Cranfield Beach, Northern Ireland

CRANFIELD beach is located at the entrance of the incredible Carlingford Lough.

Beach goers can soak up the surrounding views while enjoying one of the best beaches that Northern Ireland has to offer.

Is Cranfield beach worth visiting?

Cranfield beach is a great spot for a day at the seaside with family and friends.

However, you’ll have to get there early if you want to secure the best spot.

Cranfield beach offers an incredible view of Carlingford Lough (Credit: Flickr/ Richard Browne)

This beach can get very busy during the summer season – which can also make parking nearby an issue.

Parking can be found along Ameracam Lane.

There is ramp access to the beach for disabled visitors.

If the beach is too busy, you can head along to the western end towards the promenade.

There is a grassy area here – which is great for a game of football or a picnic.

Beach goers are not spoilt with a wide range of facilities at Cranfield.

There are snack vans, an ice cream shop and public toilets that are available to use.

However, if you fancy a bite to eat or need somewhere to stay, you may have to head into the town of Kilkeel.

Kilkeel is located about four miles away the beach front at Cranfield.

This beach, which is sand and shingle, is hugely popular with watersport lovers.

Lifeguards will also be on patrol in August between the hours of 11am and 6pm.

In September, lifeguards will only be on duty during the weekends.

Are dogs allowed on Cranfield beach?

Dogs are allowed on Cranfield beach – but restrictions remain in place during the summer months.

Unfortunately, dogs are banned from the main part of the beach during summer months.

This should be clearly signposted when you arrive.

Will I be fined for taking my dog to the beach?

Should dog owners fail to keep their dog from straying into the exclusion zones – which will be clearly signposted on the beach – then they face the prospect of being fined.

Should you be caught in the banned area with your dog, you could be served with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £75.

However, the fine could rise to up to £1,000 should you dispute it and you are then prosecuted through the courts.

There are exemptions to being fined, including if you are registered blind.

Why are dogs banned from going onto beaches?

The main reason for not allowing dogs on to beaches at certain times is for health and safety purposes.

Although most owners will clean up after their pets when they are out, some fail to pick up their dog’s poo. 

Due to a dog’s diet being largely meat-based, leaving their faeces on the beach runs the risk of humans contracting toxocariasis – or zoonosis. 

And during the busy months, this becomes even more dangerous – especially for children – with potential problems including blindness and breathing difficulties.

Things to consider when taking your dog to the beach

Dogs love a nice trip to the seaside, just like their human companions. 

But there are a number of rules and tips to consider when heading to the beach.

These include: 

  • Check with beach management to see if dogs are allowed
  • Take poo bags to clear up their mess
  • Bring a lead – dogs have to be on a leash on some beaches at all times
  • Avoid the big crowds
  • Consider some people may not like dogs
  • Take plenty of fresh water and a bowl for your dog
  • Take a first aid kit in case your dog becomes injured
  • Check for local vets in case of emergency
  • Make sure your dog is wearing their collar and ID tag
  • If they are wear a GPS tracker, make sure it is fully charged
  • Take spare towels to dry them
  • Keep an eye on your dog at all times