Places to See | Co. Down, Northern Ireland.
Scrabo Tower is easily one of Northern Ireland’s most recognisable landmarks, situated at the head of Strangford Lough, overlooking the old Market Town of Newtownards
This imposing edifice was built in 1857 as a memorial to the Third Marquis of Londonderry, one of the Duke of Wellingtons generals during the Napoleonic Wars. He was also the man who held the family seat of Mount Stewart (this National Trust house & gardens is nearby on the shores of Strangford Lough)
The history of the tower, one of the main places to see in Co. Down, is fascinating. A Mr William McKay and his wife brought up a family of 8 children while living in the tower and his descendants looked after the building until the 1960’s. At one time there was a popular tearoom there, specialising in Irish Country Teas, the essential ingredient of which was Goats Milk. There is still a small herd of wild goats, descendants of the original animals, roaming the hillside.
The Tower underwent remedial works in the 1980’s and was opened to the public following restoration. A climb of 122 steps will take visitors to the open viewing level at the top of the tower, which gives spectacular views across Strangford Lough, The Mourne Mountains, Belfast and beyond to Scotland. The building also houses a permanent exhibition on the countryside and surrounding Scrabo Country Park, which has woodland walks and parkland through Killynether Wood.
Address: Scrabo Tower, Scrabo Country Park, 203A Scrabo Road, Newtownards BT23 4SJ