Close up of man fishing


Angling, Lough Cowey, Portaferry

Trout fishing. License and permit required. Contact DCAL 0300 200 7860.

Directions: On A20, 5 miles south of Kircubbin or 2 miles north of Portaferry.

Ards Peninsula Tours

Brigid Watson Ards Peninsula Tours

Local tour guide Brigid Watson loves ‘reading the landscape’ for people: "Whether on foot or on a coach I want to give you ‘a sense of this unique place’ in an entertaining and informative way. On my tours you will travel off the beaten track to wonderful sights which most tourists never see. I have a wealth of knowledge and stories of the fascinating heritage of this region including Christian heritage, built heritage; nature and wildlife; Celtic culture and folklore; social and maritime History; Geography and Geology. 
I design tailormade itineraries to match your interests and ensure you have a unique experience. You will receive my personal attention throughout your tour."

Birdwatching, various locations

Birds can be viewed from various access points around Strangford Lough.  Depending on the season species include: terns, grebes, shoveler, mallard, wigeon, shelduck, brent geese, oyster catcher, plovers, heron, curlew, redshank and turnstones.

For more details visit

Boating, Portaferry

Sailing on Strangford

Boat trips on Strangford Lough on the St Brendan. Trips from May – October (every other Sunday) from Portaferry or Strangford, for bird and seal watching. Angling groups also catered for.

Must be booked in advance. Contact John Murray Jnr for further details: 028 4272 8414 / 07986 625 162


80 square nautical miles of paddling playground from the fast-running tidal channel in the south, to the more gentle waters around the islands there is something for canoeists of all abilities. With the many access points around the shores of the Lough the possibilities are endless.  

For a trail map call into the Visitor Information Centre or visit

Echlinville Distillery

The Echlinville Distillery became the first newly licensed distillery in Northern Ireland for over 125 years when it began production in 2013. It has since established itself at the forefront of Ireland’s spirits renaissance and is home to some of the north’s best-known spirits including Dunville’s Irish Whiskey, Echlinville, Jawbox Gin and Bán Poitín. Their distillery Tour and Tasting offers a behind-the-scenes insight into the workings of Northern Ireland’s only field-to-glass distillery and includes two tastings of their products. Tours cost £15 per person and should be pre-booked at or phone 028 4273 8597. Distillery shop is open Monday-Saturday 11.30am-5pm.

Exploris Aquarium and Seal Sanctuary

Displays the underwater wonders of Strangford Lough and the coastal seas of Ireland in a variety of exciting and enjoyable exhibits. Please check the website for opening hours and prices.
Signposted in Portaferry.


Game of Thrones Experience, Castleward

Experience Game of Thrones® for yourself. A replica of the ‘Winterfell Archery Range’ has been recreated in the courtyard in the same spot filming took place, transporting you into the world of Westeros. Dress up in character costume and step into the movie set.

This tour is independently run by Clearsky Adventure at Castle Ward. Advance booking required:

Golf, Ardminnan Golf Course, Cloughey

9 hole parkland golf course open first light to last light. Bar and restaurant serving food daily, open to the public. For further information on green fees and club hire please contact: 028 4277 1321 / 07974 772050

Directions: Follow coast road south from Cloughey. Golf course on left after 1.5 miles.

Golf, Kirkistown Castle Golf Club, Cloughey

Kirkistown Golf Club

This 18-hole course is a challenge for even the best players, dotted with many deep revetted bunkers and some of the most difficult par 4’s in Irish Links Golf. With majestic elevated greens and tees the views of country and coast are stunning; the course plays firm and fast which requires a traditional style of strategic play. Full bar and restaurant facilities.  Open daily from 8am until dusk.

Contact: 028 4277 1233

Motor Racing Circuit, Kirkistown, Kircubbin

The international motor circuit at Kirkistown is the home of the 500 Motor Racing Club.  It is the venue for many major events on motorbikes, cars and karts, and draws large numbers of spectators. There are car race meetings on the last Sat of every month from March – Sept and the annual Easter Monday Motorbike Race.


Sailing and Yachts

Portaferry Heritage Trail

windmill hill

In this self-guided walking trail, follow Portaferry's history through its built heritage, from its castle and medieval graveyard to the legacy of a thriving shipping industry in the 1700s. Imagine the tumult of the 1798 rebellion at the Market House or enjoy the magnificent view from Windmill Hill. The story comes right up to the present with a vitally important lifeboat station and a centre for marine research. Pick up a leaflet with map at PORTICO or Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership offices in Portaferry or download from