Categories: InspirationThings To Do

It doesn't have to be a big gesture, or an expensive gesture, to show your Mum how much you appreciate her. In fact, she probably doesn't even need a gesture to know this, but it's lovely to be treated, and it's lovely to treat! Here are a few ideas as to how to spend Mother's Day, Sunday 10 March, with nearest and dearest, celebrating your Mum, or someone who is just like a Mum to you, doing something together...

Take a walk

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

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 City Hall (Bangor Castle).

Bangor Castle Walled Garden, a real jewel in Bangor's crown, is located on the edge of Castle park, and can be accessed via the park or from the car park at Bangor Aurora Aquatic Leisure Complex.


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!

Island Hill near Comber


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.

Scrabo Tower and Country Park, Newtownards

At the top of Scrabo Hill, overlooking Strangford Lough and the whole of North Down, is Scrabo Tower. The tower, which was built in 1857, is one of Northern Ireland’s best known landmarks and the views from the top are spectacular. 

Scrabo Country Park is centred at the top of Scrabo Hill near Newtownards and boasts incredible views over Strangford Lough and the surrounding countryside. There are plenty of paths through the fine beech woodlands of Killynether Wood and around the disused quarries allowing visitors many opportunities to enjoy the quiet and peaceful countryside.

Donaghadee - Perfect for Hope Street fans!

Visit the Real Port Devine of BBC Series Hope Street...The Stunning Coastal Town of Donaghadee!

BBC TV series 'Hope Street' first hit our screens in late 2021, and is coming to the end of the third season, filmed entirely in the 'Beacon on the Coast', Donaghadee, or ‘The Dee’ as it is known to locals! Fans of the hit police drama are flocking to the thriving town to see it's seaside beauty.

Take a stroll through the town and around the seafront you will instantly recognise key film locations from the series, from the Police Station to the Harbour and Lighthouse and Port Devine's The Commodore pub.  Go a little further round the corner, taking in the rugged coastline and venture to The Commons where you can relax and enjoy the sea air. Read more.

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

The North Down Coastal Path which stretches 16 miles, from Holywood to Portavoe, near Donaghadee, with access, in parts, by train for those wishing to make a day of it.

  • Cairn Wood, Bangor
  • Lisbane near Killinchy
  • Whiterock Village, Killinchy
  • Kiltonga Nature Reserve, Newtownards

North Down Coastal Path, Helen's Bay area

A walk with a difference...

Spend the day dandering the forest trails, lakeside path, or formal gardens, of the National Trust's Mount Stewart House and Gardens near Newtownards, or immerse yourself in nature at the wetlands of WWT Castle Espie, set on the shores of stunning Strangford Lough, or rewind back in time at the Ulster Folk Museum, Cultra - a rural retreat with character and scenery, set between Belfast city and Bangor city.

As part of the National Lottery Heritage Open Weekend, Ulster Folk Museum are offering free entry on 9 and 10 March for National Lottery players who can provide proof of purchase (either paper or digital). Terms apply. Find out more

A family enjoying the Ulster Folk Museum, Cultra near Holywood

Go for afternoon tea

View our list of local spots who serve this traditional platter of polite indulgence, usually comprising of sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, sweet pastries and cakes.

Get crafty

Create something unique at Eden Pottery in Millisle, or join a pottery workshop at Loaf Pottery in Crawfordsburn.

NI Silver offer up bespoke jewellery making workshops, led by renowned  goldsmith Ruth, known for her beautiful trademark NI Landmark jewellery pieces.

Make it a spa day

Give the gift of relaxation, whether it's a spa day, or a treatment or two... read more

Special offers

Be sure to check our Offers section for details on a free entry deal to WWT Castle Espie Wetland Centre, and a homely Breadmaking experience with Tracey's Farmhouse Kitchen.

Gift wrapped presents

Our Visitor Information Centres in Bangor and Newtownards, stock a range of gifts to choose from, created by artists and makers from all over Northern Ireland.
If you are looking something unique to our area then this is the spot to visit! 

Kayakers getting ready to paddle out on Strangford Lough

Give the gift of an experience  - find out coming up this year in our What's On section - a comedy show, a concert or a play... or try something new in our Things to Do section.

However you spend Mother's Day, enjoy it.