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Day trip from Belfast around Strangford Lough

Sydney
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Day trip from Belfast around Strangford Lough

My wife and I are planning to visit Northern Ireland (amongst other stops) in May next year and her keen eye for stately homes has fallen upon Mt Stewart and Castle Ward. I was wondering how practical it would be to take a day to see both. The type of thing I had in mind would be a bus from Belfast to Mt Stewart, and then on to Portaferry. Ferry across to Strangford/Castle Ward, and then bus back to Belfast. Is this practical?

I've been playing around on the Translink website a little and it seems doable, but I'm looking for local opinions and advice if possible.

Northern Ireland
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1. Re: Day trip from Belfast around Strangford Lough

To be honest, you would probably be better taking two days. That particular area is beautiful and I guarantee you will wish you had spent more time there, rather than rushing it all in 1 day.

Ideally if you do Mount Stewart on the first day and then travel on down to Portaferry I would stay there that night. Then the next day travel over on the ferry to Strangford and spend time at Castle Ward and Delamont Country Park before heading back to Belfast.

Londonderry
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2. Re: Day trip from Belfast around Strangford Lough

Like your wife, I too would be keen on nationaltrust properties etc. There are two properties worth checking out, although they are the other side of northern Ireland - near Enniskillen. They are called CASTLECOOLE and FLORENCE COURT. Accomodation would also be tricky to find. Might I suggest you stay in Killyhevlin Hotel if you have loads of money. CASTLECOOLE and FLORENCE COURT offer great house tours but they are mainly at the weekend. These are definately well worth a visit. Like the other reviewer, I would recommend several days in the area. Good luck.

Sydney
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3. Re: Day trip from Belfast around Strangford Lough

She's really keen on Mount Stewart, and since the rest of our time in Northern Ireland has been spoken for by one or another of our plans we won't have time to get out to the other side (on this trip at any rate). If we do only have the one day, would we be better off limiting ourselves to just Mount Stewart?

Londonderry
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4. Re: Day trip from Belfast around Strangford Lough

If you are certain you only have one day, Mountstewart may be a bit rushed. The public transport system here is appalling and there are poor signs along roads. I wish you luck but might I suggest you plan your route before you arrive. Good Luck.

Earth
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5. Re: Day trip from Belfast around Strangford Lough

Too bad you do not have a car. I know two fab places to stay on the doorstep of Mount Stewart. Of the two, Mount Stewart is by far the best house/garden to visit. I was not impressed with Castle Wards garden at all. If the weather is fine you could easily spend the day at Mount Stewart.

6. Re: Day trip from Belfast around Strangford Lough

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