Newtown Beach

Getting there

Newtown is a 40 minute walk North from Morriscastle or a 15 minute drive from your cottage. To reach Newtown Turn right opposite the Church of Ireland in Clonevan. The road from the R742 is surfaced and the car parking area at the beach is quite extensive.
The unbroken sandy beach from Morriscastle is halted by the rocks of Cahore Point at Newtown. Here the seaside changes from sand to rocks and provides different opportunities to explore this stretch of lovely coastline.

Newtown Beach

Special Features of the Beach

The Dunes

To the south of Old Bawn beach the wonderful deep dune system still continues with several more huge sand dunes for children to play.

The Shore

The Rock Pools of the Shore

As you pass through the gateway to Old Bawn Beach looking to the North you will see the first rocks along this stretch of coast at beginning of the cliffs which form Cahore Point. The rocks form several bays in the cliff and a series of rock pools stretch into the sea. Although exploring around the rocks provides great fun for children they will need adult supervision anywhere in the area of the rocks.

Newtown Beach

The Shells of the Shore

There is a wealth of shells sticking to the rocks. Try to prise them off .You will see how strongly they are sealed to the rock. The cone shaped shell is Common Limpet. It is expert at clinging to the rock face with a watertight seal. Even though he looks as if he has no brain – he is a very smart little chap. Each Limpet has a “home base”on the rock. This is an oval scar which is the exact shape of its shell. When covered by water the limpet wanders all over the rock eating tiny seaweeds. It returns exactly to his own scar when the water goes out.
The periwinkles most commonly found on the shore make very tasty snacks when boiled and prised out of their shells with a pin.

The Lichens

The coloured patches on the rocks are Lichens which come in a variety of colours shapes and textures. They are very slow growing maybe only a centimeter per year and many live thousands of years. They are an important part of the environment as they can absorb toxins from the air. Orange leafy lichen can vary in colour from yellow to bright orange. As with some other lichens it was often used to make natural red and yellow dyes

The Sea Lettuce

Probably the easiest sea weed to recognize is the Sea Lettuce. It is shaped like a lettuce leaf and is bright green. It is very pretty with the front almost transparent. Its Velvet Horn is shaped like a deer’s antlers and is dark green in colour. Wracks and Kelps are also found all over the shore. The shiny leather belts lying at the water’s edge are the fronds of Oar weed and make wonderful building material for sand castles.

The Sea Anemones

Clinging to the rocks you will find Sea Anemones. They are very beautiful when open in the water. Dahlia Anemone has a stunning flower like appearance with lovely colours from blues and greens to pinks and reds. The Plumrose Anemone looks like a powder puff when it is submerged under water. “Bring Irelands Seashore” is a small book which you will find in your cottage. It will help you to identify many of the other beautiful sea anemones you will find on the rocks.

The Peacock Worm is another type of Sea Anemone. He is very dramatic and beautiful fellow. He lives in a narrow tube but when covered by Sea water he emerges from his tube and sticks out a spectacular circular fan of multicolored feathered gills. If he is disturbed he rapidly pulls in his fan and returns to wormy state.

The Cliff

Cut into the rocks at the north end of Old Bawn beach are a series of steps. These lead up to the Cliffs before Cahore Harbour. The views to the North to Tara hill and Wicklow Head are lovely. On a clear day it is possible to see the windmills which are built out to sea. Walking back south along the cliff it is possible to make a short detour to the right along the old garden walls of Cahore Castle to a road which brings you back to Old Bawn Beach.

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