Portmore Lough

Portmore Lough

If you enjoy walking and wildlife, Portmore Lough is a great day out at any time of year. During the summer the traditional hay meadows alongside the Lough attract a bewildering variety of butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies, while in the winter, greylag geese, whooper swans and thousands of ducks can be seen from the hide on the Lough edge. 

The reserve is also home to a herd of konik ponies, which graze the land and help us create perfect conditions for breeding birds like lapwings.

If you're coming in winter, we recommend wearing strong boots.


  • Car park: There is car parking for up to 14 cars with additional spaces outside the gates. Bicycle racks can be found adjacent to the information shelter.
  • Picnic area
  • Binocular hire
  • Group bookings accepted
  • Guided walks available

Viewing points:

The hide is accessible by boardwalk from the main trail. The entire lough and reedbed can be viewed from the hide.

Nature trails:

The main trail is a 1 km circular route that samples the main habitats of reedbed, ditches and wildflower meadows. Outside the summer months, this trail may be wet so Wellington boots are essential. Unfortunately, this trail is not suitable for wheelchair users. A 500 m all-weather path, suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs extends from the car park connecting the picnic area, small pond and a schools sensory area.



Accessible parking
Accessible toilets
Family and Children

Opening Hours

The reserve is open at all times. When the car park is locked, please park outside the gates.



No charge


No charge

Getting There

The reserve is signposted from Aghalee village. From the M1 motorway come off at Junction 9, Moira roundabout, and head up the A26 towards the International Airport and Antrim. Go under the railway bridge and pass the Glenavy Road Service Station on the right. Take the second road on the left. It is signposted Aghalee. This is the Soldierstown Road. Go to Aghalee. From the north, travel towards Moira down the A26 as far as the Soldierstown Road, signposted Aghalee and go to Aghalee. From the Soldierstown Road at Aghalee Village turn left at the T-junction as signposted and head into the village. After a slight bend in the road, before the shops and petrol station turn right into the Ballycairn Road which is signposted Portmore Lough Reserve. Note sometimes the sign becomes bent in the wrong direction by lorries so be careful. Stay on the Ballycairn Road for approx 3 miles until a T-junction. Opposite is the Gawleys Gate Inn. Here turn right and follow this straight road for approx 1 mile until a series of bends. After these bends RSPB Portmore Lough Reserve is signposted to the right, up Georges Island Road. At a sharp left hand bend, at the top of Georges Island Road, turn right up a track beside a white gable wall. This will lead to the entrance of the Reserve

Walk Trails

Linear, 1 miles

Portmore Lough. A delightful location for nature watching and a short walk.

Canoeing Routes

Gawleys Gate. On the Lough Neagh Canoe Trail.


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+44 (0) 28 9049 1547


Georges Island Road
BT67 0DW

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courtesy of
Big Lottery Fund Ulster Garden Villages
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