Saturday 22 July 2017

Way to go: Mount Stewart and Strangford Lough, Co Down

Christopher Somerville

MAP:

OS of Northern Ireland 1:50,000 Discoverer 21; Mount Stewart garden map from National Trust shop; downloadable map/ instructions (highly recommended) at walkni.com.

TRAVEL:

Rail/bus (integrated website nirailways.co.uk) -- Ulsterbus 10 (Belfast-Portaferry); road -- A20 Newtownards-Portaferry.

WALK DIRECTIONS:

Make a circuit of the Mount Stewart gardens and grounds, then walk out across Strangford Lough at low tide to Chapel Island.

NB: Tides and soft sands can make the Strangford Lough section dangerous. Only do this walk as part of a guided group -- contact Mount Stewart (see below) or David Thompson (028 4488 1204) for details.

LENGTH:

Five miles -- allow three hours.

GRADE:

Easy.

CONDITIONS:

Muddy across Strangford Lough -- wear wellingtons/ waterproof boots.

DON'T MISS:

Dodo Terrace; sensational skies and birds; chapel remains.

REFRESHMENTS:

Bay Restaurant, Mount Stewart (024 4278 7805).

ACCOMMODATION:

The Cuan Guest House, 4 The Square, Strangford, BT30 7ND (024 4488 1222; thecuan.com) -- delightful, comfortable and very friendly stopover.

GUIDE BOOKS/LEAFLETS: From National Trust shop. Newtownards Tourist Office: Regent Street (024 9182 6846); discovernorthern ireland.com; discoverireland.ie/walking; Mount Stewart (National Trust): 024 4278 8387; nationaltrust.org.uk.

Upcoming Events: Ballyhoura International Walking Festival, Co Limerick, May 1-3. See: ballyhoura country.com/events.

Irish Independent

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