Opening times for 10 December 2023
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There are a number of lay-bys and car parks around the lough.
Public toilets available.
The National Trust encourages visitors to walk in its farmland sites, however we would ask you to respect livestock and keep your dogs on leads and under close control. Please look out for information about ground nesting bird season.
A number of car parks around the lough. Mount Stewart and Castle Ward have disabled facilities.
Ballyquintin farm has a path suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs from the car park to the viewpoint only. Kearney is wheelchair accessible for the first mile along a rough grass track, but crosses shingle beach after this point.
The A20 runs along the picturesque eastern shore of the lough between Newtownards and Portaferry, before continuing on to Ballyquintin at the very southern tip of the Ards Peninsula. The A22 runs between Comber and Downpatrick to the west of the lough
Walking routes the Ulster Way, Lecale Way and St Patrick's Way, all take in parts of the Lough. Most of the shoreline is accessible on foot and if you time the tides right, some of the islands can also be explored
Most of the towns and villages boardering the lough are served by Ulsterbus services. Service 10A takes you from Belfast along the picturesque Ards Pininsula on the East side of the lough terminating in Portaferry. Service 16E goes from Downpatrick to Strangford on the south west of the lough
Sustrans National Cycle Network route 99 takes cyclists from Belfast to the Lough shores. The winding, rural coast roads around the lough are very popular with cyclists
Strangford Lough can be approached by yacht from the Irish Sea. Mooring available at Portaferry marina. A public car and passenger ferry crosses the southern Narrows between Strangford and Portaferry every half hour. The National Trust runs wildlife watching boat trips during the summer
Strangford Lough is the UK’s largest sea lough and one of Europe’s key wildlife habitats. A great wildlife watching spot.
Mixed woodland at Nugent's Wood, where you can spot red squirrels, bluebells and carved animal statues.
Orlock coastal walk affords stunning views of the Copeland Islands and out across the Irish Sea towards Scotland.
Kearney coastal walk. Sitting on the southern tip of the Ards peninsula, Kearney is a picturesque, traditional fishing village.
Find out what's on and plan your next adventure in County Down!
Explore the largest sea lough in the British Isles, home to a variety of rare wildlife. Head out for walk, discover the local towns and villages and soak up dramatic views.
Strangford Lough is one of only three Marine Nature Reserves in the UK and home to a huge variety of wildlife. Here’s what to look out for and where to explore on your next visit.
Discover Strangford Lough and the Ards Peninsula with your dog. From coast to countryside the Ards Peninsula has it all and there's plenty of space for them to bound, sniff, jump and splash. Strangford Lough is a one pawprint rated place.
Grab your kit and explore the largest sea lough in the British Isles. Soak up unique views, spot marine wildlife and see the many islands dotted along this part of the coast.
On this short coastal walk from Kearney, look out for quaint, whitewashed cottages and an abundance of wildlife.
Enjoy a short walk through wonderful mixed woodland at Nugent's Wood in Portaferry. Look out for red squirrels and, in the spring, bluebells, lesser celandines and cowslips.
The coastal walk at Orlock on the North Down Coast is steeped in archaeology and history. With views of the Copeland Islands and out across the Irish Sea towards Scotland, it is one of the best coastal walks in Northern Ireland.
Strangford Lough is a unique and wonderful place of immense international importance for nature conservation. It is the largest sea lough in the British Isles, covering an area from Angus Rock at its mouth on the Irish Sea, to the vast sand-flats at its northern end 20 miles (33 kilometres) away. It is one of only three designated Marine Nature Reserves in the United Kingdom.
The wealth of wildlife, unrivalled in Europe, is complex, delicately balanced, dependent on tides, and the variety of habitats found between seabed and shoreline, and of course, how we as humans interact with this precious resource.
Strangford Lough is steeped in history spanning back thousands of years. Find out about the Mesolithic hunter gatherers, Vikings and Norman invaders who all left their mark here.