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Countryside

CountrysideExplore the castles, parklands and seascapes of Down's endlessly fascinating countryside. Where deep green forests, warm sunlit pastures and secluded beaches welcome you to a holiday that will live forever in your memory.

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For cycling routes, please view our Cycling Page 

Castle Ward

Near Strangford
Downpatrick,
BT30 7LS

T: 0 28 4488 1204
F: 0 28 4488 1729
E: castleward@nationaltrust.org.uk
W: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/castle-ward
Within this beautiful 820 acre walled estate you will find woodland walks, an exotic sunken garden and paths that open on to the tranquil shores of Strangford Lough.

Opening Hours:
Please check www.nationaltrust.org.uk/castle-ward

Admissions:
Please check www.nationaltrust.org.uk/castle-ward

Directions:
Castle Ward is 7 miles from Downpatrick along the A25 from Downpatrick to Strangford. Castle Ward is signposted off to the left before Strangford Village.

Castlewellan Forest Park

East District Forest Office,
Castlewellan,
BT31 9BU

T: 0 28 4377 8664 
F: 0 28 4377 1762
E: customer.forestservice@dardni.gov.uk
W: www.forestserviceni.gov.uk/

Way marked trails round the lake and forest, plus a fascinating arboretum. 
Castlewellan Peace Maze is a must to visit.

Opening Hours: 10:00 to dusk.

Admission: Car £4.50, Minibus £12.50, Coach £32.00, Motorcycle £2.30. 
Annual Permits: Car £48.00, Minibus £85.00, over 60s concessionary rate Car £24.00 Minibus £42.50 
Pedestrian Entrance from Castlewellan: Adult £2.00; Child 50p
(Prices subject to Review)

Directions: From Newcastle take A50 to Castlewellan. At roundabout turn right to top of hill, turn left following signpost to Forest Park.

Delamont Country Park

Mullagh, Killyleagh
T: 0 28 4482 8333
F: 0 28 4482 8333
Caravan and Camping Bookings: 0 28 4482 1833
E: delamont.park@nmandd.org
W: www.delamontcountrypark.com/

This stunning and beautiful 200 acre Country Park renowned for its favourable, dry, warm climate offers: Woodland & Countryside Walks 1km – 7km on the shores of Strangford Lough, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Stunning views across the Lough to the Mourne Mountains. Open areas for family picnics, BBQ and games. Irelands only fresh-air gym, free to use and accessible to all. 5* Award winning Caravan & Camping Site. Outdoor Adventure Playground. Ride on Miniature Railway 1km long – Thomas the Tank look-a-like. Delamont Stone – tallest megalith in Ireland. Heronry, largest in Northern Ireland & Bird Hide. BBQ area & Room for hire. Horse Riding by Permit. Mobility Scooters available. Events throughout the year. Children’s Events throughout July and August. Access to Strangford Lough Canoe Trails.

Opening Hours: 365 days, dawn to dusk

Admission: Car £4, Motorcycles £2, Minibus £10 - £15, Coach £30.
Season Ticket available from Downpatrick and Newcastle Tourist Information Centres

Directions: Delamont is located on the A22 Downpatrick to Comber Road.
5 minutes drive from Downpatrick 

Murlough National Nature Reserve

Dundrum
T: 0 28 4375 1467 
F: 028 4375 1467
E: murlough@nationaltrust.org.uk
W: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/murlough/

Murlough is fantastic walking country and a haven for bird watchers. A network of paths and boardwalks enables you to discover this amazing nature reserve.
Access all year!

Facilities Open: 
Please visit http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/murlough/ for opening times.

Admission :
Please visit http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/murlough/ for Admission Rates.

Directions:
From Newcastle, take A24 towards Dundrum. Murlough is signposted on right before the Twelve Arches.

Quoile Countryside Centre

5 Quay Road
Downpatrick
BT30 7JB

T: 0 28 4461 5520
F: 0 28 4461 3280
W: www.ni-nvironment.gov.uk/quoile

The Countryside Centre is an attractive stone cottage with a wildflower garden. The centre features displays on the wildlife and history of the area.

Opening Hours:
Please check the above website for opening times.

