Access both countryside and sea shore within a short drive from Belfast, with exciting attractions, historic houses and amazing scenery to enjoy. Below we look at some of the highlights in the Lisburn, Castlereagh, Ards and North Down areas of Northern Ireland.

Hillsborough Castle & Gardens
Hillsborough Castle & Gardens

Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

Hillsborough Castle is one of the most beautiful and interesting historic properties in Northern Ireland. The official residence of the Royal Family when they are in Northern Ireland, it has also been used as the residence for the Secretary of State since the 1970s. The House is a large two-story late Georgian mansion, and the State Rooms on the ground floor are open to the public. The House looks out over the beautiful gardens, formal and informal, which are filled with exotic plants, mature specimens and modern commemorative trees.

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Castle Espie Wildfowl & Wetlands Centre
Castle Espie Wildfowl & Wetlands Centre

Castle Espie

Castle Espie's tranquil setting offers the best views of Strangford Lough, County Down and is home to Ireland's largest collection of native and exotic water-birds. The centre has the most significant habitat improvement of its kind in Ireland, including restored lagoons, grasslands, salt marshes and reed beds. The centre is truly a magical place for all ages offering wild woodland walks, soft play areas, events and workshops, art exhibitions and retail therapy, and after your visit you can relax in the Loughshore Caf over coffee or lunch. In Autumn, visitors can witness almost the entire population of migratory Brent Geese!

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Boys on Ski Slope at We Are Vertigo

We Are Vertigo

We Are Vertigo is based at Newtownbreda Industrial Estate. The centre offers exciting experiences for people of all ages and abilities. The Ski Centre offers skiers and snowboarders, of all abilities, the chance to learn, enhance or brush up on their skills on the never ending ski slopes. Try the latest indoor entertainment in Europes largest and Northern Irelands only trampoline park. The Adventure Centre is where kids of all ages can enjoy an Alpine Swiss play village, Sky Trail high ropes, low ropes, climbing wall, electric quads and log cabin party rooms.

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Pint at Hilden Brewery

Hilden Brewery

If you are fond of your local brews, then a visit to a working brewery with licensed restaurant in a beautiful and historic setting at Hilden House could be the perfect day. Discover the magic of brewing and learn more about this ancient craft from the Master Brewer and sample award winning beers. Why not linger over a beer or two and enjoy a relaxed lunch or dinner in the Tap Room Restaurant.

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Mount Stewart House and Garden

Mount Stewart

Mount Stewart is one of the most inspiring and unusual gardens in the National Trust's ownership. Engaging tours of the opulent house reveal its fascinating heritage and historic world-famous artefacts and artwork. The garden reflects a rich tapestry of design and great planting artistry that was the hallmark of Edith, Lady Londonderry. The house has now re-opened after our 3 year long restoration project with the elegance and charm of the house when it was the home of the 7th Marchioness Edith, Lady Londonderry and her family in the early 20th century.

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Ulster Folk and Transport Museum
Ulster Folk and Transport Museum

Ulster Folk and Transport Museum

Two museums in one, the Ulster Folk and Transport gives you a window into the way of life from 100 years ago. Discover towns and countryside, with cottages, farms, schools and shops to explore throughout the Folk Museum. Many of the buildings were relocated to the museum to preserve the original structures, and youll witness people going about their daily lives as if it was 1900. After, visit the Transport Museum, filled with impressive steam trains, racing cars and all sorts of other vehicles.

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Eddie Irvine Sports
Eddie Irvine Sports

Eddie Irvine

Owned by Formula One ace Eddie Irvine, and situated in Bangor, County Down, Eddie Irvine Sports is one of Northern Ireland's premier indoor sporting facilities. Located 20 minutes from Belfast City Centre, the facility offers the ultimate experience in karting, paintball, multi-sports and more.

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Dundonald Ice Bowl

Dundonald International Ice Bowl

You can choose to ice skate at Northern Ireland's only public Olympic sized ice rink, become king of the lanes in the Xtreme Tenpin Bowling Centre or go wild for the adventure and excitement of the Indiana Land play kingdom. It's the perfect venue for a fun family day out, with a range of exciting activities for both adults and children!

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Bangor Aurora Aquatic and Leisure Complex
Bangor Aurora Aquatic and Leisure Complex

Bangor Aurora Aquatic and Leisure Complex

Enjoy fun for the entire family at Bangor Aurora Aquatic and Leisure Complex, Bangor's newest leisure facility. There are a wealth of activities to keep the whole family occupied, from Adventureland, a children's soft play adventure area, to the centre's three swimming pools, including the Aurora Splash Leisure Waters with two large flumes, slides, wave machine, water features, baby beach and pirate ship; and Aqua Challenge, Northern Ireland's only inflatable pool assault course.

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North Down Museum
North Down Museum

North Down Museum

The museum is located in the picturesque grounds of Castle Park in the centre of Bangor. This free attraction is popular with all ages. The displays reflect the pivotal role nearby Bangor Abbey held in early Christian Ireland and throughout Europe. Discover how the monks met their fate at the hands of the Vikings and visit the full-sized Monk's Cell and Viking Long-house.

 

 

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