Top choice in County Down

This excellent aquarium has displays of marine life from Strangford Lough and the Irish Sea as well as tropical fish, otters and a reptile centre with an African Nile crocodile, geckos and snakes. There's also a sunken gallery with sharks and a seal sanctuary where orphaned, sick and injured seals are nursed back to health before being released into the wild. Last admission is 4.30pm in summer and 4pm in winter.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby County Down attractions

1. Portaferry Castle

0.09 MILES

Portaferry's castle is a small 16th-century tower house that, together with the tower house in Strangford, once controlled sea traffic through the Narrows…

2. Portico

0.18 MILES

This magnificent Greek Revival building, built as a Presbyterian church in 1841, is thought to have been modelled on the ancient temple of Nemesis on the…

3. Castle Ward Estate

1.67 MILES

Famed for its role as Winterfell in Game of Thrones, 1760s-built Castle Ward House has a superb setting overlooking the bay west of Strangford. The estate…

4. Saul Church

5.98 MILES

At the supposed site of the first church in Ireland, founded by St Patrick in 432, you'll find a replica 10th-century church and round tower, built in…

5. Struell Wells

6.62 MILES

These supposedly curative spring waters are traditionally associated with St Patrick – it is said he scourged himself here, spending much of the night…

6. Down County Museum

7.85 MILES

Downpatrick's 18th-century jail now houses the county museum. In a former cell block at the back are models of some of the prisoners once incarcerated…

7. St Patrick Centre

7.87 MILES

This magnificent glass-and-timber heritage centre houses a multimedia exhibition called 'Ego Patricius', charting the life and legacy of Ireland's patron…

8. Down Cathedral

7.96 MILES

According to legend, St Patrick died in Saul, where angels told his followers to place his body on a cart drawn by two untamed oxen, and to bury the saint…