Self catering cottage Downpatrick, holiday cottage Downpatrick, historic conservation  self catering cottage from Mill Cottage Ireland
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Strangford Lough and South Down Coast Line

Located on Ireland's northeast coast, 8 miles from Mill Cottage, Strangford Lough, one of the largest sea inlets in the British Isles, is an area of outstanding natural, unspoiled beauty. The Lough, a Marine Nature Reserve, has more than 240km of twisting coastline with 120 grassy drumlin islands at its northern end (local myth says says there are 365 islands-one for each day of the year.)

There are sandy beaches, grassy inlets, shallow reefs and tidal mud flats - home to wildfowl and waders -harbouring 75% of the world's Brent Goose population. It is one of Europe's most diverse marine life resources with more than 2000 species of marine animal including Pilot whales, porpoises, giant skate (weighing up to 45kg), shoals of sand eels and herring, brightly coloured sponges and soft corals -and is home to Ireland's largest colony of common seal.

Enjoy a picnic on the beach watching the seals or take the ferry across the Narrows from the picturesque town of Strangford to Portaferry with its brightly painted Georgian townhouses to visit the Exploris Irish Sea marine life centre and aquarium.

Boat hire is available from Strangford Charter. Unless previously booked runs a 1 hour cruise on Sat, Sun and bank holidays at 15.00 from Sketrick Island, Killinchy. Stuart Cromie Tel 028 9754 1564. Boat hire also available from - Des Rogers Tel: +44 (0)28 427 28297 or John Murray: Tel: +44 (0)28 427 28414

Portaferry hosts a regatta in June, of classic Irish sailing ships, the famous Galway Hookers. The annual Portaferry Gala in July combines traditional Irish Folk music with a family carnival atmosphere. Cruises, yacht charter, fishing trips and scuba diving are available.

Around 5 miles,10 minutes drive from Mill Village, are miles of golden beaches sweeping in towards the Mourne Mountains , its twelve peaks famed in song by Percy French in ‘Where the Mountains –o’Mourne sweep down to the sea' and the pleasant seaside town of Newcastle.

Water-skiing is possible anywhere on the coast. Wave Riders will hire and deliver skis to any location. Tel ;028 9442 8684 mobile 07850 489470

There are a lot of good places to windsurf from –Barrs Bay, Portaferry Road, N’Ards.Tyrella - good for wave sailing: Kearney- for experts only

Writing in Scuba World, Vic Bonfant described the Strangford diving experience as "... paradise." Bob Earl of UK Diving magazine called it ".. one of Britain's best and most neglected dive destinations." Good visibility and over 2000 marine species with a considerable number of interesting wrecks. DV Diving -Tel and Fax: +44 (0)28 91 464671 Norsemaid Sea Enterprises LTD - Tel: +44 (0)28 91812081 Fax: +44 (0)28 9181 0635

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