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They rightly talk about the fantastic scenery that is present in counties Kerry, Cork and Galway with magnificent water and mountain features. This is however to forget the area of astonishing beauty both in an out of the water, that is Strangford Lough which lies between the great arm of land that forms the Ards Peninsula in the east and the main body of County Down in the West. Because of The Troubles over the last 30 years, it is sometimes overlooked how beautiful and under-rated this part of Ireland really is. The villages along the Strangford and Ards Pensinula are more like those one would see in a painting such is their uncommon quaintness and colour, not to mention the friendliness of the local people
This 15-mile long sea haven, scattered with small islands is home to migrant birds, common and grey seals and other marine animals. Its maritime wildlife is among the richest in Europe making it Northern Ireland’s first Marine Nature Reserve as well as An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and an Area of Special Scientific Interest with six National Nature Reserves within its reaches. Just south of Strangford village is Cloghy Rockys, a great vantage point for seals. In summer vast amounts of seals can be found basking along this part of the shore at low tide.
There are lovely B&B’s and small hotels in the villages on the Lough and the area is great for fishing. Numerous outlets will hire boats, accompanied or unaccompanied, to give you the delights of a day’s fishing in beautiful surroundings.