Salt Island BothyStrangford Lough, Northern Ireland
About Salt Island BothyStay on the beautiful and unspoilt Salt Island, a haven for nature in Strangford Lough, where this rustic and remote bothy is perfect for island adventurers and wildlife lovers
Have an island adventure when you stay at this simple stone-built bothy on a tiny island in the middle of the lough. Sitting near the old jetty where seals swim, and surrounded by wildflowers, the bothy offers a real escape from the pace of modern life, where you’re more likely to meet sheep than other people. You can complete the Robinson Crusoe-vibe by arriving by boat or canoe.
Step inside and you’ll find a cosy and basic alternative to camping. The one-room open plan bothy has wooden bunks that sleep up to ten people (there are only 8 bunks). Inside, there’s also a woodburner, a small table and chairs, a toilet and a kitchen area with a modest supply of utensils (you’ll need to bring your own stove). Outside there’s an enclosed walled garden with a BBQ area to the front and woodland to the rear with a composting toilet. Bothy life means that you’re essentially ‘camping within walls’, so it’s all about simple pleasures. And when you wake up here, you can’t help but feel the magic of the island location.
Peek out of the bothy at the sunrise and plan your days on the island, which instills a sense of adventure combined with relaxation and peacefulness. Head to Brandy Bay on the north western side and you’ll find it easy to imagine smugglers using this gorgeous spot as a stopping off point for illicit liquor on its way to the mainland. Today the island is covered in wildflowers and a real haven for wildlife so it’s popular with canoeists and boaters, families and youth groups. As the sun sets you can fire up the BBQ and watch the colours change on the lough, guaranteed to set you up for a good night’s sleep.
With the whole of Strangford Lough on your doorstep, (or at the end of your jetty,) the largest sea lough in the British Isles is just waiting to be explored. There are around 100 islands and heading out on the Strangford Lough Canoe Trail will make sure you see a few more if a day on the water appeals. Keen birdwatchers should keep their eyes peeled for heron, redshank and curlew. If you can bear to leave your tranquil little island base, then nearby Castle Ward is a must-see for Game of Thrones fans who should recognise it from the HBO series. At the top of the lough, Mount Stewart with its world class gardens and magnificent house should also be on your to-do list.
4 bunk bed platforms are provided for guests to put their own mats or air beds on; no mattress, pillows, bedding or linen provided.
The bothy has toilet facilities, but has an outside compost toilet should the indoor toilet fail. This is located in the shed outside of the bothy.
In the bothy, there is a wood burning stove for heating.
Notes for guests
Heating: There is a wood burning stove for heating, only dry wood can be used on the stove. Fire wood can be scavenged from the woodland, but only branches. Under no circumstances is it permitted to cut trees in the woodland.
Bedding/linen: No linen or bedding provided.
Facilities: The bothy has an internal toilet facility as well as an outside compost toilet.
Parking: There is no parking on the island - it is only accessible by boat. There is parking by Killyleagh harbour or on street parking. Please note, we would not be responsible/liable for any damage to vehicles.
Please note: There is no electricity or lighting, or drinking water in the bothy or on the island, please make sure you bring your own drinking water. Harvested rain water is provided from water butts for washing up etc.
There are steps down into the bothy and steps up to the outside toilet.
The bothy is located in an area of open countryside that is open to everyone at all times.
Garden: There is an enclosed garden
Dogs: No dogs allowed at the bothy as sheep graze on the island.
Getting to Salt Island: Salt Island is only accesible by canoe or Kayak. It is about a 20 minute paddle. We are not responsible/liable for visitors getting to & from Salt Island.