Welcome to County Down
County Down's attractions are many and varied; from glorious walks in the Mourne Mountains, to rolling farmland with cosy village pubs, to birdwatching on the mudflats of Strangford Lough, you'll want to spend some time exploring it all
Top experiences in County Down
County Down activities
Belfast Day Trip from Dublin
Starting from a central Dublin location, your day trip departs early to beat the traffic on the drive north to Belfast. In the mid-morning, you’ll enter Northern Ireland and reach Belfast, the country’s capital city. Here you will have a guided coach tour of Belfast City, where you'll be shown the Belfast peace walls that act as peace lines between the Catholic and Protestant communities. Look out for the wall murals that tell stories of community disputes from both sides of the fence.After a light-hearted introduction into the perils of Belfast politics, you’ll have approximately two hours to spend at leisure, and your guide will happily offer directions to recommended lunch spots. Suggested Belfast attractions for you to see include Belfast Cathedral (also known as St Anne’s Cathedral), or the landmark site of Belfast City Hall on Donegal Square. Continue your tour to East Belfast, where you’ll visit the Harland and Wolff dry docks. It was here that the doomed Titanic ship was designed and built. Following this, you will begin your drive back towards Dublin, stopping in Downpatrick to visit the Saint Patrick Centre and take a short walk to the Down Cathedral to learn about the patron saint of Ireland. Your Belfast Day trip will continue south through County Down. You will stop at Dundrum where you will have a chance to visit the ruins of the famous Norman castle and admire the views. Following this, you will pass through the Mourne Mountains, an area of outstanding natural beauty, where you will have views of Slieve Donard, the highest peak in Northern Ireland. You will also have a chance to experience gravity hill, where vehicles appear to roll uphill due to an optical illusion created by the surrounding landscape. From here you will continue back to Dublin where your tour concludes.
3-Day Northern Ireland Small-Group Tour from Dublin
Day 1 Departing Dublin at 09am you will travel north towards the border with Northern Ireland. From here it is a short journey into the city of Belfast famous for its industrial past and turbulent history. After a short tour of some of the key areas of the city you will arrive in the newly redeveloped Titanic Quarter where you will have time for lunch and perhaps a visit to the award-winning museum. Other options here include a visit to the SS Nomadic, the last surviving White Star Line steamship, the fascinating Titanic’s Dock and Pump-House or perhaps take a black cab tour of the city. Later in the afternoon you will leave the city and travel into the countryside of County Down for a visit to the world famous house and gardens at Mount Stewart before arriving in the seaside resort town of Bangor - your base for the next two nights.Day 2 Today you will follow one of the world’s great driving routes – the Causeway Coastal route through the beautiful scenery of the Antrim Coast and Glens. The tour follows the coast road from Larne to the world famous Giants’ Causeway. Along the way you will makes stops in attractive historic villages such as Glenarm and Ballycastle as well as the scenic attractions such as the Cushendun Caves and the many viewpoints along this stunning coastline. In the afternoon you will have a chance to explore the incredible rock formations at the Giant’s Causeway. Several places along today’s route were used as filming location for the TV series “Game of Thrones” and the last stop of the day will be at the stunning “Dark Hedges” - make sure your camera still has some battery power left! From here you return to Bangor for another night.Day 3 Another day full of contrasts and fascinating visits starting with a trip along the Ards Peninsula – a great favorite with holiday makers from all over Northern Ireland. At Portaferry we take a boat across the mouth of Strangford Lough to visit Castle Ward with its 18th century mansion, extensive gardens and grounds, estate walks and for “Game of Thrones” enthusiasts, the location of Winterfell and other scenes. From here it is a short drive to Downpatrick, site of the burial place of St Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint. You will have time for lunch here and perhaps a visit to Down Cathedral or the St Patricks centre. In the afternoon the tour continues along the coast, with the brooding granite peaks of the Mourne Mountains on one side and the Irish sea on the other. After a detour into the heart of the mountains, through an area of traditional farms with their fascinating field patterns and huge stone walls you will reach the coast again on the shores of Carlingford Lough for the final stop of the day. From here you return back across the border and travel south to Dublin arriving around 7pm
'Game of Thrones' Winterfell Locations Tour
Meet your guide outside your hotel in central Belfast, and then hop aboard an air-conditioned coach and travel to County Down, the site of Winterfell, The Haunted Forest and many other locations featured in the hit TV series, Game of Thrones. As you travel, listen to your guide share insider gossip about the popular HBO drama, adapted from George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels.After around 1.5 hours on the road, arrive at your first stop: Tollymore Forest Park, which featured as the Haunted Forest, an eerie woodland lying north of the Wall beyond the northern border of the Seven Kingdoms. With your guide, visit the spot where Ned Stark and his boys discovered a dead direwolf and her surviving pups. See also where the White Walker ambush took place in the first episode.Next, make for the seaside town of Newcastle, where you’ll recharge with lunch (own expense) at a local restaurant before continuing to Inch Abbey. Hear from your guide how the ruins of the 800-year-old abbey and its grounds were molded into The Twins and the Riverlands, and see the location where Lady Catelyn Stark heard of Ned’s death, and where Robb was made King of the North.Then, find yourself spellbound as you arrive at Castle Ward, a beautiful ancestral castle that was used as Winterfell, the home of House Stark. Enter the 820-acre (332-hectare) estate with your guide, and snap photos of the site where King Robert Baratheon and his court arrived in Winterfell. See also where Arya sharpened Needle and join in an optional archery session (own expense).Make your final stop at Audley’s Castle. Sitting on the shore of Strangford Lough, the 15th-century castle and its grounds acted as the backdrop of Robb's Camp in season two. It’s also where Alton Lannister was imprisoned with Jaime.When the time comes, return to your coach and relax on the journey back to Belfast. Your day trip then concludes with a drop-off in the city center.