fbpx Carnlough Bay Boat Tours | Shaped by Sea and Stone

Carnlough Bay Boat Tours

Meet the Locals: 
Davy Smyth

Local fisherman Davy Smyth has been plying the waters off Carnlough all his life. The North Channel supports copious scallops, cod, pollock, conger, mackerel and herring, and he made a good living from catching them. In recent years, however, restrictions on fishing have tightened and the tourist industry has boomed. Davy has spied an opportunity to diversify.

Curiosity

His tour boat, Curiosity, now takes visitors to bag a catch of unforgettable memories. Davy bought Curiosity as a retired lifeboat and lovingly refurbished it in his workshop in the hills above Carnlough. It took careful preparation and a good deal of ingenuity to get it down to the water through the narrow streets of the town.

He moors the boat by the same steps that feature in HBO’s Game of Thrones®, in the scene where Arya Stark pulls herself from the water after being stabbed by the Waif. You can charter Curiosity for half-hour trips around Carnlough Bay, to see gorgeous scenery, a rich diversity of wildlife, and historic sites. Talk to him about bespoke journeys further afield and he’s more than happy to take you to some of the places that only the locals know.

Carnlough Bay Boat Tours
You can climb to the top of the disused lighthouse on the West Maiden to enjoy views of the Scottish and Antrim coastlines...

Nature & history

Along this coast, many towns and villages sprouted between the uplands and the sea. These hills are rich with minerals, and people have quarried them since the earliest times. They cultivated the hills in steeply-rising pastures, bordered by dry stone walls. Davy will let you into this fascinating world.

One of the most interesting trips is out to the Maidens, rocky islets far out in the North Channel. These outcrops were formed in the same volcanic activity that formed the cliffs of the Antrim Plateau, Slemish Mountain and the Giant’s Causeway. Two lighthouses rise from each of these rocks – one disused and the other automated – eerie places to visit if you come ashore.

Carnlough Bay Boat Tours | Shaped by Sea and Stone

Today, these rocks host breeding colonies of kittiwake, razorbill, and guillemot. You can climb to the top of the disused lighthouse on the West Maiden to enjoy views of the Scottish and Antrim coastlines or explore the ruins of the lighthouse keepers’ accommodation block.

Dolphins are regular visitors to Carnlough Bay and a particular favourite on Curiosity’s trips. “You never know when they are going to turn up,” says Davy, “but it’s become a lot more common to see them, certainly over the last 20 years. When you have people out on a tour and they see the dolphins, it’s like they’re at a firework display. All you hear are the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’. It’s almost like a life-changing experience for some people.”

You can get in touch with Davy at Carnlough Harbour, or visit his website for contact details.

Carnlough Bay Boat Tours | Shaped by Sea and Stone
Itineraries

Plan Your Trip

Make the most of your stay in Mid & East Antrim by selecting from one of our itineraries. Each one caters to a different interest, a different mood, and ensures you experience the very best in the region.

Coast Itinerary

The Causeway Coastal Route that twists and turns along the ancient County Antrim coastline is quite simply a journey unlike any other.

Read More
Coast | Shaped by Sea and Stone
Coast

Heritage Itinerary

This land has a story to tell - A historic tale passed down through generations, through artefacts and ruins, through folklore and ancient writings, where etchings of the past reveal a deeper understanding.

Read More
Heritage | Shaped by Sea and Stone
Heritage

Towns & Villages Itinerary

To truly appreciate the splendour of Mid & East Antrim, you must walk its towns and villages - These are places that have grown up from the rolling valleys of the Glens, nourished by the ebb and flow of the sea. 

Read More
Towns & Villages Itinerary
Town & Villages

Game of Thrones® Itinerary

The makers of HBO’s Game of Thrones® wanted to find an ancient landscape new to the rest of the world - dramatic cliffs that give way to beautiful valleys, medieval castles towering over picturesque stone harbours.

Read More
Game of Thrones® Itinerary
Game Of Thrones®

48-Hour Itinerary

The idyllic area of Mid & East Antrim was not built in a day, over thousands of years, the land started to take shape - with the collision of the rough Irish Sea on the soft grassy verges and the power of mother nature, the land started to flourish.

Read More
48-Hour Itinerary
48 Hours