In 1980 I was born in the Northern Irish town of Newtownards. It’s a place with a lot of important links in my life. I was born there. I passed my driving test there. I studied there. I got into university by doing a course there. Despite all of that, I grew up in the nearby seaside city of Bangor. Mum, from Comber and Dad, from Belfast liked it. It’s my beautiful quartet. Bangor, Belfast, Comber, Newtownards.
I don’t write enough blog posts about my homeland of Northern Ireland on this blog though I have previously covered the best cafés in North Down, backpacking in Newtownards, Milford the home of the penalty kick plus the Bushmills Distillery. I could write 1000+ more stories than that but I will never find enough time for it.
In July 2022 for the first time ever, I visited Islandhill. This is very close to my birthtown, yet I had not previously been. It is an amazing place!
It is one of many islands in Northern Ireland and is a real treat. It was even better that this was a late notice trip organised by my Mum and Dad because I had an extra two hours spare on the day of my flight out of George Best Belfast City Airport.
How to get to Islandhill
Islandhill is generally not served by any bus or train route so the best way to visit is by car, on foot (jog out to it) or by bicycle. Coming from Newtownards/Belfast/Bangor – If you are coming from Newtownards (or Bangor/Belfast direction), leave Newtownards on the A21. The A21 is the main road out of Newtownards towards Comber and the turn off to Islandhill is on the left. Dad was driving and knows the route, so you have two options. The first option is to turn left at Longlands Road. If you miss that one, take the next left at Ringcreevy Road. Both roads eventually merge into each other, which leads you straight down to Islandhill! Here there is a car park and some tourist information.
If you are coming from the other direction, Comber, you’re also on the A21 and both the Ringcreevy Road and the Longlands Road will be on your right, so look out for them. In Northern Ireland, we drive on the left side of the road. Also, Google Maps has written it as Rough Island, yet even the tourist board and locals call it Islandhill!
Low Tide versus High Tide
I visited Islandhill at low tide and in July 2022. At this time, as the tide was low and out, we could walk across to Islandhill. To check the tide times, if you don’t live nearby, there’s a handy guide here –
At high tide, when the tide is in, or after rain or in a different season, it might not be easy to walk across to Islandhill.
What to do at Islandhill
Walk across to it, have a picnic, take the dog or go birdwatching. It’s a Northern Irish nature reserve. The views of Scrabo Tower, Newtownards and the Ards Peninsula are stunning. It’s really worth a trip. A brilliant place. Here are some extra links and photos.
Here are some videos of my trip to Islandhill, Northern Ireland: