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Green Tourism Providers - The Story So Far

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  1. Ards Arts Centre
    Ards Arts Centre is the core of the Arts Service for Ards and North Down. From its beautifully restored Georgian Town Hall in the centre of Newtownards, an extensive programme of arts events, creative classes and workshops, exhibitions, community arts and performances of live music and theatre happen throughout the area.
  2. Ards and North Down VIC
    Ards and North Down is one of the top 100 global sustainable destinations. At its heart, helping you explore, are the local Visitor Information Centres (VICs) with enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff, who are on hand to highlight sustainable options for visitors.
  3. Ards Blair Mayne
    Opened in January 2019, Ards Blair Mayne is a smart building. It offers residents and visitors to Newtownards a wide variety of sport, play and fitness choices. Facilities inside and out encourage swimming, fitness, kids play, sports development and a wide range of classes. Approximately 75,000 people a month are using this state of the art facility.
  4. The Ark Farm
    With over 70,000 visits a year, The Ark Open Farm is enormously popular for families and children wanting to get close to the animals. It’s a fantastic family day out, with an abundance of space to let children explore in a safe environment while having fun and learning.
  5. Ballyholme Yacht Club
    Ballyholme Yacht Club is a premier waterside centre, having just celebrated its 100th Anniversary. It is the base for over 800 members, encouraging a wide range of water-based activities - primarily dinghy & keelboat sailing, but also kayaking, diving, sea swimming and paddle boarding.
  6. Bangor Aurora Aquatic and Leisure Complex
    This £38m sporting and leisure facility is a legacy of the 2012 Olympics, opening in 2013 and being NI’s only Olympic sized 50m swimming pool. Serving the community and visitors in and around Bangor, the centre is managed by Serco on behalf of the local Northern Community Leisure Trust and was opened by Princess Anne.
  7. Bangor Marina
    Bangor Marina is one of 11 marinas in a national group, motivating and providing support to yachts to travel to alternative, including international, destinations. With 530 berths at Bangor, 50 are for visitors with, in 2019, 1,583 visiting boats staying almost 4,500 nights in total. The group also manages Bangor Harbour allowing larger vessels with deeper drafts to be accommodated here. Bangor has achieved the highest rating of five gold anchors, a star rating equivalent under the Yacht Harbour
  8. Cairn Bay Lodge
    This 9 bedroom guesthouse combines individually styled bedrooms, a special eating place and a beauty salon for residents and guests to further relax in, all with stunning views over Ballyholme beach. The brainchild of Chris and Jenny Mullen, attention to detail permeates every part of the business.
  9. Castle Espie Wetland Centre
    Castle Espie is an international exemplar of habitat restoration, sustainable design and green tourism. One of ten safe, accessible wetland centres in the UK and the only one in Northern Ireland, Castle Espie is run by a conservation charity, WWT, founded by Sir Peter Scott and supported by Sir David Attenborough.
  10. Clandeboye Estate and Courtyard
    Dating to the end of the 17th century, Clandeboye Estate’s historic parklands near Bangor are a model of diversification and sustainable land management practice. Home of the Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava, there is a powerful commitment to enhancing the biodiverse, social and economic role of the estate, building on its history, heritage and diverse and quality landscapes.
  11. Clandeboye Lodge Hotel
    When looking for a green pioneer in Ards and North Down – in Northern Ireland for that matter - Clandeboye Lodge Hotel is it. Its owners, Pim and Mandy Dalm, and staff work hard to integrate hospitality and sustainability to offer a 4 star deluxe sleeping, eating and event experience. Located in the countryside near Bangor in its own garden setting, the hotel is easily accessible from Belfast.
  12. Echlinville Distillery
    Echlinville Distillery is the first new distillery in over 125 years in Northern Ireland and the first ‘field to glass’ distillery in Ireland.
  13. Glastry Farm Ice Cream
    The Green Tourism programme was funded by the Council’s Recycling Community Investment Fund - a scheme which is powered by the recycling efforts of local residents and businesses.
  14. Indie Füde
    Indie Füde is an independent food company that’s been building a gigantic reputation as a foodie destination for quality local products, with a massive focus on the ‘shop local’ ideology.
  15. Mobile Team Adventure
    Mobile Team Adventure’s by-line is “We bring adventure to you!”   The team offer immersive experiences and adventure for individuals and groups by providing bespoke, tried and tested activity packages anywhere in Northern Ireland.
  16. North Down Museum
    North Down Museum exudes charm and packs a lot into a small space, telling the history of the area from the Bronze Age to the present day – “an absolute gem” a TripAdvisor commentator said.
  17. SUP Hub NI
    Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is the world’s fastest growing watersport and it’s here, in Bangor. This recently established business is a Mobile Paddleboarding School which also aims to be a hub for the sport within the local community and for visitors alike.
  18. Sustainable Journey's Ireland
    Owner Brigid Watson set up Ards Peninsula Tours to build on her background in environmental and sustainability education and offer guests intimate insights into the natural heritage of her locale.
  19. The Portaferry Hotel
    Mary and Cahal Arthurs reopened the Portaferry Hotel 4 years ago, making major improvements to facilities and décor. Located on the stunning quayside, with breathtaking views over Strangford Lough, the Portaferry Hotel is a listed building in this scenic, historic village. Portaferry means “The Landing Place of the Ferry”, which is a walk of seconds from the hotel.
  20. The Stables at Ballygraffan
    The Stables at Ballygraffan is a private horse farm set in the middle of Strangford Lough’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Two stables have been converted into self-catering cottages, with breath taking views of the Lough.
  21. Tracey's Farmhouse Kitchen
    Just 30 minutes from Belfast, Tracey’s Farmhouse Kitchen at Killinchy on the shores of Strangford Lough is in an area of outstanding natural beauty in County Down, the garden of Northern Ireland.
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