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.

You will encounter spectacular views across the Strangford Narrows, towards Audley’s Castle and Castleward.

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 squirrel sculpture.

Continue along the path, passing a traditional wrought iron gate (recently restored by National Trust rangers and volunteers), until you come to a set of steps on your right.

Take the steps up into the woodland – enjoy the wildflowers such as bluebells, lesser celandine and cowslip in the spring.

Follow the path under oak and beech trees, keeping an eye out for some great bracket fungus growing on the trees.

Follow the path round continuing down the steps to a bench where you can catch your breath and enjoy the tranquil sounds of woodland birds and the sounds of the shore.

Continue along, re-joining the original path and follow back 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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