Linear walking route across the northern strand of Strangford Lough. The route crosses the sea defenses that protect reclaimed lands to the south of Newtownards.
This is an Ulster Scots walk. Part of the ‘Danders Aroon’ series, the Ards Ulster Scots Walk (also known as Floodgates Walk) is a beautiful coastal walk with rich heritage that you can learn about as you take a stroll.
This walk at the top of Strangford Lough leads along the sea wall that protects land, first claimed by Lord Londonderry, and now part of Newtownards town and a small private airport. There are great views out over the water and also of Scrabo Tower, which looms above the town. Time your visit with high tide if possible.
Check out the ‘Danders Aroon’ videos in the Route description below to find out more about the Ulster Scots history of the area and this walk.
Distance 2.1 miles
OS Map Sheet 21
Terrain Gravel path
Nearest Town Newtownards
Route Shape Linear
Grid Reference J501730
Route Type Coastal
Starting at the car park head west across the footbridge over the floodgates and onto the embankment. The story of the original plan for the embankment is that a Dutch engineer was employed to build it. It was hoped that this would then encourage a Dutch settlement at Newtownards during the reign of William and Mary. The present embankment was built in 1811 by Lord Londonderry of Mount Stewart and reclaimed 200 acres of land from the sea shore. This area was turned into arable farmland. This is the most northerly point of Strangford Lough, at the foot of Scrabo Hill. The flat land was later developed into an airfield. The sea defences were upgraded in 2000 to protect the town of Newtownards. Care was taken to minimise adverse effects on the environment and monitoring is ongoing. There is a story that when the airfield was being constructed local farmers brought carts of stones to provide the hardcore for the runways. There were two entrances to the airfield; one on the Portaferry Road, the other on the Comber Road. Some of the more ingenious would bring their carts to the Portaferry Road get a ticket for their loads and leave by the other gate with the load covered and go around the block for a second ticket which meant they got double the money! Ards has lots of Ulster-Scots heritage, illustrated in these videos from Graham Little’s ‘Danders Aroon’ series: • Main Video – https://vimeo.com/657553417/0257d272e7 • https://vimeo.com/657503412/5d45ac284c
Scrabo Hill, Ards Allotments
From Newtownards follow the Portaferry Road. Immediately after the junction with the Old Shore Road the car park is on the right.
Translink – journeyplanner.translink.co.uk