Strangford Lough in County Down, Northern Ireland is a large sea lough & the largest inlet in the British Isles. The lough is almost totally enclosed by the Ards Peninsula and it links to the Irish sea via a long narrow channel.
Owned by the National Trust, Strangford Lough is a place of natural beauty & a conservation area for many birds & marine life.
The main body of the lough has at least 70 islands along with many islets, bays & coves.
Less experienced kayakers should head to the West side of the lough between Whiterock and Killyleagh. Here you’ll find a group of islands called the ‘basket of eggs’ which offer plenty of places to explore. You will also find sheltered paddling on the South West of the lough around Delamont Country Park and Salt Island.
How to get there:
Towns and villages around the lough include Killyleagh, Comber, Newtownards, Portaferry and Strangford.
Plenty of facilities are on offer in nearby towns and with number of adventure/outdoor centres dotted along the banks of the lough.
Strangford Lough is tidal, so check tides before setting off on a trip. Outside of high & low tides, “The Narrows” has fast running tidal channels, whirlpools and swirling water & is best avoided by novice kayakers.
Be aware of sailing boats & ferry.
Ins and Outs:
There are several access points around the lough – see Canoe NI for location maps.
Canoe NI offer guided tours & hire kayaks/canoes, go to http://www.canoeni.com for more information.
Plenty to explore, beautiful scenery with lots of islands, bays & coves. Look out for common and grey seals, arctic terns, porpoises and more.