Co. Down, North

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

Garden
Redcot
Belfast, Co. Antrim
This two and a half acre garden in suburban Knock is as unexpected as it is full of surprises. In its hidden heart the woodland glade is a Robinsonian paradise where plants from all over the world romp in happy abandon under a sheltered canopy of ...

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 ...

Self Catering

Rostrevor Holidays - Self Catering Accommodation in Rostrevor - Rostrevor County Down Nothern ireland
Rostrevor Holidays
Rostrevor, Co. Down
Nestled in the south-facing foothills of the Mourne Mountains, Carnaclasha and Owenabwee 5-star Houses offer modern luxury in beautiful surroundings.From the large sitting room windows guests will enjoy the view across the 24-acre peaceful farm o ...

What's On

Belfast - St. Georges Street - Saturdays
Every Saturday 9am-4pm

St. Georges Street, Belfast

Contact: Andrew Irvine 00 44 (0) 28 9027 0509

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 ...

Wedding Venues

Wedding
Hastings Culloden Estate & Spa
Holywood, Co. Down
Formerly the official palace for the Bishops of Down, the Culloden is romantically set in beautifully maintained gardens and woodland overlooking Belfast Lough and the County Antrim coastline. The building is a fine example of 19th-century Sc ...
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