One of the great things about Belfast is that within a short drive from the city you can discover a region filled with lush valleys, a stunning coastline, country parks, magnificent estates, wonderful wildlife and historic attractions. Experience Belfast Plus and uncover stories, culture and much, much more.

Hillsborough New 13

Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

Visit Hillsborough Castle and Gardens, a stunning late Georgian mansion built in 1770s. The official residence of the Royal Family when in Northern Ireland, and home to the Secretary of State,  Royal Hillsborough Castle and Gardens is open to visitors for tours. Take a walk around the beautiful gardens including ornamental grounds, peaceful woodlands, meandering waterways and trimmed lawns as well as modern commemorative trees and exotic plants.

Mount Stewart House and Garden

Mount Stewart

Mount Stewart is a 19th-century house and garden in County Down, Northern Ireland, owned by the National Trust. Engaging tours of the opulent house reveal its fascinating heritage and historic world-famous artefacts and artwork. Explore garden rooms and enjoy a walk around the picturesque lake surrounded by beautiful swathes of woodland and unusual statues.

Irish Linen Centre 4

Irish Linen Museum

This award-winning museum is based in Lisburn’s oldest building, a former 17th century Market House. It brings to life the history of the Irish linen industry and its importance to Lisburn. Made from the stems of flax, a blue-flowered plant, linen has long been seen as a high-status cloth.

ulster folk museum (8)

Ulster Folk Museum

Step back one hundred years and discover the traditions and heritage of Ulster’s past at Ulster Folk Museum. Celebrate the everyday skills, customs and traditions passed down over many generations at Ulster Folk Museum. Discover how keeping the heritage of our ancestors alive can help us reconnect with our past to grow and thrive in the world today.

Hinch Distillery Front

Hinch Distillery

The Hinch Distillery sits in the heart of the County Down countryside. Visitors have the opportunity to learn about local distilling traditions on guided tours. Everything has been designed not only to produce world class whiskey and gin, but also to provide visitors an up-close view of the whole process. Hinch also boasts a beautiful, fully licensed Brasserie serving the best local produce created by their expert team, and a gift shop.

Grey Abbey

Grey Abbey

Grey Abbey is one of the best examples of Anglo-Norman Cistercian architecture in Ulster and was founded in 1193 by Affreca, wife of John de Courcy, the Anglo-Norman invader of East Ulster. The remains, in the beautiful parkland setting of the nearby grand house of Rosemount, consist of the church with cloister and surrounding buildings to the south.

Hillsborough Fort

Hillsborough Fort and Forest

Artillery fort built in 1650 by Colonel Arthur Hill – the Hill family built the village of Hillsborough starting with the fort. Hillsborough Forest, set within the historic landscape of Large Park, offers the visitor 150 acres of mixed woodland in which to walk and relax with nature. Bird life is rich and varied and larger mammals, including foxes and badgers, may also be seen.

The Fountain at Bangor Castle Walled Garden

Bangor Castle Walled Gardens

The garden is divided into four different sections, each with its own horticultural personality. It also boasts two unique pieces of sculpture inspired by the borough’s maritime history. The Ward family designed the Bangor Castle Walled Garden in the 1840s.

Pint at Hilden Brewery

Hilden Brewery

Hilden Brewery is Ireland’s Oldest Independent Brewery. It is situated in Lisburn, 20 mins away from Belfast City Centre. (19 mins by train Great Victoria Street to Hilden Halt). Hilden Brewery offer a brewery tour and lunch in the Stables restaurant and white-washed Georgian courtyard that housed the stables and loose boxes. If you are looking for heritage and charm alongside a fabulous experience then look no further.

echlinville distillery

Echlinville Distillery

The Echlinville Distillery on the Ards Peninsula became Northern Ireland’s first licenced distillery in over 125 years, distilling its first spirit in 2013. A genuine farm distillery, all Echlinville’s new make spirit is distilled from barley grown, harvested and floor malted on their distillery farm near the shores of Strangford Lough. Echlinville has also made a name for itself on the whiskey tourist trail, with distillery tours attracting visitors from home and abroad.

