Down is famous for drumlins-hills caused by the ice age.These layers of calcified pebblesexposed by high tides were deposited by streams from melting glaciers.
Maureen determined to protect the very rare Sea Kale from a C.W.T. scavenger.
A group of over 30 arrived at Loy St.C.P., all on time, for the trip to Ards peninsula to visit Exploris centre and enjoy a coastal tour. The weather forecast promised a reasonable day with perhaps some drizzle in the evening.We stopped at Dundonald Old Mill Coffee Shop, where lovely fresh scones and coffee were very welcome after the bus journey. The Coffee Shop (which had been pre-booked) had gone to the trouble of finding our web site banner and incorporating it into the reserve notices on the tables. A promising start to the day .Later we collected Maureen Graham of National Trust at Mount Stewart-Maureen was our guide, and an excellent guide she proved to be, enthusiastic, interesting and informative on all aspects of the Ards peninsula.Our group arrived at Exploris at around 11.30 AM and were accompanied on the tour by a young and knowledgeable guide, although his accent and speed of delivery required concentration to take everything in.Nevertheless, this was an interesting tour with lots of information on fish and crustaceans from the Irish Sea, as well as aquaria containing a number of exotic species found in tropical regions.After the tour ,everyone was ready for lunch in the Exploris Cafe, the food was adequate and nothing more, but we were all hungry enough to enjoy it anyhow!Our tour of the Ards Peninsula continued.We parked the coach at the reconstructed Kearney village -used as a background in a number of TV plays. Maureen brought us along part of the coastal path to a beautiful shingle beach with a number of rare plants, including Yellow Horned Poppy, Oyster plant and Sea Kale-all close to their northern limit.Our trip continued along the shore-line with a brief stop at Mount Stewart to say goodbye to our excellent guide Maureen.Thank you very much Maureen, knowledge of the area and your interesting way of putting information across really added much to our day. The idea to include Maureen as a guide came from Sophie-and an excellent one it was.After an uneventful journey to Cookstown we arrived back in good time-a really enjoyable day.Thanks to Ernie who organized the trip itinerary so well-a most successful trip.Thanks to Michael for many of the excellent ‘people’ photos,and for keeping the group informed ‘en route’
Coach trip to Exploris, Portaferry and Ards Peninsula