifont Abbey, the Boyne Valley Drive is one of the more extraordinary drives in Ireland. While it doesn’t quite have the breathtaking scenery of Kerry, for example, the Boyne Valley Drive’s staggering amount of history make it one of the country’s finest.
3. Brú na Bóinne (30-minute drive)
A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2013, Brú na Bóinne (or the ‘Boyne valley tombs’) is one of the world’s most important prehistoric landscapes and contains structures dating back around 5,000 years to the Neolithic Period. Newgrange is probably the most famous of these sites, but make sure to spend plenty of time exploring the rest of this extraordinary place.
4. The Cooley Peninsula (35-minute drive)
It’s a 35-minute drive away from Clogherhead but the Cooley Peninsula is jam-packed full of things to do as well as being one of the most beautiful (and overlooked) parts of Ireland. With beautiful hikes, ancient sites, colourful towns and opportunities for cycling and boating, the Cooley Peninsula is a gem of the east coast.
FAQs about visiting the beach in Clogherhead
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘When are the Clogherhead tides?’ to ‘Where do you get parking?’.
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.
Is Clogherhead Beach worth visiting?
Yes. If you’re in the area, this is a fine spot for a coffee and a ramble, and there’s some stunning views of the Mournes to keep you company.
What is there to do at Clogherhead Beach?
You can grab coffee from The Beach Hut, head for a paddle, ramble along the Clogherhead Cliff Walk or hop into the sauna.