Newtownards, Co. Down
This old manufacturing and market garden town, is a bit inland from the head of Strangford Lough and dates back to the 13th Century, when a Dominican Priory was founded by Walter de Burgh. The town is a good spot to enjoy diving on Strangford Lough.
Mount Stewart House and Gardens (0044 28 42 788 387) has some beautiful walks around the garden and tours of the house which houses art and ornate furniture.
Golfers are spoilt for choice in this area, with three courses in close proximity: Kirkistown Golf Club (0044 28 42 771 233), Scrabo golf course (0044 28 91 812 355), Mahee Island golf course (0044 28 97 541 234) and Clandyboye golf course (0044 28 91 271 767).
Scrabo Country Park and tower offers picturesque walks through Kilynether wood, with a wealth of birdlife and wild flowers and stunning views over Strangford Lough.
There is an open farm nearby which has 30 rare breed species of farm animals on 40 acres of countryside.
The historical old Walters Church is worth a visit as the ruins include a 17th Century tower in the court square.