Audley’s Castle to Kilclief - Lecale Way Trail

This walk is part of the trek Downpatrick to Newcastle - Lecale Way Trail.

This is the 2nd section of the Lecale Way Trail. The Lecale region of County Down is characterised by pretty villages, wild coastline and a liberal scattering of historic sites. This walking route uses a combination of country roads, tracks and footpaths to explore the best of the scenery, with lowland terrain and frequent signposts making it suitable for most levels of walking experience. The off-road trails along the shore of Strangford Lough provide the highlights of this section.

Technical sheet No. 30819683

A Down walk posted on 17/02/23 by Walk NI. Last update : 01/03/23
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h15[?]
Distance Distance : 6.67 mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 171 ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 144 ft
Highest point Highest point : 89 ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 3 ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Location Location : Down
Starting point Starting point : N 54.37317° / W 5.57788°
Ending point Ending point : N 54.335642° / W 5.544657°
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Start: Audley's Castle (BT30 7LP), Castle Ward Shore Car Park (for trails), near to Park Road

(D) From the parking area beside Audley’s Castle, turn left onto a track which then swings around the headland, displaying fine views across Strangford Lough to Portaferry.

You now pass Audley’s Quay and arrive at an entranceway to the National Trust estate. Rather than going through the gates, turn left along the shore, then head through an archway on the right.

(1) Join a gravel avenue and turn left (South-East), walking through the trees above the shore. After 1.5 Km you exit the estate onto the main Strangford road (A25).

(2) Here you have a choice of routes – either make a 3 Km loop around the charming village of Strangford, or continue directly south towards Kilclief.

"If you d'ont want to do the loop, cross the road diagonally left and take the firt road to the right. (and read directly from waypoint (6))''

If you opt for the Strangford loop, head left along the main road, taking care with the traffic.

(3) After 500 m, turn left (North) onto a footpath beside a house. A track and footpath now bring you to the pebble-strewn shore of Strangford Lough, with the old tower house of Castle Ward guarding the opposite side of the bay. At the end of this section, follow a series of tracks up a wooded hill. For around 2.2 Km keep the water on your left-hand side.

(4) Then descend right (South) to the top of Castle Street in Strangford village. Take the first left to reach the pretty quayside.

(5) Then follow the main road in a right turn (South-West) away from the ferry pier. Rejoin the waypoint (6) and now turn left (South) after 1 Km to rejoin the direct route to Kilclief.

(6) You're now on the Black Causeway Road. The road to Kilclief continues through pastoral surrounds for some 3.5 Km before arriving at a T-junction.

(7) Turn left (East) here, then negotiate three more junctions before passing Kilclief church and arriving at the base of Kilclief Castle along A2. (A)

Waypoints :
D : mi 0 - alt. 16 ft - Audley’s Castle
1 : mi 0.13 - alt. 39 ft - Gravel Avenue
2 : mi 1.01 - alt. 10 ft - Main Strangford road
3 : mi 1.31 - alt. 16 ft - Strangford loop - Footpath (left)
4 : mi 2.65 - alt. 43 ft - Castle Street
5 : mi 2.83 - alt. 23 ft - Main Strangford road
6 : mi 3.42 - alt. 13 ft - Black Causeway Road
7 : mi 5.52 - alt. 36 ft - T-junction (left)
A : mi 6.67 - alt. 23 ft - Kilclief Castle

Useful Information

Start: Audley's Castle (BT30 7LP), Castle Ward Shore Car Park (for trails), near to Park Road

Arrival : Kilclief Castle, Shore Rd (A2), Strangford, Kilclief, Downpatrick (BT30 7NP)

Terrain : Varried surfaced

Facilities : Toilets, accommodation and refreshments are available all the way along the walk including the village of Strangford.

Public Transport : Translink

Dog Policy : Dogs must be on leads at all times on the route.

Find more information and walk ideas at Walk NI here.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

Did You Know?
This section passes two tower houses on the shore of Strangford Lough, and finishes at a third. The region is dotted with similar buildings, which date back to the period when Portaferry was a major port. Most were constructed during the fifteenth or sixteenth centuries, spurred on by King Henry VI’s offer of £10 to anyone who would erect a tower to protect the coastline.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.