When it comes to eating, drinking, travelling and experiencing, here, we embrace a slower pace.

When it comes to eating, drinking, travelling and experiencing, here, we embrace a slower pace.

Away from the crowds, carve your path back to nature and create your family's staycation stories in this unique part of the world.

 

Day 1


Indie Füde, Comber


Johnny, a self-confessed cheese lover will introduce you to a treasure trove of cheese and local artisan foods, while kids can try some award-winning Lick! Italian gelato, produced Newcastle comes in a vibrant selection of flavours such as Funky Donkey, Sweet Matcha, Irish Black Butter, Jaffa Cakes and Jammi Dodger

Tracey’s Farmhouse Kitchen and Mobile Team Adventure, Whiterock


Enjoy the beauty of Strangford Lough from your own canoe with John from Mobile Team Adventure at beautiful Ballymorran Bay. With John at the helm, the whole family will crew the boat, paddling around the little Islands and Marine Nature Reserve. He’ll introduce you to the local sea life before disembarking 2 mins from Tracey’s thatched cottage where she will welcome you with traditional breads fresh off the griddle with homemade jams, butter and local honey.

Castle Espie Wetland Centre, Comber


Escape to the shores of Strangford Lough and uncover 60 adventure-filled acres of wetland wildlife waiting to be explored. Get a closer look at the wildlife from our indoor hides, enjoy a coffee or snack indoors from our café, feed the ducks and explore our outdoor Wildwood adventure play area.

Accommodation Inspiration – Denvir’s Coaching Inn, Downpatrick
Denvir's has welcomed locals and travellers since 1642. This authentic Irish Inn is the oldest coaching inn in Ireland. Warmly welcomed by the owners, immerse yourself in old world charm and sample the award premium spirits from Echlinville Distillery, on the Ards Peninsula. Savour their famous seafood chowder made with smoked and fresh fish from East Coast Seafoods, based in Downpatrick, served with homemade buttermilk wheaten bread. Perhaps choose from a selection of gourmet burgers served in the beer garden. The new addition of Denvir’s Mews at Breen’s corner offers the “Struell room” perfect for families with 2 double beds and an en-suite.

 

Day 2


Finnebrogue Woods, Downpatrick
Kid will go wild in the woods with expert Bushman Rob at his camp within the Woods. He will teach essential survival & woodland bushcraft skills during this hands-on immersive experience including the basics of fire lighting, camp craft and shelter building. This full day experience includes a tasty lunch of Finnebrogue Dexter burgers & sausages which you will cook on the open campfire, all polished off with a handmade chocolate brownie.

Fodder & Trails, Finnebrogue Woods, Downpatrick
This is a foodie stop like no other. You’ll find a café, farm shop and deli selling their grass-fed, sustainably farmed Dexter Beef, reared on the grasslands and aged for 28 days. You’ll also find the tastiest of dishes from their small kitchen, using the best quality, local ingredients. They always have a vegan dish plus gluten free options. In the Farm Shop there are lots of tasty goodies as well as beautiful homeware to take away as a keepsake. The natural trails are through a woodland environment, including a section along the lake shore. They start behind the tipis and are approximately 15 - 20 mins in length (1.25km loop).

The Cuan, Strangford
The Cuan, which has been at the heart of Strangford Village since 1811, has been transformed into a luxurious boutique hotel and lovingly decorated to pay homage to the rich history of the village. A trip to Strangford wouldn’t be complete without sampling the delights of some local fresh produce, such as Kilkeel crab linguini, Dexter beef and Mourne lamb, as well as their signature hand stretched Neapolitian pizzas.

Travel across the Lough
Spot Ireland’s largest population of seals as you travel to Portaferry from Strangford on Strangford II, vehicle and passenger ferry at the lough’s narrowest point, a service which has taken people across this narrow passage for over 400 years.

Accommodation Inspiration –The Portaferry Hotel


Dating back to the 1700s, The Portaferry Hotel is steeped in history and is surrounded by breath-taking landscape. Situated in the heart of the picturesque village of Portaferry, on the shores of Strangford Lough, it’s run by local family, the Arthurs. Delightful accommodation consists of an award-winning restaurant serving the best seasonal, local produce, a cosy bar serving famous local Jawbox Gin, distilled by Echlinville Distillery and fourteen charming, individually decorated bedrooms – several with stunning lough views and a spacious family room with king size bed and unique mezzanine style bunk bed suitable for 2 children.

 

Day 3


Sustainable Journeys Ireland, Cloughey


Plan a family amble with local environmentalist and tour guide Brigid on a nature themed tour at the multi-award winning Cloughey Beach and Warren. Spot seabirds, wildflowers, and butterflies along the charming coastal walk. Discover tales of shipwrecks and adventures at sea. Dander barefoot on the beach and feel the warm sand between your toes. Listen to the call of the seabirds. Look across the sea to Scotland and south to the majestic Mourne Mountains.

Exploris, Portaferry


Northern Ireland’s only aquarium is nestled on the shores of the marine nature reserve of Strangford Lough. The lough contains nearly three quarters of all the marine species to be found in Northern Irish waters. Learn of the unique seal rescue stories and the important work of the aquarium in saving these precious creatures. By night see the underwater world from a different perspective with an evening tour and meal in the Cracken Licensed Restaurant. As well as thousands of fish from around the world, you’ll get to see the white tip reef shark (who never comes out in the day), rescued loggerhead sea turtle, resident nile crocodile and a glimpse into the night time activities of the new colony of penguins.

Grey Abbey, Greyabbey


Begin your journey back in time at the Visitor Centre, hear the story of the Abbey through the ages and test your knowledge of tales of battles like the 1798 rebellion. Let the children amble through the ruins of the 12th century Cistercian Abbey, the only Abbey in Ireland founded by a woman and the first example of Gothic architecture on the island. As you walk around the Abbey itself, find out what life was like as a monk in the 12th century, what monks ate and how they managed to communicate even when they weren't allowed to talk! Connect your family back to nature in the reconstructed Grey Abbey Physic Garden where over 40 herbs & plants that the monks used to produce their cures/medicines still thrive.