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Helen's Bay ( ) is a village on the North Down coastline between Crawfordsburnmarker and Seahillmarker, four miles west of Bangormarker. It is named after Helen, Lady Dufferin (née Sheridan), mother of Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava and owners of the Clandeboye Estatemarker. It is served by a railway stationmarker on the Bangor to Belfastmarker line. It had a population of 1,362 in the 2001 Census. It is within the North Down Borough Council area and is a commuter settlement with a small beach.


Helen’s Bay is a planned village which derived from the building of the Belfast and County Down Railway (BCDR) in the mid 19th century, and the aspirations of the local landlord, the Marquess of Dufferin and Ava who wanted to develop the area as a luxury holiday resort to rival Portstewartmarker and Portrushmarker. The granting of ‘villa’ or ‘house-free’ tickets by the BCDR Company, which entitled the holders to free travel for a period of time if they constructed houses within one mile of the station, encouraged further development of the settlement.

Places of interest

Crawfordsburn Country Park, on the southern shores of Belfast Lough, features 3.5 km (2.1 mi) of coastline and a small beach. The Park also includes Grey Point Fort, a coastal battery and gun emplacement dating from 1904 and updated during World War II. It now houses a military museum. Chef Michael Deane previously owned a restaurant in the village.

2001 Census

Grey Point Fort.
Helen's Bay is classified by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) as being within Belfastmarker Metropolitan Urban Area (BMUA). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 1,362 people living in Helen's Bay. Of these:
  • 17.9% were aged under 16 years and 28.3% were aged 60 and over
  • 48.6% of the population were male and 51.4% were female
  • 10.7% were from a Catholic background and 84.3% were from a Protestant background
  • 1.0% of people aged 16-74 were unemployed.

For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service


Swimmer Andrew Bree is from Helen's Bay. Local celebrity chef Michael Deane won his 1st Michelin star at Deane's on the Square restaurant. This was only the second Michelin star to be awarded in Northern Ireland.


Telephone Exchange

Although small, Helen's Bay still has its own BT Telephone exchange. Local numbers exist in the following formats:

  • (028) 9185 2XXX
  • (028) 9185 3XXX
  • (028) 9185 4XXX

See also


  1. North Down Borough Council
  2. Culture Northern Ireland

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