A gentle walk through mixed woodland with lovely views of Strangford Lough

Once part of the Nugent's Estate, The Wood (or locally known as “The Forty Steps”) is now managed by The National Trust.

It is a gentle walk through a mature wood of mixed broad-leaved trees.

On the 1.5 approx – mile path you will encounter spectacular views across the Strangford Narrows, towards Audley’s Castle and Castleward.  The walk has had a magical make-over.  Look high and low to see how many of the woodland and magical creature carvings you can find. 

Nugent's Wood is home to Red Squirrels (Peak sightings are September – November) and has an impressive display of spring flowers such as bluebells, stitchwort and honey suckle.

As the wood is adjacent to the coast the smell of the sea air mingles with the pine and wild flowers to make the walk exhilarating - an exploration that makes you feel alive.


Start your walk at the black gate at the end of the row of houses past the Lifeboat Station as you walk away from the town.

Walk along the grass path, enjoying the views across the lough to Castle Ward Bay, until you find the C.S Lewis sculpture.

Continue along the path, through a wooden gate (keeping the stone wall to your left side) follow the woodland path up the small hill and through the woodland – with a watchful eye for the Owl, Fox and Badger sculptures as well as the Butterfly seat and much more.

There are steps to the right (after the Butterfly seat) which take you to more of the woodland you can follow the path round continuing down the steps to a bench where you can catch your breath, enjoy views of The Lough and the tranquil sounds the shore and of woodland birds.

Follow the path under oak and beech trees, keeping an eye out for some great bracket fungus growing on the trees.  Continue along, re-joining the original path Enjoy the wildflowers such as bluebells, lesser celandine and cowslip in the spring.  In the summer months you can find beautiful Rhododendrons and wild Fox Glove.

When you reach back to the Butterfly seat take the original path back towards to the starting point.

Contact Details

  • Address Nugent's Wood Lough Shore Road Portaferry County Down BT22 1PF
  • Telephone 028 9182 6846
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