Two miles along the coast road from Donaghadee is the seaside village of Millisle. This was originally a fishing village but is now the base for a number of large caravan sites and holiday homes which double the permanent population of 1400 every summer.
The main attraction is the fine strand beside the village where Ards Borough Council has opened a beach park. Millisle itself has a number of amusement arcades as well as picnic areas and children’s play facilities.
Just inland from the village is the restored Ballycopeland Windmill, a popular feature for tourists. The caravan parks, which hold around 1000 units, also caters for the tourist and a list of sites is available from the Ards and Portaferry Visitor Information Centres.
In the town land of Ballyrolly, situated at the southern end of the village, lies a farm with one of the little known secret histories of the Second World War in Ireland. In 1938 when hundreds of Jewish Synagogues, businesses and shops were burned, smashed, looted and the Jewish population were brutalized a rescue plan was developed and a small group of volunteers raised money and support for the plight of the Jewish children. Their plan to evacuate these children became known as Kindertransport, which rescued 10,000 children aged from three months to 17 years. The children were housed all over Britain and some arrived in Northern Ireland.
Amy Beatrice Carmichael was born in Millisle on 16th December 1867. Amy became a missionary and spent time working in China, Japan and India. In 1901 she founded the Dohnavar Fellowship in India. She saved hundreds of children from a life of unbearable torture.
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