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Why Ards and North Down must be on your list of places to visit!

Collage of images of Strangford Lough with Brent geese flying

Date: Thursday 13 May 2021

Uniqueness of this place...

Our place offers far reaching skies, miles of magnificent coastline, natural beauty, bountiful beaches and inspirational coastal and country walks.

Strangford Lough, the UK’s largest sea lough, is one of only three Marine Nature Reserves in the UK. It’s hard to believe that only 30 minutes from Belfast’s urban attractions, this captivating rural retreat (designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and an Area of Special Scientific Interest) is waiting to be explored.

 

Legend says there are 365 islands on Strangford Lough, one for every day of the year. In autumn, three quarters of the world’s Brent geese population migrate from Arctic Canada to make our shores their winter home. Watch their spectacular arrival and learn more about native wildlife at Castle Espie Wetland Centre.

The Ards Peninsula, Strangford Lough and their surrounding shores thrive with many creatures, marine life and visiting species through the changing seasons. You can spot seals and otters lounging on rocks, as well as Brent geese, cormorants and guillemots, creating a spectacle for bird watchers.

Ards and North Down is home to six award-winning beaches, five Green Flag Awards for parks and open spaces, as well as a world-class marina in Bangor.

Green Flag Award Parks include, Ballymenoch Park, Holywood, Castle Park and Linear Park in Bangor along with Londonderry Park and Kiltonga Nature Reserve in Newtownards.

Ballywalter, Cloughey, Groomsport , Millisle and Crawfordsburn beaches have all been awarded the prestigious Seaside Award and Helen's Bay has a Green Coast Award.

Events, festivals and workshops celebrate local talent and welcome artists from near and far. Everything from our maritime heritage to local creative arts, music and food is here to embrace and enjoy.

Create your perfect escape in Ards and North Down.

Find out more about the exploring the region, Discover Ards and North Down at your own pace...

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Many of our providers are 'We're Good To Go' registered, committed to operating safely so that you can enjoy a visit with confidence.

***Travel restrictions apply and Covid-19 regulations in Northern Ireland may differ from other regions.  Visit the NI Direct website prior to booking for up-to-date government information. Re-opening dates vary, if you are planning a day out, please 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 and new regulations in place to keep you safe, to enjoy your visit safely please adhere to the public health guidance, found on the Public Health Agency website.