The quaint village and townland of Kircubbin is situated between Newtownards and Portaferry. Visitors can stop here to take in stunning views across to the Mourne Mountains in the distance.
Echlinville Distillery in Kircubbin provides a bespoke experience for enthusiasts to visit. It became Northern Ireland’s first licenced distillery in over 125 years when it distilled its first spirit in 2013. Echlinville hosts tours that offer an insight into the workings of the distillery and visitors can also sample their renowned whisky brand, Dunville and gin brands, Echlinville and Jawbox. Their Echlinville Gin has won one of the most sought after food and drink awards; a three star rating at the Great taste Awards. Being the only Irish gin to receive this award, it is a huge achievement. Afternoon tea can be added to your tour which is served in the Echlinville Manor House.
Just outside the village is the tiny church of Innishargie, the most interesting unrestored building in the area. Its ties go back to the early church in Ireland, with a clear link to the Order of St Benedict in AD 1200. A 13th century gravestone from Innishargie, known locally as the Black Abbey, is preserved at nearby Greyabbey.
If you’re looking for fine cuisine you should visit the famous Saltwater Brig pub. This restaurant lies between Kircubbin and Portaferry and has been providing great food since 1765. The Extensive Gardens to the rear of the Brig provides picturesque views of Strangford lough which can be enjoyed whilst eating food in the summer months.
Katch 27 also serves fine cuisine. Turning from a cosy 27-seater café by day to an intimate restaurant by night. If you’re looking for somewhere to stop on your coastal drive, this is the spot.