This short linear walk begins from the road bridge over the Quoile River on the A7 (Belfast -Downpatrick Rd). The level path follows the contour of the river for about 1km. From here retrace your steps back to the start.
Distance:0.6 (One Way) miles
Point of interest:The Quoile River and associated wildlife
OS map:Sheet 21
Terrain:Flat off road path
Route:This walk follows the Quoile River along most of its length. From the car park/ layby follow the path down to the river bank. The path only goes in 1 direction - to the NE.
Follow this path through the fields crossing through several wooden gates for about 1km.
Taking a walk along this route today, it is difficult to imagine that before 1957 the Quoile was tidal down river of the Old Quoile Bridge and, before 1745 the sea extended a further 3 miles upriver to Ballydugan.
An important transport and trading route, the Quoile Estuary was used by many ships coming in and out of port with cargoes of coal, timber and slate.
Once the path reaches the main road (A22 to Killyleagh) turn and retrace your steps to the start.
The nearby Quoile Visitor Centre contains a wealth of information on the 'Quoile Pondage'. This was declared a National Nature Reserve in 1970.
Facilities:Toilets and numerous cafes in Downpatrick. There is also a Tourist Information Centre in the St Patricks Centre off Market St.
Toilets and interpretation in Quoile Visitor Centre - opening hours apply. The Centre is signed off the the Downpatrick to Strangford Rd.
Accessible toilet facilities:Yes
Accessible terrain:Steep section down to river, level flat path, several kissing gates along the walk.
Publication availability:For more information contact Downpatrick Tourist Information Centre on 028 4461 2233
Getting to the start on foot:The starting point is the road bridge on the A7 (Downpatick to Belfast Rd). When facing Downpatrick the path is to the left hand side at the Downpatick end of the bridge. This is only a few 100 metres outside the town.