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Carlingford and The Cooley Peninsula are situated in the north east corner of county Louth, midway between Belfast and Dublin.

The area as a whole and Carlingford in particular has a rich historical heritage.

The Tain Bo Culainge or the Cattle Raid of Cooley, an ancient Irish saga is based largely in this area. 


The Cooley Mountains follow a north westerly / south easterly line with fine fertile soil to the south west and rugged mountain terrain to the north east. They are ideal for walkers and hikers of all experience levels. Their highest point, Sleive Foy, provides dramatic views of Carlingford Lough and a panorama stretching from the Mourne Mountains to Dundalk Bay and The Irish Sea as far as Howth and The Isle of Man.


Carlingford and Cooley also has a number of important pre-historic and medieval sites, especially within the confines of Carlingford itself. For instance, the village is dominated by the remains of King Johns Castle, the first major construction in Carlingford’s history built in the twelfth century. Other fine examples of religious and secular buildings dating from the twelfth century onwards can also be seen in the village.


Carlingford has a deserved reputation for hospitality, with some of the finest restaurants and friendliest pubs in Ireland. It also home to a wonderful community of artist and artisans. 


Carlingford is just over an hour’s drive from both Dublin and Belfast.


Leave the M1 at junction 18 and take the exit off the roundabout signposted ‘Carlingford / Ballymascanlan’. Carlingford Village is about a 20 minute drive from Ballymascanlan.


Drive through the village. Pass the Harbour on your right and continue under the bridge that is connected to the castle ruins of King John’s Castle. Continue on for 300m and the Marina is the next right turn. 


Carlingford Lough, with its upper parts resting between the lower slopes of the Mountains of Mourne and the Cooley Mountains, is the most picturesque inlet on the East Coast of Ireland. It is simply a must for sailors providing both interesting sailing plus a variety of beautiful locations to sail in waters that are absent of swell. The area offers a unique blend of natural beauty, spectacular panoramas, myths and legends that combine with a modern day activities and great boating facilities.


For the visiting boatman, Carlingford Marina provides a tranquil, intimate base from which to enjoy the Cooley Peninsula and an ideal base from which to explore the other anchorages in the Lough itself.



Small vessels should not enter or leave Carlingford Lough against the tide.


Here are some cruising distances in nautical miles that may assist in planning your arrival:

Ardglass        23 nm

Portaferry       28 nm

Malahide         38 nm

Dublin             44 nm

Peel                50 nm

Holyhead        64 nm


The approaches to Carlingford Lough are guarded by its 34 meter grey granite tower, The Haulbowline Lighthouse, standing west of the entrance. The entrance channel is marked by leading lights (inner and outer vidal) located at Green Island, west of Cranfield Bay.


The recommended approach for Carlingford Marina is to continue down the shipping channel until you get to the Number 18 marker. Round the #18 and head straight for the marina entrance. For boats with a larger draft, we would advise not to try and enter the marina for an hour either side of low water. Clearance in the marina is 2.0m.

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