Belfast Plus Events

Browse our Belfast Plus guide to discover what’s on today, what’s on this weekend, and more things to do this month.

Read more

  • Game of Thrones Sightseeing Tours
    Game of Thrones Sightseeing Tours
    Blog - Belfast Plus

    Game of Thrones Sightseeing Tours

    Belfast is just a short drive from many filming locations used for Game of Thrones® in Northern Ireland.…

    Find Out More
  • Easter in Belfast
    Easter in Belfast
    Blog - Belfast Plus

    Easter in Belfast

    This Easter enjoy wonderful walks, delicious food, family fun and time with friends. Discover what is going on…

    Find Out More
  • Day Trip to North Down, Strangford Lough & Ards Peninsula
    Day Trip to North Down, Strangford Lough & Ards Peninsula
    Blog - Belfast Plus

    Day Trip to North Down, Strangford Lough & Ards Peninsula

    Enjoy peaceful walks along the coast, experience great days out with the family and uncover fascinating tales from…

    Find Out More
  • Family Fun – Belfast Plus
    Family Fun – Belfast Plus
    Blog - Belfast Plus

    Family Fun – Belfast Plus

    Discover family fun attractions in Lisburn and Castlereagh and Ards and North Down, just minutes from Belfast. See…

    Find Out More
  • Historic Houses and Stately Homes
    Historic Houses and Stately Homes
    Blog - Belfast Plus

    Historic Houses and Stately Homes

    From stately homes to historic houses, take in neo-classical and gothic architecture surrounded by sprawling parkland and formal…

    Find Out More
  • Free Things To Do in Belfast
    Free Things To Do in Belfast
    Blog - Belfast Plus

    Free Things To Do in Belfast

    Visiting Belfast on a budget? Here are the top fun things to do for free. From museums to…

    Find Out More
  • Breweries in Belfast
    Breweries in Belfast
    Blog - Belfast Plus

    Breweries in Belfast

    Discover Northern Ireland's many distilleries and breweries in Belfast and beyond. Enjoy a tour and taste some of…

    Find Out More
  • August Bank Holiday
    August Bank Holiday
    App Ideas - Belfast Plus

    August Bank Holiday

    There's lots on in Belfast this August Bank Holiday with cultural festivals, sporting events, museums and art exhibitions,…

    Find Out More
  • Summer Walks
    Summer Walks
    Blog - Belfast Plus

    Summer Walks

    With warmer days and longer evenings, it’s a great time to step outside and enjoy beautiful parks and…

    Find Out More
  • Summer Hotel Escapes
    Summer Hotel Escapes
    Blog - Belfast Plus

    Summer Hotel Escapes

    Book a Giant Summer Escape. With unbeatable offers on hotels and spa's in Belfast and further afield, find…

    Find Out More
Ask Us
Ask Us

We're here to help, so if you can't find the info you're after, or you just want to ask a really odd question, then we're here for you.

Ask A Question

Ask a Question

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Start
Choose a date
End
Choose a date
Back To Top
In order to display distances relevant to you, we'd like to be able to use your GPS location. Privacy Policy
In order to display distances relevant to your current position, we'd need to be able to use your GPS location. To find out more about how we use your location, please read our Privacy Policy
You have previously denied access to your GPS location. In order to allow access to your location, you need to update your site settings through your browser settings to allow this site access to your location.

To find out more about how we use your location, please read our Privacy Policy
Your settings have been updated. They will take effect next time you refresh the page.
By default, all distances on the site are calculated from Belfast City Centre. You can choose a different starting point here, or specify your own.

If you select a location more than 15km from the Visit Belfast Welcome Centre, your location will be set to Belfast City Centre.

Open 'Ask a Question' window Close 'Ask a Question' window

Ask a Question

X

Hide this tool

Open 'Sign up for Newsletter' window Close 'Sign up for Newsletter' window

Visit Belfast Newsletter

X

Sign up to the Visit Belfast newsletter and receive inspiring ideas, events and offers which showcase the best of Belfast and Northern Ireland.

Sign-Up

Hide this tool