New for 2020, let the stunning and idyllic surroundings of our borough inspire your creativity

Due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) - Wed 22 April 2020 Update: Ards and North Down Borough Council has made the difficult decision to cancel all Council events until 31 August 2020 in line with Government and Public Health Agency advice.


A range of immersive experiences in unique settings - take inspiration from your surroundings on a guided tour and under the watchful eye of a local artist create a special memory of your day.

Glorious Grey Abbey
Saturday 18 April | 9.30am – 1.30pm
Saturday 4 July | 9.30am – 1.30pm
Saturday 26 September | 9.30am – 1.30pm

Join local artist Bernice Anderson in the grounds of stunning Greyabbey Abbey for a creative workshop with a difference.  Start with a tour of the historic Abbey and physic garden. Taste a traditional take on what the monks there would have eaten provided by Lekker Kitchen Cafè and then focus on the detail of the building in a watercolour workshop.
At the end of the experience you will take home your unique print to frame, as a memento of your visit and morning on the Ards Peninsula.  
£35 per person

Meeting point: Grey Abbey Visitor Centre, BT22 2NQ
Suitable for beginners | All materials supplied | Refreshment provided, please make us aware of any dietary requirements | Suitable footwear and outdoor clothing should be worn | 18+ years.

Book it! - available to book on Sat 7 Mar 2020 at 9am

Seal Shenanigans
Saturday 16 May | 11am – 4.30pm
Sunday 9 August | 11am – 4.30pm
Saturday 5 September | 11am – 4.30pm

Seals are a special sight when spotted in and around this beautiful coastline.  Be taken on a journey of land, water and creativity - taking home a memento of your special day.
Start with a guided tour of Exploris Aquarium, exploring the underwater world of Strangford Lough, visiting the Seal Sanctuary.  Enjoy a tasty lunch of local produce in the Portaferry Hotel, before creating a little grey seal of your own with local potter and artist Sharon Regan. 
£40 per person

Meeting point: Exploris Reception, The rope walk, Portaferry, BT22 1NZ
Suitable for beginners | All materials supplied | Lunch provided, please make us aware of dietary requirements | Suitable for 12+ years (under 18's must be accompanied by an adult).

Book it! - available to book on Sat 7 Mar 2020 at 9am

The Art of Glass
Saturday 9 May |11am – 4.30pm
Saturday 12 September | 11am – 4.30pm
Saturday 10 October | 11am – 4.30pm

Join a local artist at the stunning setting of Clandeboye Courtyard, to discover the art of glass.  Step inside the little church of the Estate and be immersed in its peace and tranquillity, reflecting on its beautiful stain glass windows. Hear what inspired Lady Dufferin to design these stunning windows and explore some of this country estate. Enjoy a relaxing lunch before creating your own unique light catcher with local artist, Irene McBride from Discovery Glass.
£50 per person

Meeting point: Clandeboye Courtyard, Clandeboye Estate, Bangor BT19 1RN
Suitable for beginners | All materials supplies | Lunch provided, please make us aware of dietary requirements | Suitable footwear and outdoor clothing should be worn | 18+ years.

Book it! - available to book on Sat 7 Mar 2020 at 9am

Terms and conditions and apply.

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.

Find out more about our Experiences and Guided Tours including our Wellbeing Experiences


Please note an online booking fee applies

Contact Details

  • Address Newtownards Visitor Information Centre 31 Regent Street Newtownards Co. Down BT23 4AD
  • Telephone 028 9182 6846
  • Email Ards VIC
Don't Miss Out!

Be first to know about new things to see and do in and around Ards & North Down.