Thursday, 17 March 2016

Ballyquintin Point

Mount Stewart

I arose from the heavenly slumber (!) at about 7am yesterday morning, breakfasted on muesli, assembled my gear, packed-lunch, and motored out of town.

Bypassing Dundonald and Newtownards (my place of birth, incidentally), I motored in a southerly direction along the Ards Peninsula to the former schoolhouse of Mount Stewart estate, now a property of the National Trust.

We drove the entire length of the peninsula, past Kircubbin and Rubane; Cloghy and Quintin Castle; to our ultimate destination, Ballyquintin Point.

Mount Stewart Estate

Ballyquintin is a 64 acre farm set amid rolling drumlin countryside at the southern tip of the Ards Peninsula, beside Ballyquintin National Nature Reserve.

The property is located in one of the most secluded parts of Northern Ireland and is great for walking with spectacular views across the Strangford Narrows to the Isle of Man, and of the Lecale coast stretching south towards the Mourne Mountains.

A path, suitable for wheelchair use leads to an old 2nd World War lookout tower.

The land is let for farming and is managed to provide habitats suitable for the Irish Hare and a number of species of bird that are declining nationally.

An increase in the quality and quantity of the hedgerows is particularly important towards achieving this aim.

There were about eight of us today; and I spent the day digging a shallow trench for a plastic water pipe.

The pipe is conspicuously blue in colour and leads to a water-trough in a large field.

We had our lunch in a sort of barn or byre. Although it was mainly sunny and the sky was blue, this part of the peninsula is particularly exposed to the elements; and there was a chilly breeze.


mem said...

Hello Tim , I am interested in the fact that you were born in Newtownards . My gggg grandfather was the Reverend Mark Cassidy who was responsible for the building of St Marks Church if Ireland church . You have written about him before . I was wondering if the old rectory and the school also built by him with the backing of the Marquess if Londonderry are still there? I am also wondering where he and his family are buried but haven't been able to ascertain this . Marianne

Timothy Belmont said...

Hello Marianne,

That's an interesting question. I'd like to know myself. I wonder where the old rectory was located.