The perfect place for time well spent with family, friends, and loved ones; make memories this spring in Ards and North Down.

Adults and Children enjoying views from the beach over Bangor Bay

Views to put a spring in your step

Wander along scenic trails, explore ancient ruins, and experience our world-renowned hospitality, where a warm smile and friendly chat are our way of life.

From secret gardens to scenic coastal walks and country parks, Ards and North Down has lots of hidden gems and popular spots which are perfect to stretch the legs. Enjoy a ramble along the countryside, an ice cream by the seaside, or a breathtaking forest walk to bring out your inner adventurer.

A couple enjoying the pool at the Culloden Estate and Spa, Cultra

Time to relax

Maybe a spa break is more your thing? Let us inspire you with options to restore your wellbeing and immerse yourself in our place. Nestled amongst our beautiful scenery, you’ll be spoilt for choice from a range of specialist accommodations offering wonderful packages to relax, restore and revitalise.

Stylish hotels, award-winning guest houses, and boutique accommodation, will offer you luxurious surrounding along with the warmest of welcomes. 

A selection of cheese at one of the Borough Markets

Meet the locals and savour great flavours

Enjoy the atmosphere at wonderful local markets in Bangor, Comber, Newtownards, and Portaferry which have been a tradition here for over 100 years. These are a food lover’s haven where you can pick up tasty local produce.

You will find delectable delights from local deli’s to fish caught that morning, from artisan cheeses and chutneys to local honey, from fresh bread and sweet treats to vegetables from local soil. Variety markets also offer the chance to pick up some unique jewellery, art, ceramics, organic handmade skincare and more from fabulous artists and makers. 

Experience AND

Launching this spring, our new Experience Ards and North Down programme, join us on immersive experiences and guided tours. Take in the natural beauty of our countryside, encounter water’s edge wonders, charming towns and villages and our delicious food and drink. 
Our local people are ready to welcome you and share their passion and skills. Be captivated on a historic guided walking tour, embrace your creative spirit or try something new on our stunning coastal waters and loughs.

Donaghadee Lighthouse

24-hour and 48-hour inspiration 

You don’t have to go far to enjoy fresh open spaces and the calming ambience of nature. All located within an hour’s drive of Belfast, Ards and North Down is packed with places just waiting to be explored. 

When you are here for a short break, plan ahead with these handy itineraries designed to help guide you on exciting journeys through the Ards Peninsula Way, idyllic Strangford Lough, and around the new City of Bangor. Discover a ‘Rural Retreat’ or relax with a ‘Feed the Body and Soul’ trip, you could check out the ‘Making Memories with Family Itinerary’ or ‘Follow the Tide’ and ‘Treasure Time around the Lough’. 

A seagull sitting on a wall beside flowers with Portaferry village in background

These inspirational routes are packed with highlights to help you make the most of your time here, and you’ll want to return time and time again.

An adult and two children cycling along the Comber Greenway

Book a short stay today 

With great value short breaks, escape and unwind in this beautiful water’s edge location; simply relax and slow down the pace as you indulge in a rural escape close to Belfast. Be sure to check out our accommodation and offers section.

Food Festivals

Events | Spring – Winter 2024

Merry May Day in Holywood

Monday 6 May

UK Pipe Band Championships in Bangor

Saturday 18 May

Sea Bangor Festival 

Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 June

Taste Summer (Wed 19 – Sun 30 Jun), including Comber Earlies Food Festival

Saturday 22 June

Taste Autumn (Thur 5 – Sun 15 Sept), including Tide AND Turf Portavogie

Saturday 7 September

City of Bangor Christmas Lights Switch On

Saturday 23 November

Newtownards Christmas Lights Switch On

Saturday 30 November

Please note, the 2024/25 council run events programme are subject to the rate setting process. Details correct at time of print.