The village of Greyabbey is named after the 12th century abbey on its outskirts. The abbey was founded by Affreca, the wife of the Anglo-Norman invader of East Ulster John de Courcy. The abbey is now a ruin, but stands in beautiful surroundings set among the parkland and gardens surrounding Grey Abbey House. The House is one of the finest Georgian country houses in Ireland, and belongs to the Montgomery family. The gardens include a wide variety of plants, including many from the Southern Hemisphere. The property has been used several times for filming, including The Frankenstein Chronicles starring Sean Bean.
Kircubbin lies about halfway down the eastern shore of Strangford Lough. The main activity in the village is fishing and boating for leisure. The Kircubbin Sailing Club has been active since the early 20th century. At this point the Mourne Mountains are still visible, a tantalising sight rising up from the far side of the Lough.
|Grey Abbey. Photo by JohnArmagh, via Wikimedia Commons|