Red icon represents approximate location of Cowey Cottage


Things to Do:

The Exploris Aquarium, Portaferry www.exploris.org.uk

The Northern Ireland Aquarium was opened in 1987 to enable the public to view the amazingly diverse marine life that exists around these islands. The conservation village of Portaferry was the ideal location. It is sited on the shores of the Marine Nature reserve of Strangford Lough which contains nearly three quarters of all the marine species to be found in Northern Irish waters.

Portaferry/Strangford Ferry Service www.nidirect.gov.uk

There has been a ferry service between Portaferry and Strangford, without a break, for almost four centuries. The alternative road journey is 75 kilometres and takes about an hour and a half, while the ferry crosses the 0.6 nautical miles (1.1 km) in 8 minutes. A £2.7 million vessel, MV Portaferry II, built by McTay Marine of Merseyside, came into service on 18 December 2001, relegating the earlier vessel, MV Strangford to a support role. The ferry runs for approximately 16 hours each day, 364 days per year.

St Patrick Centre, Downpatrick www.saintpatrickcentre.com

The Centre is an exciting interpretative exhibition which tells the fascinating story of Ireland's Patron Saint. Through Patrick's own words a light is shone on the arrival of Christianity in Ireland and its development through his mission. A series of interactive displays allow visitors to explore how Patrick's legacy developed in early Christian times and reveal the fabulous artwork and metalwork which was produced during this Golden Age. Only 15 minutes by car from Strangford (Strangford is a short 8 minute ferry crossing from Portaferry).

Mourne Mountains

A granite mountain range in County Down in the south-east of Northern Ireland which includes the highest mountains in Northern Ireland and the province of Ulster. The highest of these is Slieve Donard at 850 metres (2,790 ft). The Mournes is an area of outstanding natural beauty and has been proposed as the first national park in Northern Ireland. The area is partly owned by the National Trust and sees a large number of visitors every year. The Mournes are only a 30 minute drive from Strangford (Strangford is a short 8 minute ferry crossing from Portaferry).

National TrustNational Trust www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Mountstewart House, Castle Ward House, Rowallane Gardens, Ballyquinton Farm & Kearney village.

Christian Heritage around Strangford Lough
Nendrum Abbey; Downpatrick Cathedral & St Patrick’s Grave; St Patrick Centre at Downpatrick; Saul St Patrick’s first church; Greyabbey; Movilla Abbey, Newtownards; Old Priory, Newtownards; Inch Abbey, Downpatrick; Derry Churches, Portaferry; St Cowey’s Wells; Down County Museum Downpatrick.