Discover this beautiful region, all within an hour of Belfast. Bring your group to journey along our stunning shorelines nestled between the sparkling waters of the Irish Sea and spectacular Strangford Lough. 

Map of location within Northern Ireland

With a great range of accommodation options from budget to 5-star luxury with spa facilities, we can help you plan an itinerary focused on relaxing and enjoy the warmest of welcomes in Ards and North Down.

Ards and North Down is home to some of Northern Ireland’s top attractions. Step into life as it was a hundred years ago in Holywood at the Ulster Folk Museum, where passionate craft makers in authentic town and country dwellings demonstrate traditional skills. At the Ulster Transport Museum enjoy one of Europe’s most comprehensive transport collections. Visit Northern Ireland’s only aquarium and seal 
rehabilitation centre, Exploris, Portaferry. Get up close to Ireland’s largest collection of native and exotic waterbirds, bats and migrant birds at Castle Espie Wetland Centre, Comber or spend the day at Pickie Funpark, Bangor to enjoy traditional seaside 
favourites the ‘Pickie Puffer’ and giant pedal swans.

Time Depth

Discover the stories, embrace the folklore, and indulge in our rich heritage. Explore ruined castles, holy wells, abbeys and military forts where tales of Bronze Age communities, Vikings, our early Christian and Ulster-Scots heritage and the role of this area in the Great Wars all come to life. Local museums each have a unique story to tell. North Down Museum in Bangor, travels back to the Bronze Age through a 
series of rooms, each dedicated to a particular era. The Somme Museum, Conlig, transports you to the trenches for fascinating insights into life during the First and Second World Wars. Uncover the magic of the National Trust’s Mount Stewart with a tour the 19th century stately home and world-class gardens or wind along idyllic woodland and farmland walking trails in this magnificent Irish demesne.
National Trust's Mount Stewart, Newtownards

Water's Edge

This is the perfect base for water sport enthusiasts. With wonderful coastal waters and passionate providers to help as you give paddleboarding, canoeing or scuba diving a go. Our scenic shoreline is yours to escape to and explore with a boat trip around the loughs, coastal walk or bike ride.
Kayaking on Strangford Lough overlooked by Scrabo Tower

Creative Spirit

Welcome to a region brimming with creativity, with more makers per head than anywhere else in Northern Ireland. Awaken your creative spirit with a visit to our 
galleries, workshops and studios dotted across the landscape, where their unique skills are shared and crafts and artworks are showcased for sale. Meet the makers, hear their stories, or why not take a class?
Artist at work - Discovery Glass, Comber

Award Winning Food and Drink

Savour the tastes of our region with the freshest ingredients found at our traditional markets, artisan food shops and dishes in the region’s award-winning restaurants. See how fine gins and whiskeys are produced at Echlinville and Copeland distilleries.
Gin tasting at one of local distilleries, image courtesy of NITB

Plan your trip now with us!

Plan your group tour trip with us now with our expert Visitor Information Centre team, here to help; get in touch today!
Mount Stewart
The National Trust
Mount Stewart

Mount Stewart is a stunning estate in the beautiful scenic area of Strangford Lough. The Formal Gardens are ranked as one of the top ten in the world and the within the house there are collections of national and international significance.

Exploris Aquarium & Seal Sanctuary
Zoo / Aquarium
Penguin

Enjoy a diver's view of marine life from around the world without getting wet. A sunken galleon, friendly sharks and a snappy crocodile, a Waddle of Penguins, all star in Northern Ireland’s only aquarium and seal rehabilitation centre.

Grey Point Fort
Castle / Fort
Grey Point Fort canon

Situated in Helen's Bay, Grey Point Fort is one of the best preserved early 20th century coastal forts anywhere in the British Isles.

Grey Abbey
Abbey / Priory
Grey Abbey ruins and graveyard from a birds eye view

Grey Abbey, a Cistercian Abbey church and its living quarters were founded in 1193 by Affreca wife of John de Courcy, the Anglo-Norman invader of East Ulster.

North Down Museum
Visitor Centres & Museums
External building of museum with adjoining Town Hall building in background

Visit North Down Museum to explore the fascinating saga of the North Down area from the Bronze Age to the present day. The Museum takes you on a journey through Early Christian heritage and the Vikings to Scottish Settlers and the Victorians.

Pickie Fun Park
Adventure Park / Playground
Photo of people enjoying rides on the Giant Swans pedal boats on the blue waters of the man made pond at Pickie Funpark

Pickie Funpark is one of the top ten visitor attractions in Northern Ireland. The park provides a fun day out for all: An 18-hole mini-golf course, giant pedal swans, Pickie Puffer train, children's play area, children's electric car track and more.