Killard National Nature Reserve

(5 reviews)

Situated at the mouth of Strangford Lough, opposite Ballyquintin. The rich wildlife include orchids and other rarities, and interesting rock formations can be seen.

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Killard National Nature Reserve

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  • We enjoyed a magical walk yesterday in glorious sunshine. The meadows were full of wildflowers, including orchids. We saw lots of blue butterflies, as well as a family of seals lazing on the rocks close to shore. A beautiful section of the Co. Down coast.

    Katrina at 11:33 am
  • Wonderful. May ‘19. Looking for flowers – masses of native bluebells, Primroses, buttercups, Spring Squill, Violets, Milkworts, …..colour everywhere!
    Sand Martin all busy whizzing about our heads.
    Hawthorn like no other. Stunning!

    Ruth Miller at 11:00 am
  • I walked this today. June 25th 2017. The little wild orchids are nearly in full bloom. It was a peaceful Sunday afternoon walk. An easy walk, beautiful coastal views and rock pools. Sadly didn’t spot any butterflies this time – but will take my Mum back there next week for a picnic and spend more time looking rather than walking!

    Caroline Murphy at 9:50 pm
  • County Down

    Distance 1.4 miles

    OS Map Sheet 21

    Terrain Coastal grassland, beach

    Nearest Town Strangford

    Route Shape Circular

    Grid Reference J604434

    Route Type Beach, Coastal

    Route Description

    From the layby at Mill Quarter Bay, walk towards the shore. Keeping the sea on the left follow the line of the coast around the headline.

    A sandy bay marks the end of the walk, turn and retrace your steps along the shore or over the grassland to Mill Quarter Bay.

    Point of Interest

    Views of Lough and Sea, orchids

    Getting to the start

    Take the Shore road out of Strangford. Cars may be left at lay-bys at Mill Quarter Bay.

    Public transport

    Translink –



    Accessibility Grade

    Grade 5

    • There may not be a formalised path, and variable, single file trails are to be expected.
    • Gradients and cross slope could be expected to be steep and not limited.
    • Obstacles and surface breaks of greater than 75mm measured across the line of the path to be expected.
    • Overhanging branches are possible. Passing places and rest areas may not be formalised or provided.