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Ards Peninsula

Ards PeninsulaArds Peninsula View slideshow
South of Bangor, at Donaghadee, is the start of the 20mi/32km long Ards Peninsula. From Donaghadee a road runs along the Irish Sea coast to Ballywalter (beautiful beach), Ballyhalbert and finally Cloghy, where it turns inland to Portaferry.

Killyleagh - Delamont Country Park

On the west shore of the Strangford Lough is the resort of Killyleagh (birthplace of Sir Hans Sloane, founder of the British Museum).
Two miles south (A22) of Killyleagh is Delamont Country Park with a restored walled garden, woodland walks and picnic area. The park offers spectacular views over Strangford Lough.
Address: Downpatrick Road, Killyleagh BT30 9RG, Northern Ireland

Hilltop Castle

Hilltop Castle in Killyleagh.
Hilltop Castle overlooks the town of Killyleagh which has a Jacobean parish church. The scenery is very beautiful, with the Mourne Mountains shimmering blue in the distance.

Mount Stewart House and Gardens

Mount Stewart House on the road from Portaferry.
Also on the Mount Stewart property is the 18th Chome of Lord Castlereagh. The gardens were chiefly nurtured by the wife of the seventh Marquis of Londonderry and feature rare and unusual plant species.
The Temple of the Winds, an 1785 banquet hall, overlooks Strangford Lough.
Address: Portaferry Road, Newtownards BT22 2AD, Northern Ireland

Portaferry, Northern Ireland

Portaferry.
Portaferry is on the Ards peninsula's southern tip. There is a ferry service between Portaferry and Strangford on the mainland. From Portaferry there is also a road round to Strangford, starting out as the A20 and skirting the west side of the peninsula by the shores of Strangford Lough.

Exploris Aquarium

Exploris is an aquarium devoted to revealing the wonders of life in the Irish Sea and Strangford Lough. Thousands of species on view. Interactive displays are also available.
Address: The Ropewalk, Castle Street, Portaferry BT22 1NZ, Northern Ireland

Strangford Lough

Vast flocks of wildfowl gather in the Strangford Lough which is under the jurisdiction of the National Trust's Wildlife Scheme. The area is also home to a variety of nesting birds and marine life, including seals. An excellent site for avid birdwatchers.

Ardkeen, Northern Ireland

The road from Portaferry that starts out as the A20 and skirts the west side of the peninsula passes through Ardkeen where there is a ruined castle.

Greyabbey, Northern Ireland

At the site of Grey Abbey are ruins of a Cistercian abbey from 1193 by Affreca, wife of John de Courcy. Set in beautiful parkland with a medieval garden.

Grey Abbey

After the road from Portaferry passes through Kircubbin, it comes to Grey Abbey, with remains of a Cistercian abbey founded in 1193, one of the best preserved in Ireland. Notable features are the fine Perpendicular windows and the magnificent west doorway.

Newtownards, Northern Ireland

Newtownards, noted for its linen, is a good base from which to explore the coastal scenery and the Mourne Mountains to the south. It has a Town Hall of 1770 and a ruined Dominican church (1244).
From here there is a direct route back to Belfast.

Ark Open Farm

On the Ark Open Farm visitors can see rare breeds of farm animals including: Vietnamese pot-bellied and Berkshire pigs, Nigerian pygmy goats, Chinese and Pilgrim geese, Irish Moiled cattle, Llama, guanaco.
Address: 296 Bangor Road, Newtonwards BT23 7PH, Northern Ireland

Scrabo Country Park

A person in front of the Scrabo Tower.
In Scrabo Country Park visitors can climb 122 steps to the top of Scrabo Tower which was built in memory of the 3rd Marquess of Londonderry. Peaceful woodland walks, interesting wildlife and old quarries.
Address: Scrabo Country Park, 203A Scrabo Road, Newtownards BT23 4SJ, Northern Ireland

Somme Heritage Centre

Trenches, audio-visual displays help recreate the Battle of the Somme (1916).

Ballywalter, Northern Ireland

Ballywalter (beautiful beach) is on the road from Donaghadee on the Irish Sea coast.

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