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Strangford Lough is surrounded by picturesque towns, villages, historic sites and visitor attractions and offers plenty of activities for the local people and visitors to enjoy both on and off the water.
Strangford Lough's archaeological heritage is breathtaking, a 10,000 year spectrum spanning Mesolithic flint and shell middens, and prehistroic tombs; early Christian raths, medieval monasteries, fishtraps and towerhouses; and magnificent 17th and 18th century estates with their mansions and exotic gardens. 

Following John de Courcy's invasion of the area in 1177 family strongholds were built for protection in turbulent times. These tower houses (often referred to as 'castles') date from the 13th and 14th century. From the shorefront you can see the towers at Portaferry, Audleys, Kilclief, Strangford and Old Castle Ward.

Strangford Lough sits amongst one of Northern Ireland's most special landscapes - the rounded hills called drumlins, were deposited when the last glaciers retreated. The Lough's islands are drowned drumlins at various stages of erosion.

To view our Virtual Tours please click here.
Beneath the waves lie equally rich communities. The sides of the Narrows are draped in huge colourful sponges and brilliant soft corals. Elsewhere the seabed is carpeted with brittle stars, anemones, and sea squirts.
Throughout the spring and summer, the strandline is dappled with the colourful flowers of sea aster, scurvy grass, thrift, sea campion, mayweed and sea lavender.
Accompanying the outstanding images of the area are sound clips. These are the thoughts of local writers, historians, musicians and lough users which provide an insight into Lough's uniqueness.
Strangford Lough's Turn O' The Tide programme was initiated in 2008 and is rolling out until 2011, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. For further infomation on the programme click here.
The Turn o'the Tide Festival 2012 is on 2nd and 3rd June 2012. Pictures here were used for promotion but pictures of the event will be added.

Download the festival programmehere