Connecting with nature
***We ask that individuals please check local guidelines on the NI Direct website, additional restrictions have been introduced for people in Northern Ireland until 1 April 2021. They will be reviewed on 18 March 2021.***

We all have a newfound appreciation for the outdoors and nature on our doorstep, and while we can’t celebrate Mother’s Day as we normally would, we can still plan a walk locally and enjoy our beautiful surrounding with family and our bubble.

Boasting 115 miles (185km) of scenic shores, our coastlines, spectacular landscapes and seascapes and award-winning parks and open spaces are a natural tonic.

Here are some ideas for local walks in the area…

Castle Park, Bangor, a walk through this wooded wonderland is an exhilarating experience, stroll along the tree-lined avenue to explore the formal gardens of the Town Hall.

Located on the southern shores of Belfast Lough, Crawfordsburn Country Park, near Bangor has two spectacular beaches, breath-taking scenery, tranquil walks through wooded glens and a stunning waterfall, providing a relaxing natural retreat.

Set above Belfast Lough, Redburn Country Park, Holywood is the place to explore 7km of pathways with spectacular views for those energetic visitors who climb to the top!

Only three miles from Newtownards off the Comber Road, Island Hill overlooks Strangford Lough and is an excellent vantage point for bird watching. Follow the path along the edge of the lough to a causeway accessible only at low tide to explore the island.

Once part of the Nugent’s Estate, Nugent’s wood, Portaferry is now managed by the National Trust. Enjoy a gentle walk through this mature wood of mixed broadleaved trees with beautiful views across the Strangford Narrows, towards Audley’s Castle and Castle Ward.

Nugent’s Wood has recently had a magical makeover with an extensive program of works including improvements to the walking trail and repairs to the existing stone wall have been completed, while additional drainage works as well as new seating, sculptures and entrance signage have been installed. Read more about Nugent’s Wood improvements.

This is only a sample of the walks we have to offer in Ards and North Down, check out some more:

Stricklands Glen
North Down Coastal Path
Whiterock Village
Scrabo Tower and Country Park

We also have five parks and open spaces awarded the prestigious Green Flag Award, the international mark of quality for parks and open spaces.
Ballymenoch Park, Holywood, Castle Park and Linear Park in Bangor along with Londonderry Park and Kiltonga Nature Reserve in Newtownards.

Looking for more outdoor walks? Go to our Things to Do section

As always, be aware of what current local COVID-19 restrictions are in place and please follow public health guidance. For information visit, nidirect and the Public Health Agency website.

To avoid disappointment, when planning to visit an attraction in the area please continue to check individual provider websites before you leave the house to confirm if they are open, closed or if pre-booking is required.