Carnalea is a townland on the County Down coast, on the western edge of Bangor. Modern day landmarks are Carnalea Golf Club, Tesco Springhill and Carnalea Methodist Church.

The western boundary between the townlands of Ballykillare and Carnalea is a stream that tumbles down into Belfast Lough.

There is a lovely woodland walk along the Carnalea side of the river.

Even in February 2018, some flowers were in bloom at the coastal end of the path. These are winter heliotrope (Petasites fragrans).

From the Carnalea shore, you can see across Belfast Lough to County Antrim.According to PLACENAMESNI, the name Carnalea came from the Irish Carnán Lao meaning a small cairn or heap of stones of the calf.

This bus stop has an interesting spelling.  Records from the seventeenth century show this townland as Ballecarnaneleagh, Ballincarnamleigh and Ballencarndeogh.  So let’s consider this one a historical variation, not a typo.

We go back to the standard spelling at the railway station – which is actually in the neighbouring townland of Ballykillare. After all my photography I discovered that the train station displayed the best view of Carnalea townland – a mural created by pupils from Rathmore Primary School.

more information

Here is a link to the WALKNI guide to the North Down Coastal Path.

Which county is Carnalea in?   County Down

Which civil parish is Carnalea in?   Bangor

Which townlands border Carnalea?   Ballykillare, Bangor Bog and Ballyvarnet.

Click here for a map of Carnalea on Townlands.IE.

Finally, click here to read more about the history of the townland name on the PLACENAMESNI website.




    • Thanks Carissa. Did I see on your whisky blog that you were travelling to Bangalore, my old hometown? Hope you had a good trip.


  1. Hi Karolyn, Do you mind if I borrow your photo of the Carnalea train station signs? I want to do some Photoshopping to help the people campaigning to get the railway back into Armagh, so I want to show a mockup of what the signs outside a reopened Armagh station could look like.

    Liked by 1 person

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