Meet your local tour guide Brigid Watson

After a successful career in education I decided to set up my own business. I had recognised the tourism potential of this historic and stunningly beautiful region for some time and decided to become a qualified tour guide and in 2017 set up Ards Peninsula Tours, offering guided tours by coach or on foot. I have carried out extensive local research enabling me to design the most interesting and enjoyable experiences for visitors and I work in collaboration with other tourism providers around Strangford Lough and in St Patrick’s Country, for example, NI Food Tours.

I am a local guide offering tailormade, specialised walking tours and coach tours for groups around Strangford Lough. We offer general heritage tours covering subjects including Christian heritage, maritime heritage, history, geography, geology, nature and environment. There are many amazing stories of peoples’ lives and stories of emigration and the impressive achievements of emigrants who left the area and I have researched this theme on visits to New Zealand and Canada.

My special interest is in Christian heritage and nature. With extensive experience as an educator and communicator of knowledge allied to an expert knowledge of landscapes you will be guaranteed a truly unique experience covering a wide range of topics from Celtic Christianity to climate change!

Brigid and Hugh at Slanes Graveyard

What clients said

Background information on your tour guide

  • Graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast BSSc (Honours) in Geography/History; MSSc in European Integration; London Southbank University MSc with Distinction in Education for Sustainability
  • Former Senior teacher and Secondary Education Adviser
  • Member of TourGuidesNI, professional tour guiding association
  • World Host Ambassador
  • Member of the Friends of Columbanus Bangor
  • Member of the Institution of Environmental Sciences, London
  • Chartered Environmentalist
  • Member of the Strangford Lough Steering Group Cluster
  • Associate Director of Portaferry and Strangford Trust
  • Hobbies : Tennis, travel, gardening and research
Brigid with a tour group
Roadside stall with honesty box

Our farm

I live with my husband Hugh on our coastal farm overlooking the Irish sea on the outer Ards Peninsula.  Over the last ten years we have grown traditional Irish varieties of potatoes and sold them at a roadside stall with an honesty box on the farm. We also have sheep and springtime is a busy season with lambing in full swing.

We have participated in several agri-environmental schemes over many years which have enhanced the biodiversity of the natural environment, increased the numbers of birds in species with declining numbers, for example, the yellowhammer (chosen as the business logo) and attracted a wider range of species. We have planted hundred of native species of trees including an apple orchard of native Irish varieties.

You can visit our farm, meet my farmer husband, learn about the agri-environmental programmes we have participated in and the changes in farming locally over the last century.

Our heritage

This ancient eastern coastal area is endowed with a treasure trove of historic monuments, castles, forts, abbeys, ancient graveyards and churches. You will be taken on a journey through the centuries, connecting you with nature and with our  heritage, folklore and Christianity. You could try your hand at making a St Brigid’s Cross after seeing a demonstration. I enjoy researching and telling the amazing life stories of emigrants from this area who travelled to places such as the USA, Canada and New Zealand and who made a very significant contribution in the countries in which they settled. I have undertaken research in New Zealand and Canada, uncovering some amazing stories and have helped visitors from the USA, Australia and Canada who came here to trace their ancestors.

Looking at a headstone

Why choose a tour with Brigid from Ards Peninsula Tours?

  • Superior personal service
  • Authentic and memorable experiences
  • Flexible dates and times for tours
  • Hidden gems off the beaten track
  • Engaging stories of the place and people