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Lost shores & Patrick's fury

Bring the riverside walk to life with a series of stories themed around Saint Patrick. Explore the history of the Quoile Nature Reserve with the library of old photos from the National Library of Ireland archive.

The Walk

Travel through time at the Quoile and listen to the myths and legends of a once busy shipping lane. Through the centuries many have visited this place including Saint Patrick himself. On the route you will learn about the other side of Saint Patrick that inflicted God's wrath onto people.

The route follows a journey made by the log boats of the first settlers and the longboats of Viking raiders and the steamships of yesteryear. Along the way you will learn about the branch of Strangford Lough that washed up around Downpatrick. It was in 1745 that the Southwells undertook the radical drainage scheme. Listening to the Southwells family tale from lordship to ruin, did they too fall to Saint Patrick's fury?

A bonifide Game of Thrones location it was in 1957 that the final change was made that ended the maritime trade. The history is lost in the altered landscape but with Duane's help you will soon have your bearings. On the route you will find an old castle, the old quays and the northern gateway to Lecale, the Quoile Bridge.

The Souvenir

At the end of the walk you can take away a unique souvenir of your walk along the Quoile. This is a drawing of how the Downpatrick looked in 1733 before the erection of the first floodgates.


Further Information

  • The walk is 3.5 miles and circular, returning to the start point.

  • The route includes level terrain, largely consisting of a gravel path.

  • The tour lasts 2 hours.

The Meeting Point

Quoile Picnic Area

Quoile Road


BT30 6WR

There is a free car park available at the picnic area.

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