With COVID 19 dominating our lives since 2020, it was a welcomed and refreshing change to get taking part in this years canoe festival, hosted by our club; the Ulster Canoe Club.
There was a selective menu of open canoe skills sessions on offer, led by local coaches and coaches from across the Irish sea.  This year the venue was at the Quoile Yacht Club.  This was the perfect venue in everyway and the yacht club members went out of their way to make us feel very welcome.  This was very much appreciate by all.  
The Quolie Yacht Club lies tucked away at the south west point of Strangford Lough where its tidal sea meets the fresh water from the Quoile river with just a flood barrier to divide them.   For more details click the black button below!
Although I have been suffering with knee issues, I led the river trip up through the Quoile nature reserve and unto Inch Abbey, an old church ruin that has an interesting history. 
The Abbey is located on the north bank of the Quoile River, this historic Cistercian Abbey was founded around the 12th-century by John de Courcy, an Anglo-Norman knight.  It is believed that building the Abbey was for John de Courcy atonement for his destruction of Erenagah Abbey.  The Abbey features gorgeous grounds and offers a breath taking view of the River Quoile.  Downpatrick Cathedral, the resting place of Saint Patrick, can also be seen off in the distance. 
Game of Thrones fans might recognize these ruins as the place where Robb Stark was called out to be the “King in the North” by his Northern supporters.
Below are some photos I took on my river trip and some from the yacht club. 
The Abbey can be accessed from the road and is well worth a visit on a sunny day.
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