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AboutIs an 82 mile (132km ) circular route in and around Strangford Lough, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The trail travels through a variety of scenic landscapes along quiet country roads, with some traffic free sections in urban areas. The Ards Peninsula section from Newtownards to Portaferry offers breathtaking Irish Sea coastal views and on a clear day both Scotland and Isle of Man are visible.
The route travels through the fishing village of Portavogie and past the National Trust protected village of Kearney before continuing to Portaferry. After a short ferry crossing to Strangford village, the trail continues through the National Trust owned Castle Ward Estate along a traffic free path.
The route returns to Newtownards via Downpatrick, an historic town and burial site of Saint Patrick. As the route makes its way up the western shore of Strangford Lough it passes through Killyleagh with its ornate chateau-style Castle. The final leg from Comber to Newtownards travels past Killynether Wood, beneath Scrabo Tower and Country Park with superb panoramic views over Strangford Lough.
Length : 82 miles/ 132 km
Map/ Guides : www.sustransshop.co.uk, also available to purchase at Ards Visitor Information Centre.
Nearest Visitor Information centres:
Ards Visitor Information Centre
(028) 9182 6846
Portaferry Visitor Information Centre
(028) 4272 9882
(open Easter– end August )
Downpatrick Visitor Information Centre
(028) 4461 2233
60 miles/97 km
5 Hours +
Flat - rolling countryside.
Maps / guides:
No specific map available - contact Tourist Information Centre for details.
Point of interest:
Strangford Lough AONB, Kearney Village (National Trust), Strangford Ferry, Castle Ward (National Trust), Downpatrick, Delamont Country Park, WWT Castle Espie, Scrabo Tower.