Sea, Harbour, RNLI & Fishing

Kilkeel Harbour

Kilkeel Harbour

Tel, (028) 4176 2525

Kilkeel harbour was first started in the 1850s and a pier was built in 1868 with further improvements in 1872. The harbour has grown since then and developed until the recent introduction of pontoons for the smaller fishing boats. In the early days schooners (tall ships) traded with Liverpool, Scotland, Cornwall and Kinsale, trading goods such as potatoes, grain, granite and importing coal etc. You can go deep sea angling or take boat trips as well and don’t forget to get your photograph taken with the Big Fish Sculpture as a memento of your visit.

Guided Walking Tour of Kilkeel Harbour

Tel (028) 4176 2525 Email:

Kilkeel harbour is home to the largest fishing fleet in Northern Ireland. You can learn about its rich maritime heritage by taking a guided walking tour. See if you can spot “Salt” or “Pepper” our resident seals in the harbour. You can choose between a 30 min or 1 hr tour. Please call at the Mourne Maritime Visitors Centre/Kilkeel Tourist Office in the Nautilus Centre at Kilkeel Harbour.

Venue: Mourne Maritime Visitor Centre

Time: pre booking essential

Cost: £

Nautilus Centre

First Floor, Nautilus Centre, Rooney Road, Kilkeel, tel (028) 4176 2525

The Nautilus Centre overlooks Kilkeel’s busy and picturesque fishing port and houses the Mourne Maritime Visitor Centre, Kilkeel Tourist Information Centre and Mourne Seafood Cookery School. Hear the story of local fishing, maritime heritage and fishing families through exhibitions and touch screen technology. There is also a reconstruction of a wheelhouse, the “Anna” skiff and a crafts and gift shop. Lift and stair access.

Mourne Maritime Visitor Centre

First Floor, Nautilus Centre, Rooney Road, Kilkeel, tel (028) 4176 2525

The Mourne Maritime Visitors Centre tells the story of the local fishing and maritime heritage. There is a reconstruction of a wheelhouse where children both young and old can have a go at being skipper and learn about life on board. It also houses the “Anna” skiff which was the pride of the herring fleet when Kilkeel was also home to tall ships that carried granite and grain to ports all over the UK and Ireland. Whatever the weather you can sit and enjoy panoramic views of Kilkeel harbour. There are craft activities for children when they visit, as well as gifts to browse through. Lift and stair access available.

Mourne Seafood Cookery School

First Floor, Nautilus Centre, Rooney Road, tel (028) 4176 2525

The Mourne Seafood Cookery School is a state of the art cookery school located in the Nautilus Centre. For seafood lovers this is an ideal way to learn more about what to look for when buying, handling and cooking seafood. It is aimed to be a fun, relaxed, learning experience. You will learn about how fish is caught, filleted, handled and cooked. All classes are designed for both the beginner and the food enthusiast. Mourne Seafood Cookery School now also offer a wide range of non-seafood classes.

See for the full range of classes. Lift and stair access available.

Cranfield Blue Flag Beach

Ameracam Lane, Cranfield, tel (028) 4176 4321

Cranfield beach is set in an idyllic location at the mouth of Carlingford Lough, with the majestic Mourne Mountains as a dramatic backdrop. This long south facing beach offers excellent facilities for all.

Opening times: open all year – lifeguards on duty July & August 

Cranfield Beach Slipway

Cranfield beach, tel (028) 4175 2256

Cranfield Slipway and Trailer Park at Cranfield beach is used for the launch of personal craft during the summer seasons. For an application please contact Warrenpoint Tourist Office.

RNLI Lifeboat Station

Visitor Contact:

Sadly Kilkeel has seen more than its share of tragedy on the seas in the past number of years. Kilkeel RNLI Lifeboat Station has been in operation since 1986 and covers an area with the largest fishing fleet in Ireland. The present station was built in 1992 and has since undergone extensive modifications. The launching davit has been replaced with a larger one to facilitate the new Atlantic 85 lifeboat, Frank William Walton, which was placed on service in 2006. Many a seaman has been glad to see the men of the Kilkeel lifeboat arrive on the scene. Lives have been saved and many helped.


Situated in the southern corners of counties Armagh and Down, the Newry and Mourne area has a rich and diverse landscape with clean rivers, small spate streams, mountain loughs and coastal inlets. Newry and Mourne offers the angling visitor quality game, coarse and sea angling opportunities. Brochure and further information can be obtained from Kilkeel Tourist Information Centre, tel (028) 4176 2525.

Equipment and bait available from Heather’s, The Harbour, Kilkeel, tel (028) 4176

(check The Harbour Store – different tel no 4176 3864)

Sea Angling

For deep sea angling and diving contact Carlingford Lough Sea Angling, tel (028) 3026 4906.