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Connect with nature on winter walks

close up of tree branches with berries and snow, family walking in forest with dog, Robin perched on tree branches in winter

***We ask that individuals please check local guidelines on the NI Direct website, additional restrictions will be introduced on 26 December.***

**If you plan to visit any attraction in the area please continue to check individual provider websites before you leave the house to confirm if they are open or closed and avoid any disappointment. Many providers have pre-booking systems new regulations in place to keep you safe, when you are out and about please follow public health guidance on the Public Health Agency website.***

Relax and enjoy the great outdoors. Not only do we have Northern Ireland’s longest coastline with 185km of scenic shores, our parks and open spaces have received five Green Flag Awards, including, Ballymenoch Park, Holywood, Castle Park and Linear Park in Bangor along with Londonderry Park and Kiltonga Nature Reserve in Newtownards, all awarded the International mark of quality in 2020.

Restore your love of the outdoors. Here are some ideas for getting out and about 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 Town Hall.

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!

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. 

Nugent’s Wood has recently had a magical makeover with an extensive program of works including improvements to the walking trail and repairs to the existing stone wall have been completed, while additional drainage works as well as new seating, sculptures and entrance signage have been installed. Read more about Nugent’s Wood improvements.

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

Stricklands Glen

North Down Coastal Path


Whiterock Village

Scrabo Tower and Country Park

Looking for more things to do in the area? Go to our Things to Do section