Directions: From Downpatrick take A25 to Strangford. Turn left following signposts for Quoile Countryside Centre. 

Rambler Bus Service

Let’s get out and get going with Rambler bus services

This year is a great time to explore Down District with lots of events taking place throughout the region, so why not take advantage of the Rambler bus services:

  • Mourne Rambler Service 405
  • Kilkeel Rambler Service 407

The rambler services are operated by Translink, with support from the Rural Transport Fund and enable local people and visitors to enjoy some of the most varied and interesting scenery in the country.  The seasonal Mourne Rambler is available during summer and the Kilkeel Rambler operates all year round.
To find out further information download a copy of the Rambler booklet, which includes suggestions for day trips as well as events and attractions in the areas, so whether you want to go for a leisurely day out or explore everything on offer, Rambler services can help family and friends get out and get going! 

Rowallane Gardens

Saintfield,
T: 0 28 9751 0131
F: 0 28 9751 1242
E: rowallane@nationaltrust.org.uk
W: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/rowallane-garden

Rowallane Garden is a special place for you to enjoy great days out. It is one of the most beautiful gardens to visit in Northern Ireland and is often described as a hidden gem. A mix of formal and informal garden spaces are waiting to be explored. Journey through the garden and discover the secret worlds, relax in our café which reflects the season and enjoy stunning views across the garden or nosey in the shop and take a piece of Rowallane home with you. The garden is ideal for leisurely walks, great outdoor activities or just simply relaxing on a garden seat in the beautiful walled garden - what will you discover?

Opening Times: Garden Opening times

November – February: 10.00am – 4.00pm, March – October: 10.00am – 6.00pm,

May – August: 10.00am – 8.00pm. Note: Garden closed 25 & 26 December

The shop and café opening times vary throughout the year - see website for details.

Admission: Adult: £5.70, Child: £2.80, Family: £14.20, Group: £4.00, Group out of hours: £5.60. National Trust Members Free.

Directions: By Car: Located only 25 minutes from Belfast City Centre and 1 hour 50 minutes from Dublin. On A7, 1 mile from Saintfield on route to Downpatrick. By Bus: Ulsterbus No. 15 Belfast to Downpatrick, alight in Saintfield 

Tollymore Forest Park

 Newcastle
T: 0 28 4372 2428 / 028 4377 8664
F: 0 28 4377 1762
E: customer.forestservice@dardni.gov.uk
W: http://www.forestserviceni.gov.uk/

One of Northern Ireland's largest and most attractive forest parks.

Opening Hours: 10:00 to dusk

Admission: Car £4.50, Minibus £12.50, Coach £32.00, Motorcycle £2.30. 
Annual Permits: Car £48.00, Minibus £85.00, over 60s concessionary rate Car £24.00 Minibus £42.50 
Pedestrian entrance from Bryansford Village: Adult £2.00, Child £50p.

Directions: From Newcastle take the Bryansford Road. Tollymore is on the left before Bryansford Village.

Tropical Butterfly House and Gardens

Seaforde Demesne
Seaforde
T: 0 28 4481 1225
F: 0 28 4481 1370
W: www.seafordegardens.com/
E: plants@seafordegardens.com


Hundreds of free flying tropical butterflies, also parrots, reptiles, and insects. Beautiful gardens including a maze with many rare trees and shrubs.


Opening Hours:
Easter – End of September Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm, Sunday 1pm – 6pm.

Admission:

Contact 028 4481 1225 or visit the website for prices.

Directions: From Newcastle take A24 towards Ballynahinch. At roundabout in Clough village take first turn off into Seaforde village. Tropical Butterfly House is situated 0.5 miles north of Seaforde.

Accommodation
Accommodation Downpatrick
Accommodation Newcastle
Accommodation Strangford

Contacts:
 

Downpatrick Visitor Information
The Saint Patrick Centre,
53a Market Street
Downpatrick, BT30 6LZ
T 0 28 4461 2233
F 0 28 4461 2350
E downpatrick.vic@nmandd.org


Newcastle Visitor Information Centre
10-14 Central Promenade,
Newcastle, BT33 0AA
T 0 28 4372 2222
F 0 28 4372 2400
E newcastle.vic@nmandd.org

 

Admission: Free