Hidden Gems in the Ards Peninsula, County Down, Northern Ireland.

3 Day guided walking tour along the County Down coastline with Brigid Watson local tour guide.

Introduction

The Ards Peninsula is a place apart, a hidden gem off the beaten track with an amazing history of settlement since the Mesolithic Age. It has an abundance of ancient Christian sites and a rich Celtic Christian heritage. St Patrick walked along the shores of Strangford Lough, now a National Marine Nature Reserve renowned for its birdlife and outstanding natural beauty. It is easily accessible with a journey time from Belfast of less than one hour.

brigid-watson-photograph

Duration: 3 Days

Level Of Difficulty: Easy

Starting Point: The walks are located within an 8-mile radius of Portaferry so they are easily reached from your guesthouse with short journey times on quiet, country roads.

Price: £265 pps
Dates: 22/04/19 – 03/10/19
Discounted rates for groups of four or more people. Contact us directly for more details and to make a booking 

Minimum Group Size: 2
Maximum Group Size: 14

Accommodation: Guesthouses

Included

  • Your local, personal tour guide, Brigid Watson, will bring to life the fascinating stories of the people, the heritage and the stunning landscapes as you drink in the natural beauty all around you and enjoy a restorative experience.
  • 2 Nights Bed and Breakfast. Accommodation is pre-booked in approved and carefully selected family-run guesthouses with all rooms en-suite. You will experience a warm Irish welcome.
  • Maps and local tourist information
  • Advice on restaurants and other activities and things to see and do in the local area
  • Full back up service, if required, while on our tour

Not Included

  • Lunches
  • Dinners
  • Transport from/to airport; to starting point for walks. Transport can be arranged at an additional cost.
  • Ferry tickets (if you choose to use the Strangford to Portaferry ferry service)

Itinerary

Day 1:

Arrival/ Portaferry area, Ards Peninsula, County Down.

Your tour begins in the rural coastal Portaferry area located in the southern part of the Ards Peninsula. Depending on your arrival time there is the option of an afternoon walk at Kearney National Trust village. The coastline is an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) and is of international geological significance.

Day 2:

Guided tour of Portaferry and Strangford Lough walk. Walking time 4 hours approx.

Portaferry is a picturesque coastal town and a popular tourist destination. It has a fascinating social and maritime history and was once an important port and shipbuilding centre.

After lunch, we will set off from Portaferry on a stunning coastal walk along the shore of Strangford Lough, see and hear the area’s abundant bird population as you get close to nature in this designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  Look across the Lough to see historic Castle Ward where Game of Thrones was filmed.

Day 3:

Celtic hillfort and Holy Wells at Templecowey.

We take a short walk (gentle ascent) to visit a Celtic hillfort which today is the site of a hilltop graveyard where burials have taken place since pre-Christian times. It surrounds the ruins of a 14th century church and close by is a souterrain (an underground cave). On this walk, you will hear the intriguing life stories of some of those people whose last resting place is at your feet.  From this hilltop, there are panoramic views to Scotland.

We then travel by car to Templecowey, a remote spiritual site on the Irish Sea Coast where St Cooey, one of the early Irish saints founded a church. The holy wells are reputed to have healing powers and this place was a pilgrimage site. It is a tranquil place of great natural beauty where you will learn about customs and traditions associated with Celtic Christianity and Culture. Nearby is an important Celtic hillfort with rich folklore, it is believed to be a fairy fort.

Other local options include:

Private Boat Trip on Strangford Lough: 1 hour – £75 in total for the group

Celtic Yoga Workshop: 2-3 hours duration additional cost of £20pp

Golf: at Kirkistown Castle Golf Club in Cloughey, 18- hole links golf club 3.5hours £35pp

Exploris Aquarium and Seal Sanctuary: in Portaferry. Adult entry fee £9.50, £8 online

Tennis: Adults £7 per person for one hour

National Trust Castle Ward historic house: Trip to Castle Ward historic house and grounds. Entry fee Adults £9.50

Book your 3 Day Tour today

Dates package is offered:

Monday 22 April & Tuesday 23 April 2019

Monday 6th May & Tuesday 7th May 2019

Monday 3rd June & Tuesday 4th June 2019

Tuesday 13th & Wednesday 14th August 2019

Tuesday 17th & Wednesday 18th September 2019

Tuesday 1st & Wednesday 2nd October 2019

Other dates may be available by arrangement. Please contact us using our enquiry form or phone +447763898074.

If you do not wish to pay online you can choose to pay by bank transfer. Please contact our office for details

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