This town’s name derives from the Gaelic ‘Ath na Long’ meaning ‘ford of the ships’, probably dating from the time of the Vikings, when the mouth of the Annalong River provided shelter for longships. The harbour at Annalong was built for shipping out locally quarried granite to other parts of Ireland and to the UK, and it also developed into a fishing port. The 18th century corn mill, once used for milling oatmeal, has a multi-media exhibition about the milling process as well as other aspects of local heritage. It is also the start of a pleasant coastal walk leading to the bays of Arthur’s Port and Springwell Port, where a variety of birds such as oystercatchers and redshanks can be seen pottering around on the shore. If you are lucky you may catch sight of a friendly seal popping up out of the water to check you out. Herring fishing boats known as yawls used to be launched from here during the autumn herring season. Visitors with kids in tow should head for the Marine Park, where there is parking and a play area.
|Photo by Aubrey Dale, via Wikimedia Commons|