Experience fascinating places and our warm welcome like never before in Ards and North Down.

Discover more of what the region has to offer by immersing yourself in these fantastic new experiences.  Enjoy the natural beauty of the countryside, and the warmth and creativity of our locals first-hand.

Awaken your creative spirit at a watercolour workshop, set in the stunning surrounding of Castle Espie on the shores of Strangford Lough. Let the wildlife be your muse for a relaxing morning of painting.Take to the water and enjoy the natural splendour of some of our coastlines up close. Try 'SUP-NIC', paddleboarding with a picnic, you can 'Explore the Shore' at Whiterock, Killinchy by kayak as you forage for mussels, or you may like an early morning sunrise paddle which will take you to Roe Island where yoga and breakfast awaits. For the perfect foodie adventure, you can 'Catch and Cook’ a delicious meal in Bangor, head out from the Marina with a local boatman, returning to cook at one of the Seafront restaurants. Or perhaps 'Cake and Canoe' is more your thing? Enjoy the beauty of Strangford Lough from a canoe followed by tea and cake, in a traditional Irish thatched cottage. 

Why not make it an overnight break, and stay a while in some of the great accommodation on offer, from cosy B&Bs, modern guesthouses or luxurious hotels – the choice is yours! Browse accommodation options here.

It's all here waiting for you.

*All providers will adhere to social distancing guidelines in accordance with government advice on the Covid 19 pandemic.
**Photos and/or video footage may be taken during these events. All events and activities are subject to change and may be weather dependent – best efforts will be made to inform you of any changes.


Sunrise Paddleboard and Island Yoga Experience,  Whiterock Killinchy
Sunday 27 September, 5.30am–8am   

Start your weekend on the waters of Strangford Lough by paddleboarding to Roe Island (weather permitting). Connect with nature above and below the water, while enjoying the physical and mental benefits of yoga surrounded by Strangford Lough. Enjoy a light breakfast before returning to shore.
£40 | Suitable for beginners | All equipment provided | 18+ years | Please make us aware of any dietary requirements by emailing bangorvic@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk

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Catch and Cook, Bangor
Saturday 22 August, 10.30am–1.30pm
Saturday 6 September, 10.30am–1.30pm

For a fun foodie experience with friends, take fishing trip with a difference where you will not only catch but also learn how to cook your fish. This exclusive trip from Bangor, with local boatman Brian Meharg, will be a memorable one. After landing your catch, the chefs at Bangor’s Salty Dog will be waiting to guide you through cooking the freshest of fish. Then sit back and relax with a drink as you enjoy your dish.
£45 per person (spaces are limited) | All equipment provided | Wear suitable clothing and waterproofs if necessary | 18+ years

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SUP – NIC, Bangor
Saturday 29 August 10am - 12noon
Saturday 12 September, 10am–12noon
Saturday 3 October, 10am - 12noon

Begin your day on the water with this guided paddleboarding experience, take in our water’s edge views and hear local tales. Then as you rest on your paddleboard, tuck into a gourmet picnic from a local deli as you take in the beautiful surroundings.
£50 per person | No previous experience necessary | All equipment provided |18+ years | Please make us aware of any dietary requirements by emailing bangorvic@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk

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Canoe and Cake, Killinchy
Saturday 5 September 2.30pm-5.30pm

Enjoy the sights of Strangford Lough from the water.  Get on board a canoe and relax in the serenity of your surroundings before heading back to a magnificent traditional Irish thatched cottage for tea and cake.  Sitting in the warmth of the cottage kitchen you will be treated to a demonstration of soda bread making. The table will be laden with soda and wheaten bread with Tracey’s homemade jams and handmade award- winning butter! Bring an appetite!
£60 per person | Suitable for beginners | All equipment provided | 18+ years | Please make us aware of any dietary requirements by emailing bangorvic@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk

Ensure to dress comfortably for the activity and although you should not get wet, a change of clothes may be advisable.

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Explore the Shore, Whiterock, Killinchy
Sunday 20 September, 9am–12noon (Sold out)

Explore the shoreline of Strangford Lough by kayak on a magical adventure that will bring you closer to the lough’s wildlife. Stop off at one of the many islands before foraging for mussels with John, your guide and trained chef, who will cook them with a local Irish whiskey cream sauce – you will not get fresher food!
£65 per person | No previous experience necessary | All equipment provided | 18+ years


Water's Edge Watercolours, Castle Espie Wetland Centre
Saturday 26 September.  9.30am - 12.30pm

Join local artist Bernice Anderson at Castle Espie Wetland Centre and let the local wildlife provide you with inspiration for this watercolour workshop.   Enjoy a brief tour as a guide points out the various birds who make Strangford Lough their home.  You can then enjoy coffee and scones before letting Bernice guide you through the two-hour workshop where you will create a pen and watercolour illustration of some of our feathered friends to take home.
£35 per person | Suitable for beginners | All materials provided |18+ years | Refreshment provided of tea/coffee and scone, please make us aware of any dietary requirements by emailing bangorvic@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk.

Suitable footwear and outdoor clothing should be worn.

Book now