Salt Island Bothy

Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland
The exterior of Salt Island Bothy, Northern Ireland
The exterior of Salty Island Bothy, Northern Ireland
The Bunkroom at Salt Island Bothy, Northern Ireland
The bunk room at Salt Island Bothy, Northern Ireland
The fire pit at Salt Island Bothy, Northern Ireland
The views from Salt Island Bothy, Northern Ireland
The view from Salt Island Bothy, Northern Ireland
View across the water to Salt Island Bothy, Northern Ireland
The exterior of Salt Island Bothy, Northern Ireland The exterior of Salty Island Bothy, Northern Ireland The Bunkroom at Salt Island Bothy, Northern Ireland The bunk room at Salt Island Bothy, Northern Ireland The fire pit at Salt Island Bothy, Northern Ireland The views from Salt Island Bothy, Northern Ireland The view from Salt Island Bothy, Northern Ireland View across the water to Salt Island Bothy, Northern Ireland

About Salt Island Bothy

Stay 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.

Enquire and book

Call 0344 335 1296

Opening times

Due to social distancing measures and other requirements, we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone all bunkhouse, bothy and working holidays until Wednesday 30 September 2020.

Email Bunkhouses@nationaltrust.org.uk

Layout

  • Ground floor

    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. 

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About the Acorn rating

To help find the best cottage for you, we have created our own quality rating system for our holiday cottages called the Acorn rating. Ranging from 1-5 Acorns, the rating gives you an indication of a property’s facilities, fixtures and fittings, with five being the highest quality level. The Acorn rating is not connected to any other industry rating system that may be used for holiday cottages and is only to be used as a guide that covers location, style of interior and the facilities you may be looking for. We do not set our cottage pricing based on the Acorn rating we have given a cottage as all our cottages are of an individual nature. Therefore, we recommend that all factors are considered when making your choice. In addition, some of our cottages are curated to be sympathetic to their time period. This means that they might not have all of the aspects of modern living, but impress in so many other ways.

1 Acorn: simple living accommodation with basic furniture and fixtures fit for purpose and clean. Running water and a toilet are provided. There could be some limitations to heating and washing facilities – details of these will be stated clearly on the cottage's webpage. Bedding, linen and towels are supplied with a few exceptions, which are again clearly stated). Facilities for basic catering and living are provided. In general, a 1 Acorn cottage does not have WiFi.

2 Acorn: a mid-quality range of furniture and fittings. Bathroom facilities are basic or there may be a high number of guests to bathroom ratio depending on the size of the cottage. Very few 2 Acorn cottages have WiFi and the kitchen white goods and washing facilities are basic. Bedding, linen and towels are supplied in all 2-5 Acorn cottages.

3 Acorn: a good, standard offer. Generally it is correctly proportioned for the number of guests but could have a few compromises, for example a small kitchen, or a lower bathroom to guest ratio. The variety of white goods available will be better than a 2 Acorn cottage.

4 Acorn: these cottages have more premium furniture, fittings and lighting. Additionally the ratio of bathrooms to guests is likely to be higher, and the bathrooms would be more likely to have separate and spacious showers instead of showers over baths.

5 Acorn: a luxury accommodation offer with very few limiting factors. This is the highest offer available. It is well-equipped and has spacious facilities throughout the cottage or is set within an extraordinary location or building. The furniture is of a high standard, and has real comfort for modern living.

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