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County Down

County Down rings the changes in elegant style, from its affluent shoreline along Belfast Lough - the "Gold Coast" - through the rolling drumlin country which provides Strangford Lough's many islands, and on then past the uplands around Slieve Croob, with the view southward being increasingly dominated by the purple slopes of the Mountains of Mourne.

The Mournes soar to Northern Ireland's highest peak of Slieve Donard (850m), and provide excellent hill-walking and challenging climbing. When seen across Down's patchwork of prosperous farmland, however, they have a gentleness which is in keeping with the county's well-groomed style. In the same vein, Down is home to some of Ireland's finest gardens, notably Mount Stewart on the eastern shore of Strangford Lough, and Rowallane at Saintfield, while the selection of forest and country parks is also exceptional.

Within the contemporary landscape, history is much in evidence. St Patrick's grave is in Downpatrick, while the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum at Cultra near Holywood provides an unrivalled overview of the region's past. The coastline is much-indented, so much so that, when measured in detail, County Down provides more than half of Northern Ireland's entire shoreline. Within it, the jewel of Strangford Lough is an unmatched attraction for naturalists and boat enthusiasts, while Portaferry has one of Ireland's longest-established saltwater aquariums in Exploris.

In the south of the county, the increasingly prosperous town of Newry on the river inland from Carlingford Lough is – with Lisburn in County Antrim – one of Ireland’s two newest cities under a re-designation of 2003, Newry is responding with enthusiasm to its enhanced status, and the urban regeneration of this interesting canalside centre is intriguing to watch., while the Ship Canal down to the sea has been restored and was re-opened in 2006.    


Local Attractions and Information

Bangor Events Office +44 (0)28 91 278051

Bangor Tourism Information +44 (0)28 91 270069

Bangor North Down Heritage Centre +44 (0)28 91 271200

Castle Espie Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre +44 (0)28 91 874146

Cultra Ulster Folk & Transport Museum +44 (0)28 90 428428

Downpatrick Down Cathedral +44 (0)28 44 614922

Downpatrick St Patrick Centre +44 (0)28 44 619000

Dromore Kinallen Craft Centre +44 (0)28 97 533733

Dundrum Murlough National Nature Reserve +44 (0)28 43 751467

Greyabbey Mount Stewart House +44 (0)28 42 788387

Hillsborough Hillsborough Castle Gardens +44 (0)28 92 681300

Kilkeel Nautilus Centre +44 (0)28 41 765555

Millisle Ballycopeland Windmill +44 (0)28 91 861413

Mourne Mountains Guided Wildlife Walks +44 (0)28 43 751467

Newcastle Tollymore Forest Park +44 (0)28 43 722428

Newtownards Kingdoms of Down Tourism +44 (0)28 91 822881

Portaferry Exploris Aquarium +44 (0)28 42 728062

Rathfriland Bronte Interpretive Centre +44 (0)28 40 631152

Saintfield Rowallane Gardens +44 (0)28 97 510131

Strangford Castle Ward +44 (0)28 44 881204

Strangford Lough Wildlife Centre +44 (0)28 44 881411

Gardens

Guincho - Garden Helens Bay Bangor County Down Northern ireland
Guincho
Bangor, Co. Down
On a very grand scale indeed, this 12 acre garden surrounding an unusual Portuguese style house is a place to experience unforgettable sights, scents and sounds. It would be worth a visit for gorgeous hydrangea ‘Sea Foam’ alone, glimm ...
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Golf

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Royal Belfast Golf Club
Craigavad, Co. Down
Course Type: Parkland
Founded on November 9th 1881, the Royal Belfast Golf Club is the oldest club in Ireland and has a delightful, parkland setting on the shores of Belfast Lough. Its formation proved to be the inspiration for the growth of the game in Ireland. Th ...
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Self Catering

Selfcatering
The Colonel's Lodge
Holywood, Co. Down
The Colonel's Lodge is set in the garden of Beech Hill Country House bed and breakfast. It is a converted grain store with a small double bedroom under the rafters in an open gallery upstairs , a small single bedroom dow ...
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What's On

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Tourist Attractions

Somme Heritage Centre - Newtownards County Down Northern Ireland
Somme Heritage Centre
Newtownards, Co. Down
Opened in 1994 as a tourist attraction and educational facility. The Centre examines Ireland's role in the First World War with special reference to local cross community involvement in the three volunteer divisions raised in Ireland: the 10th an ...
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Wedding Venues

Wedding
Clandeboye Estate
Bangor, Co. Down
The beauty of this romantic wedding venues that it is still a private estate, and there will never be more than one wedding held here on any day. There is a church on the estate, but it is not available for public use; however, there are churches ...
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Local Recommendations

Hospitality

Self Catering

Farmers Markets

Tourist Attractions

Golf Courses

Gardens

Town Information

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