A haven on the shores of Stangford Lough



Stop to stretch your legs

Outstanding views across the pristine waters of Strangford Lough

A thriving village, and key hub on the peninsula, Kircubbin has a rich history encompassing agriculture, industry and seafaring.

Stop off to stretch your legs and enjoy the outstanding location mid-way along the Strangford Lough coast of the Ards Peninsula.

Walking trails take you on a journey through the countryside, revealing hidden historic gems and stunning views across Strangford Lough to the distant Mourne Mountains.

Places worth visiting nearby

These are just a few of the interesting places waiting for you to explore in and around Kircubbin

Castle Hill

One of the best kept secrets on the Ards, this site includes a fine example of a Bronze Age double-ditch hill fort, which was subsequently developed by John de Courcey as a principle Norman castle. Once the seat of the Kings of the Ards, then the site of Caput of Mensal Manor for the Earls of Ulster, this elevated site enjoys spectacular views across the length and breadth of Stangford Lough, and peeping over the Ards as far as the Isle of Man and Scotland.
Castle Hill also has a ruined church and graveyard to explore. The remains have been rebuilt on two earlier ecclesiastical buildings, and was the site where the feast of St Finnian (of Movilla) was celebrated as early as the 8th Century.
Over the hill, as the tide goes out it drops over a rock shelf at the narrowest point, creating a unique tidal waterfall with a drop of about four feet.
There is no car parking, and access is right-of-way across private land, so please observe the country code, control your dog, and respect landowner's property.

Echlinville Distillery

The Echlinville Distillery became Northern Irelands first licensed distillery in over 125 years distilling its first spirit in 2013. Their Ethos: “We will not compromise in our desire to produce the finest whiskey conceivable.  We will give it authenticity and provenance. It will tell the story of the land from which it originates, and of those who brought it to life.” 

The extraordinary new still house is not only a functional space for production but can easily lend itself to entertaining guests and our tours can offer a real insight into the workings of an operational distillery.
Also worth seeing while you are visiting the distillery is the private collection of military hardware, including main battle tanks, armoured personnel carriers, and much more.
And, there's also a cafe restaurant, and a short scenic walk on the grounds to enjoy.

Horse Island

This is a stunning wildlife conservation area, accessible at low tide (bring your wellies), offering a wealth of flora and fauna to discover, as well as spectacular panoramic views of the lough.
Location: about two miles south of Kircubbin, just before a bend in the road before a builder's suppliers.
Access: No signage - adequate car park - no footpaths

Inishargy Church of Ireland, Balligan

This church was built in 1704 to serve the needs of the parishes of Ballyhalbert, Ballywalter and Inishargy since the churches of the two former were in poor repair and old Inishargy church had been in ruins for many years. It served the whole area till the 1843-50 period when new churches were built for Ballyhalbert and Ballywalter and a new parish was created at Kircubbin. Inishargy church then decayed until 1966 when a careful restoration was undertaken. The church registers survive dating from 1783. The graveyard is very tidy but only contains eight gravestones. The oldest stone dates from 1802 and four are included in Memorials of the Dead, VII, pp 19-20. A brass tablet on the west wall of the church commemorates the Priory of Saint Andrew of the Ards (commonly called the Black Abbey) founded circa 1200 AD for the brethren of the Order of St Benedict to which this church was appropriate. The Priory was disolved after the Order issued in the 33rd year of the reign of King Henry VIII and this church was rebuilt in the year 1704 AD.

Saltwater Brig

17th Century bridge, still in constant use as part of the main A20 route.  This little bridge once marked the border separating the Greater/Lower Ards (to the north) and the Little/Upper Ards (to the south). 

There is a pub/restaurant and car park nearby, and an old Roman Catholic church. Lisbane Roman Catholic Church  was completed in 1777; the church was replaced by Ballycranbeg RC church about a mile inland in 1876, and was reduced to the status of mortuary chapel.

Location of bridge and adjacent chapel have been used for TV and film-making.
Location: About three mile south of Kircubbin - it's the little low bridge with amazing views across the lough.

Fast traffic and a narrow road make the bridge dangerous to approach by foot. Car parking is available for patrons of the adjacent pub



Kircubbin is located between Greyabbey and Portaferry on the Strangford Lough coast of the Ards Peninsula.

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