Oyster Shell Cottage, on the shores of Strangford Lough

We're located on the waterside of Strangford Lough. From the house one can see the Mountains of Mourne, Castle Ward and the village of Killyleagh on the other side of the Lough with its castle, the oldest inhabited in Ireland.

We're roughly 5 minutes by car from Portaferry, 30 minutes from Newtownards, 45 mins from Belfast and Belast City Airport and one and a half hours from Dublin. We tour Ireland regularly and travel frequently to Scotland by sea and to London, Europe and New Zealand by air, so the availability of a fast ferry service from Belfast to Scotland and Liverpool and the two Belfast airports within easy driving distance of home is a major advantage.

The views from the house are amazing and ever-changing, with wildlife framed by the sitting room's floor to ceiling windows. The weather here is changeable and not always benign. Occasionally in winter bright, clear days can change in a moment with high winds and waves battering the sea wall and flooding the road for an hour or so, making a trip to the village for milk and newspapers something of an adventure. Very rarely do we get snow, but it can happen very occasionally. Best to hunker down and enjoy or throw another log on the fire.

Our house was built as a farm worker's cottage in the 1800s. Back then it would have been pretty basic. Over the years it has been added to and modernized with double glazing, central heating and all the things that we now take for granted and make life comfortable - although the traditional stable door, kitchen with oil fired AGA and the thick stone walls are welcome reminders from the past.

We have a large garden - plenty of room for kids to play in safety. The road past the house is very quiet - averaging a couple of cars every hour. There are three wooden out-buildings - one, a summer house with glass virtually all around, the others garden sheds, one housing ride-on and push mowers. There's a tennis court and many flowerbeds - but don't worry, we'll arrange a gardener to take care of the hard graft...

About the location

The area surrounding us is one of quiet, natural beauty. Not spectacular scenery, but beautiful with ever changing light and green fields, hills and the Mourne Mountains in the distance.

Portaferry, about 1.75 miles from our house, is a picturesque Northern Ireland village, featured recently in a number of films and TV series. Castle Ward and the countryside is one of the locations for Game of Thrones.

The village of Portaferry is at the tip of the Ards Peninsula - which gives the place it's special character. People are very friendly. There's a small hotel, a couple of restaurants, a variety of pubs, a small supermarket and two convenience stores. We have a marina with mainly sailing yachts in Summer, many visiting from Scotland, which is just a few hours sailing across the Irish Sea. The Portaferry - Strangford car ferry takes just a few minutes to cross the Narrows (7 knots of tide) to the village of Strangford - a couple more pubs and restaurants a convenience store and, 6 miles away, the historic town of Downpatrick, the burial place of St Patrick, who first landed in Ireland at Strangford Lough.

Type of swap

  • Home Exchange
  • Non Simultaneous Exchange
  • Open to Offers
  • Long Term Exchange

Conditions of exchange

  • Non smokers only
  • No pets allowed
  • Children welcome

Portaferry (HE35436)

Down,   Northern Ireland

  • 4 bed   (sleeps 6) 3 bath

Preferred destinations

  • Open to offers

Dates available

Open to offers

Swap duration: Open to offer


Meet the member

Adults: 2     

Membership expiry date: 11 Mar 2017