Top spots in County Down to shoot perfect spring pictures

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With spring just on the horizon, there is so much to look forward to; from lighter evenings and blooming blossoms, to the inspiring sights and sounds of nature reawakening after a long winter. Killyleagh and surrounding areas within County Down truly come to life in the spring sunshine and our local beauty spots are adored by Dufferin Coaching Inn guests. With an abundance of picture-perfect shots waiting to be captured right on our doorstep, a weekend away at Dufferin offers the perfect opportunity to capture favourite spring moments. Get your gear ready and take a look at some of our favourite beauty spots:

Strangford Lough

With its shoreline just a short walk away from Dufferin Coaching Inn, we can’t help but be biased and say that Strangford Lough is one of our favourite spots. The Lough is one of several breath-taking Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty that Northern Ireland has to offer and is also an Area of Special Scientific Interest. On a beautiful clear spring morning, take in the long stretch of water with your lens and even capture some of its inhabitants including the abundance of wild birds and seals who occasionally pop their heads above the surface! Taking advantage of the calmer waters, you can practice your mirror shots using the Lough’s reflection – a picture which is even more stunning as the sun rises or sets.  

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Silent Valley and Ben Crom

Silent Valley and Ben Crom are great choices for those who love photography and exercise in equal measures. Silent Valley itself offers many beautiful photo opportunities, and again, the chance to play about with reflections on the water. Visitors to Silent Valley can then walk another three miles up to the high lakes and Ben Crom to capture the surrounding peaks of Slieve Binnian and Slievenaglough. This area truly underpins the natural beauty available to enjoy in County Down and is a great display of the uninterrupted Northern Irish landscape.

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Castle Ward

 A short drive away from Dufferin Coaching Inn, Castle Ward offers numerous opportunities for photographers with a creative eye who love to shoot through colour.. The stately house and surrounding gardens are illuminated by an explosion of vibrant colours thanks to sprouting daffodils, bluebells, crocuses and snow drops. Venturing further into the grounds to Temple Water, you may even capture its local residents, the swans, preparing to nest. Architecture fans will also enjoy the opportunity to capture the stunning beauty of the estate’s unique 18th century mansion, famous for its mix of architectural styles.

Credit: Courtesy of Malcolm McGettigan

Credit: Courtesy of Malcolm McGettigan

St John’s Point

St John’s Point is an iconic lighthouse located in the small village of Killough County Down which was designed in the 1800s by George Halpin Senior, one of the most famous civil engineers of the time. The lighthouse was originally painted white with black bands added in 1902, however its current markings have been in place since 1954 and offer a colourful treat for those wishing to snap it. Situated right on the shore, St John’s Point is perfectly positioned to capture the stillness of the lighthouse in contrast with the crashing waves surrounding it. Faster shutter speeds will work particularly well for those looking to highlight the movement of the sea or if you prefer, long exposures give the ocean a lovely smooth silk-like texture.

Following your tour of the area’s best photo locations, we recommend shutter bugs finish off their photo collection and day of adventuring by capturing pictures of our picturesque village in Killyleagh. Popular features to shoot include Killyleagh Castle – Ireland’s oldest inhabited castle – or a sunset view from the harbour. You can then settle in for a welcoming and restorative overnight stay at Dufferin Coaching Inn.