Nearby there are a number of local shopping towns and shops where you can get fresh local produce from - click for details
A Few Places to Visit and Activities available nearby
Rowallane Gardens (10 mins away)
This garden near Saintfield is an outstanding National Trust property with acres of quiet beauty and gentle walks. In spring it has a magnificent display of rhododendrons and azaleas. There are many species of plants and trees from around the world introduced in the early 20th century.
The rock garden and the walled garden are well worth a visit. www.nationaltrust.org.uk
St Patrick’s Centre Downpatrick (10mins away)
This is an impressive interactive centre which tells of St Patrick’s life and achievements with the aid of the latest technology. Nearby is the Down Museum also worth a visit.
Seaforde Tropical Butterfly House. (20 mins away)
The butterfly house features a large flight area with hundreds of free flying exotic butterflies. The tropical enclosure also houses a display of insects and reptiles from Africa, Asia and the Americas (safely behind glass).
Castleward. (30 mins away)
Near Strangford village is Castleward, a National Trust property well worth a visit. It is a unique 18th Century house set in a beautiful 820 acre estate with wonderful views across Strangford Lough. The house itself is open for guided tours. The extensive grounds have 34kms of trails for walking and cycling through woodland and along the seahore. There is a working cornmill, Strangford Wildlife Centre and the Old Castle Ward to visit, also a tearoom, National Trust Shop and good second hand bookshop all located in the courtyard.
Game of Thrones Tours
Enjoy an exciting guided tour of "Winterfell " at Castleward
www.nationaltrust.org.uk | www.gameofthrones-winterfelltours.com
Exploris Aquarium (30 mins away + ferry)
Cross over in the car ferry (5 mins) from Strangford Village to Portaferry and visit the award winning aquarium. There is a wealth of information about the marine life of our coastal waters and many interesting displays and tanks including an Open Sea Tank where rays, starfish, sea urchins and other fascinating sea life can be seen close up. At certain times of the year baby orphaned seals can be seen being cared for in the seal sanctuary there. www.exploris.org.uk
Mount Stewart (45 mins away + ferry)
Continue round the coast towards Newtownards to find this distinctive 18th Century mansion owned by the National Trust. The house has many remarkable furnishings and historical artefacts and is well worth a guided tour. The gardens are famous and have been nominated a World Heritage Site, you can explore the Sunken Garden, the Spanish Garden and the Dodo Terrace or go on the beautiful lakeside or Red Squirrel walk.
Titanic Belfast (30 mins away).
Visit this amazing and very popular exhibition, see the birthplace of the Titanic and really experience the story.
Located in the heart of Belfast it is not to be missed.
The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum (45 mins away)
Discover life as it was 100 years ago, visit cottages many with turf fires glowing, farms with animals and learn about village life as you wander through the beautiful parkland... Then visit the Transport Museum which houses the largest and widest ranging transport collection in Europe. A great place to visit for the whole family. nmni.com
The Giant's Causeway (2 hours away)
Drive up along the beautiful Antrim coast road to see the world famous basalt columns, well worth a visit as they are a UNESCO World Heritage site. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/giants-causeway
Local Activities for all the Family
There is a wide range of things to do in the area, here are a few suggestions:
Canoeing instruction and fun days for all the family are available at Castleward near Strangford as are boat trips round Strangford Lough. www.clearsky-adventure.com
Life Mountain and Water Sports Centre in Castlewellan offers a range of mountain and water sports at all levels of competence. www.onegreatadventure.com
Good sandy beaches are found at Kilclief and Tyrella a few miles away.
We have a good range of maps and walking routes available in the cottage including maps of the Mourne Mountains and suggested routes.
Delamont Country Park
An ideal place for a pleasant stroll with beautiful views over Strangford Lough it is very suitable for children and dogs especially as it has an excellent adventure play park. It is only 2 miles away from the cottage.
This way marked walk (one of several in the district) goes from Strangford Village along the coast to Newcastle. It takes in the Killard Nature Reserve an unspoilt and beautiful dune grassland area rich in flora including wild orchids. www.countrysiderecreation.com
Castlewellan, Tollymore and Donard Forest Parks. All less than 30 mins away.
Miles of woodland tracks with rivers, lakes and beautiful views make these parks ideal for all ages and abilities. Serious walkers can access the Mourne Mountains and climb the highest peak Slieve Donard from Tollymore and Donard Parks.
NITB Links to Castlewellan & Tollymore
Forest Service Links
to Castlewellan, Tollymore & Donard | Other Parks
The Mourne Mountains
This is a walker’s paradise but there are few way marked trails, maps and compass are essential. There are various access points and information, maps and guide books can be obtained from the local tourist board in Newcastle (www.magic-of-mourne.co.uk) as well as information, maps and suggested routes being available in the cottage information pack.
Horse Riding and Pony Trekking
Treat the children to riding lessons at one of the nearby riding schools, why not even try it yourself?.
Perhaps you want a family day out? why not arrange a day’s pony trekking in a forest park or ride the Saint Patrick's Way.
www.mountpleasantcentre.com | www.saintpatrickswaystables.co.uk
New National Trail Centres have been opened in Castlewellan and Rostrevor Forest Parks with trails for all abilities and bike hire. www.mountainbikeni.com
Play golf at one of the many excellent golf courses in the vicinity (21 within 30 mins drive). Try Ardglass Golf Club with a dramatic setting overlooking the sea or have a special day at Royal County Down in Newcastle not only is it one of the world’s most beautiful courses it is also one of the most challenging and is ranked 4th in the world. www.royalcountydown.org
Fly fishing and coarse fishing are available nearby, permits required which can be purchased locally. Quoile Basin near Downpatrick offers all year for pike, perch, rudd and eels and 1st March to 31st Oct for brown trout.
We have further information on many activities and places to visit and maps for walking available for guests.
||The Hill Cottage
Non Smoking Cottage