Kings Byway Drive (ca 238 miles/380 km) travels around eastern Prince Edward Island is ringed by , which passes through several villages whose appearance and way of life has changed little since the turn of the century.There are also wildlife sanctuaries on this part of the island and farm homes where many families choose to spend a week or two as paying guests.
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In Orwell on the southeast coast you should visit Orwell Historic Village, which dates to the late 19th century. It is today operated by the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation. Here crops and livestock are raised and tended much as they were a century ago, while the village’s shingled buildings, constructed between 1864 and 1896 still stand on their original sites.
Summer is festival time at Orwell, as lively ceilidhs – Scottish folk music fests – are scheduled weekly. Two special celebrations also take place every summer: the Strawberry Social in Mid July and the Scottish Festival and Highland Games in late Autust. At the former guests gulp down heaping portions of ice cream and strawberries and join in games and dances. The Scottish Festival recreates games played by their ancestors such as hammer throwing, tossing the caber (similar to a telephone pole) and putting the stone.
Further along the southeast coast is Lord Selkirk Provincial Park, marking the spot where three ships carrying 800 Scottish Highlanders from the Isle of Skye touched land in 1803 after an arduous voyage across the Atlantic. St. John’s Presbyterian Church in the nearby village of Belfast was built by these Scottish settlers in 1823. A short detour here down a side road leads to the island’s oldest lighthouse at Point Prim, which has been helping guide ships into Charlottetown Harbor since 1846.
Heading up toward the far eastern tip of the island (site of another attractive lighthouse), Kings Byway Drive passes by Murray Harbour inlet. The Log Cabin Museum in the port town of Murray Harbour contains 200-year-old antiques and relics that provides further insight into the 19th-century lifestyle on PEI.
The Northumberland Mill and Museum near the village of Murray River contains an authentic water-powered grist mill. Murray River’s Handcraft Co Op Association shop has a fine selection of island crafts, while at Murray Harbour North there is a large seal colony visible from the Seal Cove Campground. And a little further beyond Souris, is a fisheries museum in Basin Head illustrating the means and the life associated with that local industry. A final excursion should be made along the beaches here, whose white sands “sings” when walked on.