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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

Mount Stewart House & Gardens - Newtownards County Down Northern Ireland
Mount Stewart House & Gardens
Newtownards, Co. Down
Inspired by Edith, Marchioness of Londonderry, Mount Stewart is surely a contender for the most splendid garden in Ireland. The influential Londonderrys were part of the golden circle of their day and, when Edith came to Mount Stewart in 1919, sh ...
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Golf

The 16th
Royal County Down Golf Club
Newcastle, Co. Down
Course Type: Links
Widely regarded as one of the finest links courses in the world, Royal County Down has an appropriate setting at Newcastle, where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea. For more than 100 years it had nestled on classic duneland, in the sh ...
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Self Catering

Selfcatering
Golfkeel Cottages - Oatfield Cottage , The Loft Cottage, Dovedale Cottage
Banbridge, Co. Down
Located one mile from the town of Banbridge the tranquil and peaceful surroundings Golfkeel Cottages are are set in their own private grounds wit secure private parking and offer spectacular panoramic views of the rolling countryside and the Moun ...
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What's On

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Tourist Attractions

Exploris Aquarium & Seal Sanctuary - Portaferry County Down Northern Ireland
Exploris Aquarium & Seal Sanctuary
Portaferry, Co. Down
A visit to Exploris enables the visitors to view and learn about the marine species that are indigenous to Strangford Lough and the coastline of the island. Marine communities are recreated to enable the visitor to gain a better understanding of ...
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Wedding Venues

Narrow Water Castle - Warrenpoint Wedding Venue - Warrenpoint County Down Northern Ireland
Narrow Water Castle
Warrenpoint, Co. Down
Scenically situated overlooking Carlingford Lough, and only 4 miles from Newry, Narrow Water Castle makes an atmospheric and conveniently located setting for weddings. Built in the early 1800’s from local granite, this historic building is ...
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Local Recommendations

Hospitality

Self Catering

Farmers Markets

Tourist Attractions

Golf Courses

Gardens

Town Information

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