Come January, I always feel the need to get to the coast, to blow away those winter cobwebs and start to embrace the new year ahead. So, yesterday as the sun rose on a beautifully frosty Saturday morning, we set off early on a little trip to Brown’s Bay. It’s a place I’ve never visited, but my husband used to go on day trips there with his brother and sisters when they were little.
Brown’s Bay is a small cove with a sandy beach located on the northern tip of the Islandmagee peninsula in County Antrim, approximately 45 minutes from Belfast. It’s a quiet little spot, surrounded by headlands on both sides, farmland beyond the beach and views to the Antrim coast and across the North channel to Scotland (on a good day!). As we had arrived early, the beach was empty, save for a few dog walkers who, like ourselves, were happy to brave the chilly elements.
Brown’s Bay looking towards Skernaghan Point
So, off we set for a walk along the beach and before too long, we discovered a path that led up to Skernaghan Point, the most northern tip of the Islandmagee peninsula and maintained by The National Trust. It was steep and muddy in places, and most definitely breezy but it was worth it for the views back down to the beach below and to the coastline beyond, dotted with pretty cottages.
The view back to Brown’s Bay as we walked up Skenaghan Point
Mist and bracken covered hills across the bay
Lovely to see the bright yellow of gorse on the hills (also known as whin)
Having stayed long enough to admire the views (and feeling chilled to the bone!), we made our descent from Skernaghan Point back to the more sheltered beach. We took a wander through the tiny and rather sleepy village, my husband stopping for a second at the old shop where he and his brother used to while away their day trips playing pinball. There are some lovely whitewashed cottages here at the edge of the bay making it an attractive destination for a weekend break. If you are looking for peace and quiet, this is a perfect spot.
Refreshed from our walk and with memories revisited, it was time to head back to the car for the drive home, taking a last look at that lovely winter light.
Have a lovely Sunday x
(Brown’s Bay is free to access and there is free car parking opposite the beach).