10 Mesmerizing Mayo Beaches: Unwind on Ireland's Stunning Shores
- 3 May 2023
Nestled on the Cooley Peninsula, Templetown Beach Shelling Hill is a lesser-known treasure in County Louth. This rural beach is ideal for families seeking a seaside day out or for individuals who simply desire a peaceful walk accompanied by the soothing sound of crashing waves. Positioned on a sheltered, south-facing stretch of sand and shale, the beach consistently earns Blue Flag status each year. It offers ample parking facilities and is lifeguarded during the summer months.
Templetown Beach's intriguing name harks back to the Knights Templar, as the beach was once a port operated by this renowned Catholic military order, safeguarding Christian pilgrims on their journeys. Historically, Templetown served as the primary embarkation point for pilgrims from Ulster's heartland, providing access to the Irish Sea. Visitors can still witness remnants of the Knights Templar's presence in the area today.
The extensive, gently sloping beach is composed of sand and shingle, backed by sandy dunes and flanked by low-level rocky areas. With a slipway and seasonal lifeguards, it's perfect for swimming, kite surfing, and other water sports.
Beyond swimming and water sports, Templetown Beach Shelling Hill offers numerous other activities. Its surroundings are perfect for walking, with interesting nearby locations such as Greenore and its ferry, as well as Fitzgerald’s Bar and Restaurant, which grants access to the breathtaking Annaloughan Loop Walk. Visitors can also enjoy a relaxing stroll along the beach, taking in the tranquil sound of waves and admiring views of Dunany Point and the rocky Clogherhead headland.
Templetown Beach boasts a rich history, once serving as a Knights Templar hub. Although the order has been inactive for over 700 years, the beach's name continues to honor their legacy. Today, Templetown provides a more serene atmosphere, but visitors can still appreciate its historical significance.
When planning a visit to Templetown Beach Shelling Hill, keep in mind its picturesque location on an unspoiled stretch of coastline facing the Irish Sea, only a 20-minute drive from Carlingford and a 30-minute drive from Dundalk. Despite its remote position, the beach features a large car park, though parking may be scarce during summer due to its popularity.
Templetown Beach takes pride in its Blue Flag status, indicative of its water quality, and lifeguards patrol during the bathing season (weekends in June, daily in July and August, and the first two weekends in September) from 11am to 6pm. As one of only 81 Irish beaches with Blue Flag status, Templetown Beach is among the country's finest.
The beach hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, including the annual Convoy to Cooley, a must-see for anyone visiting the area.
In summary, Templetown Beach Shelling Hill is a stunning destination suited for families, couples, and solo travelers. Its sheltered, south-facing shoreline, Blue Flag status, and unique history make it an essential stop for anyone exploring the Cooley Peninsula. Nearby attractions include the scenic Dunany Point, the charming medieval town of Carlingford, and the breathtaking Cooley Peninsula Scenic Drive. With clean waters and a variety of watersports available, Templetown Beach is perfect for water enthusiasts. After a day of adventure, visitors can treat themselves to delicious local cuisine in Carlingford and Dundalk. Discover the hidden gem of Templetown Beach and experience the captivating beauty of Ireland's coastline.