Strangford Lough and St Patrick’s Country- a tale of two peninsulas

 This tour led by local expert guide, Brigid Watson from Sustainable Journeys Ireland, will bring you to some of the top attractions in the Ards and Lecale peninsulas. Our first stop will be the picturesque coastal town of Portaferry where you will visit Exploris, the only aquarium and seal sanctuary in Northern Ireland. After learning about the fascinating history of Portaferry it will be time to board the ferry for the short hop across the lough to the historical village of Strangford. Strangford has a growing reputation for its great selection of places to eat including the newly refurbished Cuan so it is a must stop point in the journey for lunch. After lunch we continue our travels through the gentle rolling hills of County Down to the site of St Patrick’s first church at Saul and Struell Wells a short distance from Downpatrick. We end the tour over a coffee at Denvir’s Coaching Inn in Downpatrick before returning to Belfast.

ITINERARY:

  •  09:00 Depart Belfast 
  • 10:00 Arrive in Portaferry  
  • 10:00-10.20 Tea/coffee in Exploris  
  • 10:20- 11.50 Exploris experience  
  • 11:55 – 12.15 Portaferry – its’ history and notable people  
  • 12:15 Travel on the ferry across to Strangford  
  • 13:00-14.00 Lunch in the Cuan/Artisan Cookhouse  
  • 14:15 Arrive at Saul Church  
  • 15:15 Arrive at Struell Wells (St Patrick’s Wells)  
  • 16:30 Denvirs Coaching Inn, Downpatrick – afternoon tea  
  • 17:00 Depart for Belfast 

Tour highlights 
• Exploris Aquarium and Seal Sanctuary  
• Portaferry – former shipbuilding centre with many fine architectural buildings  
• Ferry trip from Portaferry to Strangford- bring your binoculars to get a close look at the amazing sea birds.  
• Lunch in the newly refurbished Cuan now under new ownership  
• St Patrick’s first church at Saul – historic Christian heritage site  
• Struell Wells – best preserved holy wells in Ireland  
• Denvir’s Coaching Inn – historic inn and one of the oldest in Ireland  
• Commentary by specialist guide, Brigid Watson giving you insights into the history, heritage, landscape and natural environment of this wonderful area 

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