The beautiful scenes of Arctic beauty along the Irish shores are a Christmas treat

A Christmas scene from the Arctic? No, this is Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland, shivering beneath the ice.

Last Christmas I posted photos of the thin carapace of ice that, for over a week, was left veiling the rocky foreshore of Strangford Lough every time the tide receded. It was something I’d never seen before and didn’t think would be repeated for possibly another generation.

A year later and the snow is far deeper – perhaps 18-20cm – and the freezing temperatures much lower. During the night it was been as low as -12°C (and -18°C inland), surely a record.

The ice coating the foreshore of Strangford has grown several inches thick in places. The multitude of drumlin islands are each ringed by an atoll of frozen seawater, glossing over the clumps of seaweed and crumpled over the rocks.

These are some of the scenes in the last couple of days.

Happy Christmas to you and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors wherever you are, warm or cold.

 Strangford 2

Looking southeast from above Whiterock across the islands of Conly, Darragh, Dunsy and Islandmore towards Marlfield on the Ards Peninsula and the Narrows

Strangford 3

A distant view of the Mourne mountains and four of the seven peaks above 700m. From left to right: Slieve Donard, Commedagh, Bearnagh and Meelmore

Strangford 5

Tide ebbing in the channel, Quarterland Bay


Thick ice on the foreshore of Ballymorran Bay

Strangford 4

Swans on the lagoon, Quarterland Bay


The farmer’s boat, Ballymorran Bay

Strangford 6

Icicles, shed door


Resident donkeys on the Quarterland Road