Natural World

Paddle Back in Time

Wednesday 18 & Thursday 19 August, 10.00am - 1.00pm

Suitability: 18+

£45 (Price includes all equipment, tuition, guide & historian)

This project brings together Unlocking the Vikings and Heritage Walks NI, Spreading the Words (a project of the electronic Dictionary of the Irish language), Northern Ireland Place-Names Project, Strangford Lough Activity Centre and the Northern Ireland Science Festival. During this event we explore the tangible and intangible culture of Strangford Lough, from medieval times to the modern day, using tales from the Middle Ages, place and personal names, historical records and orally collected traditions. We will do so while kayaking together.

Starting from the shoreline in Whiterock, you will be kitted out with wetsuit and buoyancy aid. Followed by a briefing from kayak instructor Rory Martin. Taking in the scenic beauty, archaeological gems and Christian heritage, you will follow a traditional smuggling route undertaken by Daft Eddie and the Merry Hearts.

Once we arrive at the Nendrum monastic site, Sarah Baccianti, Frances Kane and Sharon Arbuthnot will guide you through the history, the stories and the traditions of Strangford Lough including: Nendrum sundial and unique tide mill, the role played by the Vikings in the Strangford area, and discover the origin of the place names of the villages surrounding Nendrum.

This in-person event focuses on the safe return to group activities post-Covid, exploring the outdoors and the heritage at our doorstep. Moving the body and engaging the mind whilst adventuring into the waters of Strangford Lough.


Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic situation we have a few important requests for you to ensure that the event is safe for everyone attending or facilitating.

If you or anyone in your household are suffering from a temperature, a persistent cough, or a loss of taste or smell - DO NOT ATTEND (unless you have prior permission from us after providing a negative COVID-19 test result). It is your responsibility to let the organiser know that you can no longer attend the event. 

Please arrive at the stipulated meeting point 15 minutes before departure. It is a small group, but please be patient and maintain a 2 meter distance from other people/groups when you arrive.

When you arrive on site, please:

• Use your own personal hand sanitiser or hand sanitiser provided by the event facilitator 

• Provide the festival representative with a name and phone number.

• If inside at any point please wear a mask AT ALL TIMES.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Book now



Strangford Activity Centre
Green Boat Shed
BT23 6PY