Mornington Beach is one of the most overlooked beaches in Meath.
Which is strange, really, when you consider nearby Bettystown Beach is often painfully-packed during the warmer month.
Mornington Beach is a quiet little spot that’s perfect for a sunrise or sunset stroll, especially if you’re looking to dodge the crowds.
Below, you’ll find info on parking, swimming and where to visit nearby when you’ve finished up.
Some quick need-to-knows before visiting Mornington Beach
Although a visit to Mornington Beach is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
Mornington Beach is located on the estuary of the River Boyne. This beach is situated within walking distance of Mornington village and it’s a 10-minute drive from Drogheda.
Mornington Beach does not have a proper parking area. However, as you approach it, you will find some spots to park a short distance from the sand. Please make sure that you don’t block the road.
Although we’ve heard from several people that Mornington Beach is a popular spot for swimming, we can’t find any ‘official’ information online about lifeguards or swimming conditions, so check locally before entering the water.
4. Water safety
About Mornington Beach
It’s a fine spot for an early morning ramble, and you’ll often find that you’ll have the whole place all to yourself.
Things to do around Mornington Beach
Although Mornington Beach is small, it’s home to a fair few interesting features, like the Maiden Tower and the ‘Lady’s Finger’.
Here’s a handful of things to see and do when you arrive, along with a very… ehm… interesting feature,
1. Ramble along the road to Maiden Tower
You’ll find the 60-foot high Maiden Tower a short walk from the parking area. It was built during the reign of Elisabeth I and it was used as a warning beacon to sailors marking the mouth of the River Boyne.
Some scholars also suggest that this tower was used during the Elizabethan Wars as a look-out place to see troops approaching.
The top of the Maiden Tower (not open) is reached by winding spiral steps. Those lucky enough to get to the upper section will be treated to glorious sea views.
2. Discover the story behind the slightly odd-looking ‘Lady’s Finger’
You’ll find a rather odd looking structure near the parking area. Known locally as ‘Lady’s Finger’ it looks like a massive… ehm… well, when you get there you’ll see what I mean!
The Lady’s Finger was once used as a navigational aid to help ships entering the River Boyne, however, there are several legends explaining how this tower was created.
According to legend, the unfortunately shaped Lady’s Finger took its name from a woman lady who spent day and night at the top of the Maiden Tower, awaiting her husbands return from sea.
One day, while gazing out to sea, she saw her husbands ship returning. It was flying a flag to indicate that someone had passed. Heart-broken, she threw herself off the tower.
Alas, it gets worse – it turns out that the flag was raised by mistake. It’s said that her husband built the Lady’s Finger in her memory.
3. Head for a saunter along the sand
One of the beauties of Mornington Beach is that it’s perfect for a short ramble, but it also gives you the option for a long one, too.
If you’re looking for a casual stroll, ramble along the sand and turn around when you see fit.
If you fancy a longer walk, head off to nearby Bettystown Beach and on to Laytown. The walk will take you between 1 and 1.5 hours to complete.
4. Admire the also strange looking Drogheda East Lighthouse from afar
While walking along Mornington Beach you may have noticed Drogheda East Lighthouse, without actually realising it. This lighthouse looks more like something you’d see landing on Mars in a sci-fi movie than a lighthouse.
The lighthouse, which was built c.1880, is made up of a cast-iron lantern that’s enveloped within brick walls and cast-iron supports.
Things to do near Mornington Beach
If you’re looking for things to do in Meath, you’re in luck – Mornington Beach is a stone’s throw from plenty to see and do.
If you’re in the mood for more coastal action, you’ll find plenty of beaches nearby, along with some of the more popular stops on the Boyne Valley Drive.
1. Bettystown Beach (5-minute drive)
Bettystown Beach is located about 1.5 miles (2.5 km) south of Mornington Beach. If you visit during the summer months, expect crowds, crowds and more crowds. During the colder months, it’s a lovely spot for a stroll.
2. Laytown Beach (10-minute drive)
Laytown Beach is located next to the River Nanny, a 5-minute spin from Bettystown. This is a quiet enough beach and you can combine a visit here with a coffee from nearby Ariosa.
3. Drogheda (15-minute drive)
4. Brú na Bóinne (25-minute drive)
Brú na Bóinne is home to Newgrange and Knowth – two of the most popular attractions in Ireland’s Ancient East. Dowth is another ancient tomb, but you have to drive to it directly, and you can’t get a look inside.
FAQs about visiting Mornington Bay Beach
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Is there parking?’ to ‘How far is it to walk to Bettystown?’.
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.
Can you swim at Mornington Beach?
We can’t find any reliable information online about whether it’s OK to swim here, so check locally if you fancy a dip.
Is there much parking next to the beach in Mornington?
No – there’s only a little area for parking here. However, it’s rarely busy at this beach, so you shouldn’t have any hassle.
I was born in a quiet corner of a Gaeltacht on the Dingle Peninsula. Over the years, I’ve explored Ireland far and wide, from the wilds of West Clare to the shores of Sherkin. Particularly fond of heritage, history and hikes (and words beginning with ‘H’, apparently…).