Ballyvarnet is on the edge of the town of Bangor. The southern half of the townland lies inside the Clandeboye Estate, home of the Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava. But that doesn’t mean that it’s off-limits. I was able to follow this path, the “Clandeboye Way”, to explore the townland in July 2015.
This lake is the boundary between Ballyvarnet and Conlig townlands. Photos from the rest of my walk appear in my post from Conlig.
But that’s not the end of Ballyvarnet. The townland extends north of the Clandeboye Estate, in a narrow strip all the way to the shore of Belfast Lough. This northern part includes Strickland’s Glen, which I visited in February 2016.
The Bryan’s Burn flows through Strickland’s Glen, separating Ballyvarnet from the townland of Corporation (which covers most of Bangor). The stream is criss-crossed by a series of paths and bridges leading down to the sea.
According to the PLACENAMESNI website, the name Ballyvarnet derives from the Irish Baile Bhearnan meaning “townland of the gap”. The spelling of the townland name has changed over the years, so as well as “varnet”, I have seen “vernon”, “vernet”, and “varnen”. Here are two different versions from gravestones in Bangor.
Click on these links for information on the walking routes in Ballyvarnet:
Which county is Ballyvarnet in? County Down
Which civil parish is Ballyvarnet in? Bangor
Which townlands border Ballyvarnet? To the north, Belfast Lough. To the east, moving south, Corporation, Rathgael, Lisbane, Conlig and Whitespots. To the southwest, Ballyskeagh. To the west, moving north, Ballyleidy, Bangor Bog and Carnalea.