Just to help you relax even more while in the Ards Peninsula, here are a few ideas of where to go and what to do in the area:
Overlooking Strangford Lough the tower is the perfect location to enjoy some of the finest views of the area. Within the tower there are exhibitions detailing the history and information on the surrounding countryside. Paths through Killynether wood and around the disused quarries offer the opportunity for countryside enjoyment.
The areas around the Wood & Tower are on rough terrain & there are 122 steps to the top of the tower so a good level of fitness is required.The Tower is open daily free of charge except Friday Easter - Sept
Why not spend a day enjoying the traditional style market town and shops. There are many beautiful historic buildings dotted around the town. These can be enjoyed as part of a walking tour of Ards (guide available from the TIC)
On Saturdays the market still thrives and features a wide variety of stalls such as local produce of fruit & veg, meat, and fish. Other items include handbags, clothing, shoes, household, toys, and collectibles. Come and discover its charm for yourself!
If you enjoy the latest trends, try Ards Shopping Centre with a vast array of high Street names.Also in the town is Ards Arts Centre located in a former Georgian House and previously used as the town hall. The Centre holds Exhibitions, Performances, Art Classes and Lectures. Details on performing arts events hosted by Ards Arts are also available from the Centre, as is information on visual art exhibitions on display at the centre. Entrance to exhibitions are free of charge.
|Mondat to Thursday
||9.00am – 5.00pm
||9.00am – 4.30pm
||10.00am – 4.00pm
SOMME HERITAGE CENTRE
Take a step back in time to the trenches of the world war. The Centre examines Ireland’s role in the First World War and operates guided tours which include reconstructed trenches and features a conventional museum area with regularly changing exhibitions. There is also a research facility, café and shop. Opening times vary please contact 028 9182 3202
AVALON GUITAR FACTORY
For something totally original take a guided tour of Avalon Guitar factory and see each stage of production. Showing the transformation of raw timber into an exquisite blend of woods, shapes and sounds. Admission is free although you do need to phone before you go T - 028 9182 0542.Open Mon – Fri 9.00am- 4.30pm
Take a drive down the peninsula towards Greyabbey and stop off at the beautiful National Trust property Mount Stewart House & Gardens for a relaxing walk and perhaps a spot of lunch.
A little further on in the village of Greyabbey you can enjoy the slower pace of life. The Abbey is a must see and is steeped in history. Built by John De Courcey for his wife Affreca in 1193 it is the earliest example of Gothic Architecture in Ireland. If you are in the village at the weekend you may find some treasures in the one of the many antique shops or simply enjoy a coffee.
This a beautiful scenic 30min drive from Newtownards with Strangford Lough to your right. The villages you pass through are Greyabbey & Kircubbin both of which are small and community orientated. There are plenty of opportunities to grab a coffee before reaching Portaferry. When you reach Portaferry you can’t help but enjoy the views of Strangford Lough and relax into the slower pace of life, watching the Ferry go back and forth. A walking guide is available from both Ards & Portaferry Tourist Offices which provides brief historical detail on the area. After a spot of lunch you could hop on the ferry and drive back up on the western Lough side.
A few miles outside Comber on the shore of the Lough you will find more historic ruins - Mahee Castle built in1570 with demanding views of Strangford Lough and further on Nendrum Monastery, a pre-norman monastic enclosure and buildings. It is an ideal spot for a picnic on a sunny day. Also there is a visitor centre open weekends and during the summer months.
Also outside Comber is Castle Espie Wildfowl & Wetlands Centre home to Ireland’s largest collection of wildfowl which can be viewed through purpose built hides. Visitors can enjoy woodland walks and trails and a sustainable garden or relax with a coffee enjoying the beautiful views.
Ards Tourist Information Centre is always ready with suggestions for days out and places to visit with friends and family. Also call in for some retail therapy in our souvenir shop and Ards Crafts.
Our friendly Tourism Advisors will be only too happy to help with any enquiries.
Ards TIC, 31 Regent St, Newtownards – 028 9182 6846
Back to listing