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Quality Walk

Ballyquintin Farm (to Bar Hall & Ballyquintin Nature Reserve)

This grassland walk is situated at the very tip of the Ards Peninsula at the mouth of Strangford Lough.

The coastal path passes through farmland, rocky shore and beach owned and managed by the National Trust, and also through a National Nature Reserve owned and managed by the Environment & Heritage Service.

From the walk you can take in views across Strangford Lough to Killard Point and across the Irish sea to The Isle of Man on a clear day.

Bird species to look out include skylarks, linnets, peregrine falcons, buzzards, kestrals and Brent geese.

The site consists of coastal grassland, a habitat which includes some sensitive and rare flowers including orchids and wind- dwarfed Burnett rose.

Also look out for Irish hares and common seals which can be seen on the rocks at the mouth of Bar Hall Bay.

County

Down

Distance

0.8 - 1.6 miles

OS Map

Sheet 21

Nearest Town

Portaferry

Route Shape

Circular

Route Type

Coastal

Terrain

Off road paths, quiet rural road

Grid Reference (Start)

J623465

Grid Reference (End)

J623465

Point of Interest

Coastal views and wildlife in an unspoilt natural habitat

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Strangford Lough

Route Description

From the car park, set off down the hill, following the signs to Port Kelly. Go through the stile on your left and follow the path through the field.

After the next stile, turn right which will lead you down to the shore at Port Kelly. After exploring Port Kelly for a while, retrace your steps for a short distance and carry on past the previous stile following the signs in the direction of Bar Hall Bay.

This will eventually lead you down a grassy lane and through a field and two more stiles before coming out onto the shore at Bar Hall Bay.

Turn right and follow this path northwards along the shore looking out for seals basking on the rocks as you go.

When reaching the road, turn right. 200m along this road there is an optional detour through a gate to the left which takes you along the side of a field to the top of Bar Hall Hill.

From here, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views across the Strangford Narrows and the Irish Sea.

Go back down the hill and turn left to rejoin the road, taking the first turning on your right. This follows the access road along which you arrived and will take you back to the car park.

Once back at the car park, a worthwhile additional walk is to go through the gate and along the path to the World War II lookout hut.

From here, you are overlooking the Ballyquintin National Nature Reserve managed by EHS.

Either, return directly to the car park or take a detour through the gate and down the slope to explore the lower reserve.

Getting to the Start

Take the coastal road south of Portaferry. After about 5km National Trust signage directs to Ballyquintin Farm and Nature Reserve on the right.

Accessibility Grade

Grade 5

Accessible Facilities

The following facilities are available for users with limited mobility:

Disabled parking

Facilities

Car park. The nearby towns of Portaferry and Strangford have several popular pubs, restaurants and cafes.

Publication

None.

Publication Availability

n/a

Walk Location
Map of Northern Ireland
 
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