Islandhill and Scrabo Country Park, Newtownards

DATE: 1 July 2022
LEADER: Robert McDowell, Telephone No 028 93373084 (land line)
07711 706022 (mobile)
SHORT WALK – 3 miles. The walk will take around 3 hours.
Note that this walk is not possible by public transport.
MEETING POINT/TIME: Islandhill Car Park at 10.30 am – drive to the further car park. Islandhill is about 17 miles from Belfast city centre off the road between Newtownards and Comber (A21) at the north end of Strangford Lough. From Carrickfergus, allow around one hour’s travelling time.
Take the M5/M2 towards Belfast, taking the Belfast City Airport/Bangor lane. Cross the River Lagan (M3) onto the Sydenham Bypass (A2). Pass City Airport and take the right hand lane, following signs to the Outer Ring and Newtownards (A55). At the junction, turn left onto the Upper Newtownards Road (A20), avoiding the glider bus lane. On approaching Newtownards, at the first roundabout, take the road signposted Portaferry/Comber. At the second roundabout, continue on the Portaferry/Comber road. At the third roundabout, take the A21 towards Comber. Pass the West Winds Housing Estate on the right hand side. Pass two brown signs pointing right, the first to Scrabo Country Park and the second to Spring Cottage Crafts. Immediately after entering the 50 mph limit, take the Ringcreevy Road on the left, which is signposted “Islandhill”. After a mile you will reach the car park – drive to the further car park.
Drive back up Ringcreevy Road, turn left onto the A21 towards Comber and move into the right hand lane. Go right around the roundabout, taking the A21 back towards Newtownards. After a mile there is a crossroads sign; turn left onto Moate Road, which is signposted “Scrabo Golf Club”. After a mile reach a T junction. At Stop sign, turn left and immediately right into Scrabo Country Park. Follow the road and the car park is on the left.
The walk is in three parts:
1. Across the tidal causeway from Islandhill around Rough Island (distance half a mile);
2. In Scrabo Country Park – around the quarries (distance 2 miles);
3. In Scrabo Country Park – Killynether Wood (distance half a mile).
Parts 2 and 3 have some slopes and, while reasonably well surfaced, may be muddy in places. I will bring walking poles for use on the walk, if desired.
We will have lunch in Scrabo Golf Club, which is within Scrabo Country Park, at about 1.30 pm. There are toilets at Islandhill (in the first car park), in Scrabo Country Park and in Scrabo Golf Club.
I can give lifts to three people. If you require a lift, phone me on my
mobile or land line (answering machine) to make transport arrangements.