North Down Museum

County Down

Historical treasures displayed in the converted laundry, stables and stores of Bangor Castle include the Raven Maps (the only complete folio of Plantation-era maps in Ireland); the Bronze Age Ballycroghan Swords, dating from around 500 BC; the 9th-century bronze handbell, the Bangor Bell; and a 17th-century sundial by Scottish craftsman John Bonar. Don't miss the model of Bangor Castle made out of sugar cubes, by local artist Brendan Jamison.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby County Down attractions

1. Bangor Castle Walled Garden

0.25 MILES

Designed in the 1840s by the Ward family who lived in Bangor Castle, these tranquil gardens make a good picnicking spot. It's particularly pretty in…

2. Pickie Funpark

0.65 MILES

This old-fashioned seaside entertainment complex is famous for its swan-shaped pedal boats. There's also a kids' adventure playground, electric-track…

3. Crawfordsburn Country Park

2.51 MILES

This pleasant park sits on the edge of a sandy bucket-and-spade beach with lovely views across Belfast Lough. Waymarked trails lead through meadows and…

4. Ark Open Farm

3.01 MILES

The Ark is a family favourite for its rare breeds of sheep, cattle, poultry, llamas and donkeys. Kids get to pet and hand-feed the lambs, piglets and…

5. Somme Heritage Centre

3.14 MILES

This grimly fascinating centre illustrates the horrors of the WWI Somme campaign of 1916 from the perspective of men of the 10th (Irish), 16th (Irish) and…

6. Avalon Guitar Factory

4.22 MILES

See how Avalon's handcrafted acoustic guitars are made on a factory tour. Every stage of the guitar-making process is explained, including how the wood…

7. Ulster Folk Museum

5.24 MILES

Farmhouses, forges, churches, mills and a complete village have been reconstructed at this excellent museum, with human and animal extras combining to…

8. Ulster Transport Museum

5.45 MILES

Across the road from the Ulster Folk Museum, the Transport Museum has steam locomotives, rolling stock, motorcycles, trams, buses and cars. Most popular…