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Cities, Towns and Villages

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Explore our quaint
towns and villages
  1. City of Bangor, County Down - Northern Ireland
    Bangor by the sea. The Island's newest city has been a long standing seaside holiday location for many over the decades. With its easy access by public transport from Belfast and beyond and choice of things to see and do, the city, capital of Ards and North Down, is ready to welcome you. Explore the City's attractions, its history, centuries deep and its picturesque coastline.
  2. Newtownards
    The heart of the Ards Peninsula, Newtownards is arguably the largest of Ards and North Downs four large towns and the gateway to the Ards Peninsula. Known for it's great shopping and historic landmarks, like Scrabo Tower, which sits with pride overlooking the town and the expanse of beautiful Strangford Lough. Craft and the arts is well celebrated here with the annual Creative Peninsula and events throughout the year in Ards Arts Centre and Conway Square.
  3. Comber
    The home of great taste, this lovely little town is rich in character, charm and history. Renowned for its cosy cafes and fine eateries, and the annual Comber Earlies Food Festival which celebrate the humble potato's PGI Status. Located nearby to the town is one of the borough's popular attractions, from WWT Castle Espie Wetland Centre.
  4. Donaghadee
    Dubbed 'The beacon on the coast', Donaghadee is a buzzing seaside town in Ards and North Down with an iconic lighthouse overlooking the Irish Sea, a Motte and Camera Obscura and a growing array of delicious eateries. Steeped in history, the town has more recently become famous for its starring role in the BBC drama series Hope Street as the featuring town of Port Devine.
  5. Holywood
    Historical gem of the lough, Holywood is the gateway to Ards and North Down from Belfast and beyond. Located just a few minutes away from the capital and from George Best City Airport, this town is really accessible and differentiates itself from our other towns with it's boutique-esque charm. Features in the town worth visiting are Holywood Priory, the Johnny the Jig statue and the motte, and a walk along the coastal path at Seapark will provide a beautiful view.
  6. Balloo and Killinchy
    For Fine Cuisine and Something Crafty visit Balloo and Killinchy, two picturesque little villages located along the eastern coast of Strangford Lough in Ards and North Down.
  7. Ballygowan
    Ballygowan is a village, popular as a commuter bypass, close to Northern Ireland's capital of Belfast, situated to the east of stunning Strangford Lough in Ards and North Down.
  8. The village of Ballyhalbert
    Northern Ireland's most easterly point
  9. Ballywalter
    The seaside destination of Ballywalter is located on the west coast of Ards and North Down in the Ards Peninsula. It features a beautiful expanse of sandy beach and makes for a wonderful spot to spend a sunny day, or a mindful moment. It has recently been the focus of a movie of the same name starring Patrick Kielty, which hit cinemas in October 2023.
  10. Ballyquintin
    The village of Ballyquintin is a little gem located along a beautiful coastal path that passes through beaches and farmland on the southern tip of the Ards Peninsula which follows round to Strangford Lough past St Cooey's Wells to Portaferry, returning up to Newtownards and beyond. Enjoy simple moments and stunning scenery, perfect for a family picnic spot or romantic stroll.
  11. Carrowdore
    A sleepy village on the Ards peninsula
  12. Cloughey
    Boasting a magnificent expanse of sandy beach, it really is a beautiful spot to spend the day. Located down the west coast of the Ards Peninsula in Ards and North Down, this seaside location is a renowned holiday spot. It's quiet charm and scenic location makes for a great base from which to explore the surrounding area and picturesque gems off the beaten track.
  13. Crawfordsburn
    Home to one of Northern Ireland’s most popular country parks, Crawfordsburn is a delightful village worth visiting. The Old Inn, built in the 1600's, is a popular wedding venue, with beautiful accommodation and spa area, offering the perfect setting in which to unwind. It's location to the leafy Country Park and Coastal Path adds to the romance of this charming village. Loaf Pottery, opposite The Old Inn, is a great cosy spot offering pottery making workshops alongside its coffee shop.
  14. Greyabbey
    The wedding village of the peninsula. Orange Tree House has put Greyabbey on the wedding venue map on the Island with it's idyllic location overlooking Strangford Lough. The village is also very much known for it's antique shops and cosy eateries. Steeped in history, Grey Abbey ruins and Greyabbey House represent pivotal times in the Ards and North Down Christian and Ulster-Scots heritage.
  15. Groomsport
    A picturesque seaside village nestled between Bangor and Donaghadee, on the cusp of the west coast of Ards and North Down which leads into the Ards Peninsula. Known for the Eagle Wing ship and it's role in the relationship the Island has with America, as well as Cockle Row Cottages, built circa 1600. This small village packs a lot in! Enjoy free annual summer activities for all the family as well as tours by Discover Groomsport.
  16. Helen's Bay
    A small picturesque village beside Bangor, connected by the North Down Coastal Path that runs past Crawfordsburn Country Park. Helen's Bay is a popular beach spot in the summer due to it's sandy nature and accessibility from the cities of Bangor and Belfast.
  17. Lisbane
    Lisbane is a small village and townland between Balloo and Comber
  18. Millisle
    Millisle is a popular seaside resort with an extensive sandy beach and a man-made lagoon located not far from the bustling town of Donaghadee, overlooking the Irish Sea, and forms part of the Ards Peninsula. Gems in and around Millisle include Eden Pottery, Ballycopeland Windmill and Maxemoo Cafe.
  19. Portaferry
    A large village situated on the south east tip of the Ards Peninsula, the gateway to Ards and North Down from across Strangford Lough, facilitated by The Strangford Ferry. Portaferry is well known for its fishing, maritime heritage and annual events such as the Portaferry Gala, and it is home to Northern Ireland's only Aquarium, Exploris and the arts and entertainment venue The Portico of Ards.
  20. Portavogie
    Portavogie has a wealth of fishing heritage, and two outstanding beaches with beautiful bays. Located on the Ards Peninsula in Ards and North Down, overlooking the Irish Sea, this is a lovely spot for seal spotting.
  21. Whiterock
    This gorgeous spot is located on the shores of Strangford Lough. Known for the Ballydorn Light Ship, with nearby activity providers like Strangford Lough Activity Centre and Tracey's Farmhouse Kitchen, and eateries like Daft Eddy's. Immerse yourself in this place, best explored by canoe, kayak or on a paddle board. You are sure to enjoy scenery like no other - on the water or off, your choice!
Plan your trip
  1. Time to get planning
    Ours is a place to escape to, slow down and feed your spirit Ards and North Down is defined by lush fertile fields and sweeping loughs, even the furthest reaches are within an hour of Belfast. Savour our award-winning local food and drink, be inspired by creative makers, artists and musicians and immerse yourself in our rich heritage.
  2. Accommodation in Ards and North Down
    Relax in the beauty of this place with accommodation ranging from distinctive self-catering options, cosy guest houses, glamping and caravanning/camping and a range of three, four and five-star hotel and spa facilities.
  3. Discover an abundance of things to do
    Ours is a promise of adventure, from the nooks in the woods to award-winning beaches and country parks, we’re home to some of Northern Ireland’s top attractions. Plan your visit and make unforgettable memories with family and friends.
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