Island Hill is a small deserted island in the North Strangford Nature Reserve, Co. Down. The island is connected to the shore by a paved rocky causeway that is accessible only at low tide. The walk provides magnificent views of Strangford Lough and Scrabo Tower. If you want to go there, you must time your visit according to the tide. A good tide predictor website is Easytide. As Island Hill doesn’t have its own tide location, you can the Belfast low water time and then add 2hrs and 15 minutes for Island Hill. You will find Island Hill at the very end of Ringcreevy Road, in Comber. There is a free parking lot where you can leave the car: the walk starts right from the parking.
This morning, the low tide peak was at 9.45, so we left home at around 8 and arrived there at around 9AM. The tide was already low, so we could enjoy the 20-minute walk to and around the island in an extremely peaceful environment. The causeway was indeed still wet and very slippery due to the seaweeds left by the tide. But that’s a small price to pay for the beauty of the place.
During our walk we met some locals walking their dogs on the island: they spent some time chatting with us and explaining the history of the place. We were surprised to know that there are Canadian gooses migrating every Autumn (from October onwards) from the Arctic to the island – a 3,000-km journey. Bob and his wife – two locals who often walk their four dogs there – were so kind to also tell us that the place has indeed a twin town in Canada. Some years ago there was also an inuit totem that was later removed because it was damaged. Listening to their story was very pleasant and we left with a lot of information about the surrounding areas.
This is a beautiful walk that you don’t want to miss!