Long, wide and boasting some truly fabulous views, Tyrella Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Down.
At the heart of Dundrum Bay, the beach looks directly at the awesome Mourne Mountains but it’s also a great spot for walking, watersports and wildlife watching.
Below, you’ll find info on everything from parking and the walks to what to look out for while you’re there.
Some quick need-to-knows about Tyrella Beach
Although a visit to Tyrella Beach is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
You’ll find Tyrella Beach in Downpatrick (a 15-minute spin from the town) on the shores of the Dundrum Peninsula in south County Down. It’s a 20-minute drive from Newcastle and a 25-minute drive from Strangford.
There’s a large car park behind the beach at Tyrella, but it does get busy at peak times during the summer. It’s free of charge out of season, but you’ll have to pay for parking during the warm summer months. There are also public toilets and baby changing facilities available.
Tyrella Beach is a Blue Flag award beach and thus demonstrates its commitment to protecting the coastal environment and excellent water quality. Note that lifeguards are only on duty here at certain times of the year (see signage at the beach)
About Tyrella Beach
Tyrella Beach is a wide, flat, sandy beach facing the Mourne Mountains that’s around two kilometres long and backed by 25 hectares of mature dunes.
The beach is also a conservation area, with plenty of interesting local flora and fauna. If you’re into birdwatching then it’s a pretty decent spot for that, too!
Keep an eye out for oystercatchers, sanderlings and redshank darting and diving about near the shores.
Tyrella Beach is a hot destination for water sports enthusiasts, although if you’re planning on hitting Dundrum Bay then do be prepared for high waves and high winds on occasion.
Some of the activities on offer include surfing, kite surfing and windsurfing. You may also see canoeists taking on the South East Coast Canoe Trail.
Though if you want to take part, then you’ll have to make the short hop to Killough where you can jump on Killough to Newcastle route across the bay!
Things to do at Tyrella Beach
There’s a handful of things to see and do in and around Tyrella Beach in Downpatrick. Here are some suggestions:
1. Head for a ramble and soak up the views
This is one of County Down’s most expansive beaches and there’s loads of room to soak up the stunning scenery surrounding this lovely part of the world.
The best way to do this is probably to walk from west to east so you’ll finish with a nice view of the unmissable St John’s Point Lighthouse (with its black and yellow stripes!) and the mighty Mournes in the distance.
Tyrella is also part of the 75km Lecale Way walking route and forms the endpoint of section 4. So, if you feel like a longer ramble, then take on the 13.7km trail from Tyrella all the way to the charming village of Ardglass!
2. Flick off your shoes and go for a paddle
Did I mention this was a Blue Flag beach? Well, there are few better beaches for a paddle than Tyrella Beach so don’t hesitate to flick your shoes off and sample its clean waters!
There are almost two kilometres of sparkling clear waters to paddle in and you’ll be surrounded by some of Northern Ireland’s most picturesque landscapes as you walk.
And, of course, if you’re here in the summer then you’ll be under the watchful eye of lifeguards the whole time so going for a dip will be no bother either!
Places to visit near Tyrella Beach
One of the beauties of Tyrella is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best places to visit in Down.
Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from Tyrella!
1. St John’s Point Lighthouse (12-minute drive)
The furthest eastern point of Dundrum Bay and located at the tip of the Lecale Peninsula, St John’s Point Lighthouse is unmistakable with its strikingly-painted black and yellow stripes!
2. Ballynoe Stone Circle (7-minute drive)
Discover a window into Ireland’s mysterious distant past by making the short 10-minute drive up to Ballynoe Stone Circle. The circle measures 35 m (115 ft) in diameter and includes 50 or more small, upright stones that date back from the late Neolithic era through to the Early Bronze Age.
3. Dundrum Castle (14-minute drive)
Want to explore an 800-year-old castle? First constructed by Anglo-Norman knight John De Courcy in 1177, Dundrum Castle was built as part of his coastal defence after he invaded Ulster. The castle is an important example of Norman architecture and a visit there also offers some cracking views of the surrounding scenery.
3. Newcastle (20-minute drive)
The little seaside town of Newcastle is just a 20-minute drive from Tyrella Beach. There’s plenty of things to do in Newcastle and there’s some great restaurants in Newcastle for a post-dip feed!
FAQs about Tyrella Beach Downpatrick
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Is parking a pain?’ to ‘When are lifeguards on?’.
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 Tyrella Beach free?
Tyrella Beach is free of charge out of season, but you’ll have to pay for parking during the warm and generally very busy summer months.
Are there toilets at Tyrella Beach?
Yes, there are toilets here along with wheelchair access and lifeguards during the summer season.