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Maps & Guides

Share the Shore - Dog Walking Alternative Sites


In 2015/16 SLLP carried out a study to monitor effects of dog walking on bird population in Strangford Lough. “The Impact of Dog walking and Human Activity on over-wintering bird populations in Greyabbey Bay”

From this study it was concluded that a disturbance event effecting over-wintering birds occurs approximately once every hour on Greyabbey Bay. The data shows that the majority of this disruption is caused by dogs being walked off lead and that excluding unknown and natural causes, off lead dogs cause the most severe response from the birds. To mitigate for this disturbance a “Share the Shore” postcard was produced and distributed in the Greyabbey community and other communities at the north end of Strangford Lough. In 2018 6no. “Share the Shore” information panels were produced and located at “hotspots” for bird disturbance around Strangford and Lecale AONB. They are located in council owned land at Kircubbin, Cunningburn, Floodgates carpark Newtownards, Island Hill, Whiterock and Killough.

As part of this project, we have now created an interactive map, providing those wishing to enjoy walking their dogs with details of alternative sites away from the shore at this time of year (September to March). Included are some options for off-leash dog exercising. Clicking on the dog icon on the map reveals a pop-up of the relevant information.




Strangford Heritage trail map

Strangford's history of trade, commerce and smuggling is written in the buildings along this heritage trail, approx. one hour long.

Kircubbin Heritage

Follow this guide and discover the rich history and stunning natural beauty of Kircubbin. Our '40 steps' trail will take you on a journey through the picturesque countryside, revealing hidden historic gems along the way

Archaeology Strangford Activity Sheets iSpy Around the Lough

As you are driving around the lough why not play iSpy with a difference. The castles, abbeys and estates make Strangford special - but almost every where you look there are all sorts of clues to how our ancestors used the lough and its landscape. Have a go at these iSpy Activity Sheets

Portaferry Heritage trail

Follow this town’s history through its built heritage - from its Norman castle and medieval graveyard to the present day with a vitally important lifeboat station and a centre for marine research. The trail follows a circular numbered walking route about 2 miles (3.6km) long .


The area around Strangford Lough and the Lecale Coast offers plenty of walking opportunities for everyone to enjoy

Explore the Coast Shore Animals & Seaweed Guide - Coastal Guardians

A shore animals & seaweed species guide for the County Down Coast. Produced by the Strangford Lough & Lecale Partnership and Action for Biodiversity to help people look after our fascinating coastal wildlife as part of the Coastal Guardians project.

Explore the Coast Birds & Plants Guide - Coastal Guardians

A Birds & Plants species guide for the County Down Coast. Produced by the Strangford Lough & Lecale Partnership and Action for Biodiversity to help people look after our fascinating coastal wildlife as part of the Coastal Guardians project.

Experience The Narrows of Strangford Lough Leaflet

A beautifully illustrated (Anne Anderson) leaflet produced by Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership. This leaflet contains information on the fascinating maritme heritage, captivating wildlife, outstanding natural beauty, exciting coastal activiites, and racing tides associated with the Narrows of Strangford Lough.

Out & About around Strangford Lough and Lecale Coast

A guide which takes you on a journey through the rolling drumlin countryside, islands, varied shores, exceptional wildlife, pretty villages, distinctive tower houses, estates and famous ecclesiastical sites of Strangford Lough and Lecale. It accompanies a set of information panels at parking sites around the coast.

A copy of this guide can be picked up from the SLLP office in Portaferry or from the Tourist Information Centres in Newtownards, Portaferry, Downpatrick or Newcastle.

Archaeology Strangford A Guide

The Archaeological heritage of the Strangford Lough area is breathtaking, a 10,000 year spectrum spanning Mescolithic flint scatters and shell middens, and prehistoric tombs; early Christian raths, medieval monastries, fish traps and towerhouses; and magnificent 17th and 18th centuary estates with their mansions and designed landscapes. 

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