Events Calendar

Date Title Time Description Location
Friday 06 December 2019 6th Carol Ship on Strangford Lough 04:00pm


Major community event from 4pm until 9pm on both Fri 6th and Sat 7th December.  It just keeps getting better.  

On the magical Strangford ferry crossings, or on the shore, listen to Christmas music from 20 different choirs and groups - a different one on each sailing from 4.30 - 9 p.m.

See the illuminated ferry, castles, boats and houses.

All ages can enjoy the old fashioned Victorian Fair in a twinkly marquee on the green in Strangford - crafts, family games , music and wintery food and drink. Don't miss Bells Traditional Funfair too.

Follow the Parade of Lights and Christmas Tree trail in Portaferry. See Santa on a skiff, eat Polish Christmas food and enjoy mulled wine in the PSC Hub

Hear some of the groups perform in the marquee in Strangford and in bars in Portaferry. 

Enjoy Handel's Messiah, by Merry Opera, in Portico (Saturday).

Experience the atmosphere of The Market on the Square in Portaferry from 10 - 1.30 on Saturday - get your taste buds tingling and fill your shopping bags with all manner of unique treasures and tasty treats.

Visit Northern Ireland's only aquarium in Exploris.

Take a tour of Echlinville Distillery where award winning spirits are crafted in the heart of County Down. (1 p.m. Saturday)

Explore the heritage trails in Portaferry and Strangford.

Tour the Portico of Ards, an Arts and Heritage Centre opened in 2016 by HRH The Prince of Wales.

Visit Castleward , a unique 18th-century mansion famed for its mixture of architectural styles, and see the Game of Thrones Winterfell.

Touch the Game of Thrones' doors in Strangford and Portaferry.

Portaferry and Strangford
Friday 15 November 2019 Talk – “Deep Sea Adventures” 07:30pm

Talk by Dr. Julia Sigwart, Director of the Queen's University Marine Laboratory in Portaferry.  Julia has travelled to many parts of the World in persuit of her research interests.  In this talk she will both take us to Antarctica and also into the cockpit of a submersible as she travels to the depths of the Indian Ocean. 

Admission: £3

Barholm, opposite the Ferry Slip, Portaferry
Wednesday 23 October 2019 Talk - Whales, dolphins & porpoises in Northern Ireland" 07:30pm

Talk by Cathy Hinds, N. Ireland officer for the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group.  Come and hear about what's going on in the sea just off the coast of N. Ireland.  You will be surprised by the number of these cetaceans in the neighbourhood.

Admission: FREE

Barholm, Portaferry
Sunday 23 June 2019 Seashore Foraging Event 09:45am

Do you fancy learning from enthusiastic experts what’s edible on and adjacent to the seashore?  Meet at 9.45am on Sun 23rd June in Portaferry opposite the ferry slip outside the Queen’s Marine Lab.  This will enable coordination with ferry sailings.  Then we go by car (sharing should be available) to Kearney where we aim to start at 10am.  Low tide there is due to be at about 10.30am.  After last year’s successful event at Ballyhenry Island we’ve asked Daryl Birkett and David Thompson to be our guides again this year.  They will be helping us explore the fascinating shore at Kearney and Knockinelder.  Covered accommodation has been identified if the weather is unkind.  There will be a break when we will sample seashore-sourced wild food.  We aim to finish by lunchtime.  The terrain will include rocks, stoney beach and, of course, seaweed.  It will be slippery in places.  If you plan to attend you should bring warm, waterproof clothing and footwear suitable for the terrain and for use in shallow water when we are near the low tide mark.  You may also wish to bring a walking pole or stick.  Tickets are £10 each, payable on the day. All proceeds after expenses go to PAST (Portaferry and Strangford Trust) which is a registered charity.  To make a reservation please email <>.

Meet at Queens Marine Lab opposite Ferry Slip, Portaferry
Saturday 15 June 2019 Guided Boat Tour 02:00pm

Why not join us on our 2-hour guided boat tour and see the beautiful and fascinating Strangford Lough from the water.  During the trip you will learn about the many interesting natural, man-made and historical aspects of what you see from our accredited guide.  Weather permitting, departure on the St. Brendan is from the Ferry Quay, Portaferry at 2.00pm on Saturday 15th June 2019.  Tickets are £10 each and are obtained at the departure point prior to boarding.  Proceeds after expenses go to PAST (Portaferry and Strangford Trust) which is a non-profit making registered charity.  Boarding is by steps down from the quay.  Although the passenger space on the boat is covered, warm, waterproof clothing is recommended - it is usually colder out on the water than it seems on land.  Reservation at <> is recommended.

The Ferry Quay, Portaferry
Saturday 20 April 2019 Exhibition

PAST’s maritime heritage visitor centre, The Ropewalk, will reopen for the 2019 season. It is situated in the Rope Walk beyond Exploris.

It will be open every weekend from then until the end of September plus daily throughout Easter week (20th–28th April) and also from 13th–28th July.

PAST Leaflet

The Ropewalk, Portaferry
Friday 05 April 2019 Talk – “Connecting with the Sea” 07:30pm

Informative talk presented by Robin Ruddock.

Robin is well known for his maritime exploits and his ability to communicate.

This will be a fascinating evening during which he will cover sea kayaking,  currachs, whales and dolphins, beach-combing, Drontheims, the Colmcille, the Wild Goose and "The Quest For The Selkie".

Admission: £3

Recreation Hub at Portaferry Sailing Club
Friday 15 March 2019 Talk – “The Tides of Life”

Informative talk presented by Joe Breen, Senior Scientific Officer, Marine Conservation and Reporting, Marine & Fisheries Division. 

Strangford Lough is an inland fully saline sea connected to the Irish Sea through a long narrow channel often referred to by locals as ‘the river’.  Within the body of the lough the current speeds drop off the further north you go and the current speeds are directly correlated to the nature and structure of the underlying seabed.  The South North gradient runs from bedrock-boulder-cobbles-gravels-sands-muds.  The nature of the seabed and water flows dictates what type of marine life are to be found in any particular region of the lough. 

This presentation will show the range and diversity of animal and plant forms to be found in the lough.  The unique collection of biodiversity forms was the main reason for designating Strangford Lough as Britain’s first Marine Protected area in 1995.

Sponsored by ANDDC

Start Time & Location to be confirmed.

To Be Confirmed
Wednesday 20 February 2019 Talk – “1000 Years of the Strangford Ferry” 07:30pm

1000 Years of the Strangford Ferry Flyer

Barholm, Portaferry
Wednesday 23 January 2019 Talk – “The Georgetown Victory: what really happened” 07:00pm

Informative talk presented by James Elliott & Allison Murphy - sponsored by ANDDC

Barholm, Portaferry
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