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The Square, Strangford, June 2011 (01).JPG
Strangford is located in County Down
Location within County Down
Population474 (2001 Census)
Irish grid referenceH8396
CountryNorthern Ireland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtBT30
Dialling code028
UK Parliament
NI Assembly
List of places
Northern Ireland
54°22′14″N 5°33′20″W / 54.37065°N 5.55547°W / 54.37065; -5.55547Coordinates: 54°22′14″N 5°33′20″W / 54.37065°N 5.55547°W / 54.37065; -5.55547

Strangford (from Old Norse Strangr Fjörðr, meaning strong sea-inlet)[3][4] is a small village at the mouth of Strangford Lough, on the Lecale peninsula in County Down, Northern Ireland. It has a population of 475 according to the 2001 Census.

On the other side of the lough is Portaferry, and there is a ferry service between the two villages.[5] The village has a small harbour, which is overlooked by rows of 19th-century cottages and a fine Georgian terrace.


Strangford (strong-fjord) was the designated home of King Magnus (bare legs) Olafson. Upon his attempted siege of Uladh (ulster) he set up his fort in the (strong fjord) of Strangford. This was an ideal place for him to base himself and his army as he had good fortified grounds and quick access to an inland lough that leads directly out to the east onto the Irish Sea.

Despite having the same name, the village (and the wider ward of Strangford) is not in the Strangford parliamentary constituency or Assembly constituency, instead being in the South Down parliamentary constituency and Assembly constituency.


The Strangford Lough Ferry Service links Strangford to the village of Portaferry. The ferry crossing is 0.6 nautical miles (0.69 mi; 1.1km) and takes eight minutes. The alternative road journey is 47 miles (76km).

From Strangford: First: Weekdays 0730, Saturday 0800 and Sunday 0930 / Last: Weekdays 2230, Saturday 2300, Sunday 2230

From Portaferry: First: Weekdays 0745, Saturday 0815 and Sunday 0945 / Last: Weekdays 2245, Saturday 2315, Sunday 2245

To accommodate school traffic an off-schedule service will be in operation on weekday early mornings 0730 am to 0900 am and late afternoons 1600 to 1700 when required.

Note that a foot passenger-only service is in operation when required at 0810 from Portaferry and 1600 from Strangford. These sailings have been co-ordinated with designated school bus transport to and from Strangford.

Translink Ulsterbus operates Service 16 between Downpatrick and Strangford via Saul and Raholp. There are up to eight journeys a day on Weekdays and four on Saturday. There are no services on Sunday. There are some additional services on schooldays that operate as Service 16E. Additional limited services operate to/from Portaferry and Belfast via Newtownards.

There is limited parking in the village and an electric car charging point can be found at the carpark off of Stella Maris Street.

Religious Worship[edit]

Strangford has one church, the Star of The Sea located on the Shore Road. Mass is held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1930 and on Saturdays at 1830. Strangford is part the Roman Catholic diocese of Down & Connor. The nearest Church of Ireland church is Christ Church, Ballyculter, Part of the Lecale Group of Churches and located in the diocese of Down and Dromore.

The handsome former Presbyterian church, built 1846, last service 2003,[6] is now self-catering accommodation.[7]

Local facilities[edit]

Strangford has a good range of local facilities for a village of its size. There are two general stores, one of which houses the village post office, the other has a butchers. There is also a well known newsagent and gift shop called Kevin Og which also sells other merchandise. There are three public houses, The 'Hole In The Wall', 'The Lobster Pot' and 'The Cuan' and a restaurant, 'The Artisan Cookhouse'. 'The Hole In The Wall' also run an off-licence next door. 'The Cuan' also run a coffee shop and takeaway called 'Little Wolf'. There is also a cafe called 'The Cake Room'.

The village also has its own dental surgery. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, GP services were available at the Strangford Clinic but this has since remained closed with the nearest GP services located at the Downe Hospital in Downpatrick.

The village telephone box doubles up as a popular lending library.


Strangford has two men's football teams who compete in the Newcastle & District Football League.

Places of interest[edit]

  • Strangford Castle, near the harbour in Strangford, is a 16th-century tower house with a drop hole at roof level to defend the door.
  • Castle Ward is an intriguing mansion built in 1760 in two distinct architectural styles, Classical and Gothic, overlooking Strangford Lough. The property is owned by the National Trust. Castleward is seven miles from Downpatrick and one-and-one-half miles from Strangford.



  1. ^ Jordan's Castle – Department of the Environment
  2. ^ "Baile Loch Cuan/Strangford".
  3. ^ "Strangford, County Down". Place Names NI. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  4. ^ McKay, P (1999). A Dictionary of Ulster Placenames.
  5. ^ "About the Ferry". Northern Ireland Roads Department. Archived from the original on 7 December 2009. Retrieved 13 September 2009.
  6. ^ Osborne, Wendy (2005). "Strangford Presbyterian Church". Lecale Review. 3.
  7. ^ "Quarry hill church". Retrieved 4 August 2022.

External links[edit]