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Land and Seascape

Strangford Lough in County Down is the largest sea lough within the United Kingdom and Ireland. From the broad, shallow flats of the north end to the fast flowing deep channel where the Lough's waters meet the Irish Sea, is a distance of over 32 kilometres.

The calmer waters of the northern shores inspired the Celtic name, Cuan, meaning, 'the quiet lough', or 'lough of the harbours.' However, the powerful tidal currents flowing through the Narrows to the Irish Sea led the Viking invaders to call the Lough 'Strangfjörthr' - the strong fjord. Between the contrasting north and south shores of Strangford Lough, lie numerous pladdies and about 70 islands, some smooth and rounded, others craggy rocks.

Strangford Lough and Lecale areas have been designated as the Strangford and Lecale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for their magnificent drumlin topography, exposed coast and sheltered bays. 

The rounded drumlin hills ("little backs") were deposited when the last glaciers retreated.

Agricultural practices and the grand estates of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries have also left their mark on the landscape.

This section explores how the landscape and seascape has developed throughout time to what it is we see today.

Click HERE to listen to Brigid O'Neills thoughts on the landscape of the area

and click the logo to watch a short video about the area