Official tourism website for Northern Ireland

County Down

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Awaken your Giant Spirit

  1. a mum, dad and toddler looking at fish in the tank
    Enjoy a diver's view of marine life from around the world without getting wet. A sunken galleon, friendly sharks and a snappy crocodile all star in Northern Ireland’s only aquarium and seal rehabilitation centre.
    1. Suggested Itinerary: The Mourne Region
      Looking for suggestions for your short break to the Mourne region of County Down? Use this pre-built itinerary to find out more about some of the area's top attractions, eateries and places to stay. Check out the map below to see where everything is and click on the product listings below the map for more information.
    2. Image is of the Lady Alice Temple with surrounding foliage
      Hillsborough Castle is one of the most beautiful, and interesting historic properties in Northern Ireland, and the official residence of the Royal Family when they are in Northern Ireland.
      1. 2 mountain bikers enjoying the views across Carlingford Lough from atop Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails in County Down. They are sitting while their bikes rest against a boulder.

        County Down is the most easterly county in Northern Ireland. Magnificent mountain landscapes meet pretty-as-a-picture fishing villages, glorious beaches and epic Game of Thrones® experiences.

      2. Bushcraft at Finnebrogue Woods

        The Mournes and Strangford Lough take in some of the most picturesque and breath-taking areas of County Down. There's so much to see and do, this handy round up might give you an idea of where to begin.

      3. Join expert mountain guide Peter Rafferty as he stretches your imagination - and your legs - as you follow rocky paths at a gentle pace, stopping for breaks to take in the sights and sounds of this special mountain range.
      4. Activities & Attractions
        The very geography of County Down offers variety in itself. There’s the Mourne mountains sweeping down to the sea. There’s Strangford Lough, the largest lough of its kind in Britain and Ireland. The Ards Peninsula has a sea-bitten flavour all of its own. Head inland, into Bronte Country, and everything changes as rock and sand quickly give way to farmland and woods.
      5. Food & Drink
        In recent years celebrity chefs like Paul Rankin and Michael Deane have done a lot to boost Northern Ireland’s food and drink credentials. While many of their restaurants have made Belfast a culinary hotspot, their influence and that of others is felt across the country. Nowhere more so than in County Down.
      6. Accommodation
        You’ll find an amazing range of places to stay in and around County Down. There are hotels, coastal cottages and campsites with sea views to die for. There are ancient castles and period buildings steeped in history and atmosphere.
      7. Suggested Itinerary: Strangford Lough
        Looking for inspiration? Consider a short break around Strangford Lough, in County Down. It's the perfect spot for a short getaway, with lots of water activities, delicious eateries and beautiful places to visit and stay overnight.
      8. The 4th green at Royal County Down Golf Course in Newcastle, County Down. Slieve Donard and the Mourne Mountains are visible in the background.

        This is the county that is home to Northern Ireland’s most dramatic mountain range, gave Game of Thrones® its Winterfell castle, has the largest sea lough in Great Britain and Ireland and is St Patrick’s last resting place. Phew!

      9. Kayakers sitting on the shore getting instruction before heading out on the water
        Taking out a kayak is beautiful way to explore Strangford Lough. Down at water level, you are in tune with the tides, time of day and weather conditions. Gliding softly brings you closer to the lough’s wildlife, including seal pups and wild geese.
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