What you see
Pick up and travel south to Strangford Lough and visit Mount Stewart. Located on the shore this 19th century house is a must see attraction. It houses beautiful collections of silver and works by Lawrence, Brock and Stubbs. Its exquisite grounds, voted as one of the top ten in the world, features The Italian, Spanish, Main and Shamrock Garden.
There are stunning trails which you can stroll around for miles, taking in the magical views of the Lough.
Travelling along the Lough we pass through Greyabbey, founded in 1193 by Alfreca, wife of John de Courcy, the Anglo-Norman invader. Greyabbey was dissolved in 1541.
Portaferry is a small town at the tip of the Ards Peninsula near the Narrows at the entrance of Strangford Lough. This is one of the world's most popular marine sites with over 2000 marine species. Fishermen fish with pots here, mainly for prawns and crabs.
Travel by Ferry
We board the car ferry to Strangford, which has a crossing time around 8 minutes, then head to Downpatrick.
St Patrick began his mission in Ireland in 432 and is reputedly buried in the grounds of the Church of Ireland Cathedral in Downpatrick, built in 1790. There is a visitor centre here which is well worth a visit.
Inch Abbey a 12th century ruin is close by. It is a beautiful and atmospheric place to visit. As we head south we arrive at Newcastle, a bustling seaside town that lies where the Mountains of Mourne ' sweep down to the sea' Here you can also find the historic Royal County Down golf club, one of the oldest in Ireland. It lies at the foot of Slieve Donard , the highest mountain in Northern Ireland. You can walk through the lower forest, to the gentler slopes, or if you are feeling fit, climb to the top and get some of the most spectacular views in Ireland. Alternatively just enjoy a walk along the award winning promenade.
On the coastal route between Newcastle and Annalong, Bloody Bridge is a well-known landmark, with many stories about how it derives its gruesome name. The picturesque bridge lies a hundred yards from the road, and the river gushes over large granite boulders, creating beautiful waterfalls and deep pools. The track beside the river forms the 'Brandy Pad' , an old smugglers route.
The drive from Bloody Bridge to Rostrevor features breath-taking coastal and mountain scenery. We pass through the charming village of Annalong, to the larger fishing port of Kilkeel where Northern Ireland's largest trawling fleet is based.
We now follow the route that skirts the Mournes along the shore of stunning Carlingford Lough to Rostrevor, where you will pass one of the most ancient woodlands in Ireland......Oak Forest.
Moving into the Mountains we travel through Hilltown and the |Spelga Dam with its impressive views and peaceful atmosphere.
Option- The Silent Valley Reservoir which supplies most of the water for Co. Down and Belfast, ringed by mountains containing beautiful mountain scenery and woodland walks.
As you see, there is a lot to see and do. Depending on your time available and how busy the attractions are, it is up to you to decide what you want to see, and we will make it fit if possible.
Car and driver for agreed day tour
WiFi and usb charging
Food & Drink - All the main attractions have food outlets and there are numerous restaurants and bars serving local and international dishes. If you have any special dietary needs let us know and we will endeavour to help.