Information on attractions, accommodation, activities and events.

Ards Visitor Information Centre lies within the town and should be your first stop to visit. The Centre will provide you with information on where to stay, local events and where to eat during your visit to the Ards Peninsula and Strangford Lough region.

Situated beside the bus station and within a short walk of the town centre and the main shopping areas, the Centre can provide you with local and national tourist information, accommodation booking service, fax and photocopying service as well as an extensive range of souvenirs.

Staff can help you plan your day out, short break or holiday in the area and offer information and advice for the next leg of your journey with information on every county in Northern Ireland.

Buy tickets for many local events including Experience Ards and North Down Tours -

Newtownards, locally known as ‘Ards’, is a large town that lies at the northern tip of Strangford Lough.  The Lough is an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, of Special Scientific Interest and Northern Ireland’s first Marine Nature Reserve.

In 1605, Hugh Montgomery was granted the lands around Ards and set about rebuilding what was then known as Newtown.  Official records show that the town was established in 1606.

Montgomery built a residence in the ruins of the Old Priory, the tower of which remains. The Priory is currently not open to the public because of ongoing conservation work.

Newtownards became a market town, with the Market House in Conway Square constructed in 1770. The market still operates each Saturday on a weekly basis.

The town of Newtownards is overlooked by Scrabo Tower, which is one of the dominant features of the area. The tower is 41 metres high, and was built in 1857 as a memorial to Charles Stewart, 3rd Marquess of Londonderry.

Newtownards located in Co Down achieved a place in the prestigious Sustainable Destinations Top 100 awards.  In 2019, County Down was selected as the only destination in the UK/Ireland to win a spot in the prestigious Sustainable Destinations Top 100!  Not only has the country achieved a place in the top100, but it has also achieved a GOLD Award!
  • 31 Regent Street
  • Belfast
  • Antrim
  • BT23 4AD

Top Reasons To Visit

  • Excellent local knowledge
  • Great range of free literature
  • Staff will help make the most of your time in the area
  • Unique hand-crafted gifts
  • Excellent selection of souvenirs

From an Abbey to a Stately Home

Sat, 20 Jul 2019, 1:00pm

View one of the finest Georgian country houses in Ireland on this coach tour.

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Kids Sea Creatures Nature Trail

Fri, 23 Aug 2019, 10:00am

Join local naturalist 'Woody' on a beach combing adventure to uncover the numerous types of sea creatures who live on the shores.

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Gardens and Gin

06 Jul - 24 Aug 2019

Explore Mount Stewart’s wonderful gardens and Echlinville Distillery on this coach tour.

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Woodland and Whiskey Coach Tour

Sat, 21 Sep 2019, 2:00pm

Enjoy a guided walk with the Head Ranger in the estate farmland at Mount Stewart before an intriguing visit to Echlinville Distillery.

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Tea with the Lord

Sat, 28 Sep 2019, 1:00pm

Embrace this superb opportunity to visit Ballywalter House, the beautiful stately home of the Dunleath family for over 150 years.

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Hallowe’en Walking Tour of Donaghadee

Wed, 23 Oct 2019, 7:30pm

Prepare to be entertained by spooky costumed characters, bringing to life tall tales and fascinating facts about Donaghadee.

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Newtownards Historical Walking Tour

Thu, 25 Jul 2019, 7:00pm

Newtownards has a wealth of historical treasures waiting to be discovered – find out more on this walking tour.

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New Year’s Day Historic Ards Walk

Wed, 01 Jan 2020, 1:30pm

Start the New Year and shake off the cobwebs by exploring the rich and varied history of Newtownards on this walking tour.

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