About Ards Peninsula

Located only half an hour from Belfast, with the pristine waters of Strangford Lough to the West, and miles of coastline to the East, the Ards Peninsula is an area of outstanding natural beauty with an array of unique destinations.

Things To Do

Steeped in history, The Ards Peninsula is home to many important sites and landmarks. From the spectacular 12th century ruins of Grey Abbey, to the recently restored St Cooey's Wells, and Ireland’s oldest continuously inhabited castle, Killyleagh Castle, visitors have plenty of opportunity to learn more about the area’s fascinating story.

Those who like to explore the great outdoors can enjoy peaceful walks at beautiful country estates including Killyleagh’s Delamont Park, which offers stunning views of the Mourne Mountains and Strangford’s Castle Ward, a unique 18th century mansion house with 32km of trails.

Visitors to Strangford Bay Alpacas can also enjoy a picturesque walk through beautiful woodland accompanied by a furry friend or two!

The Ards Peninsula provides plenty of options for outdoor activities including archery, canoeing, climbing, boat tours and more at Strangford Lough Activity Centre, along with more competitive sailing at Strangford Yacht Club.

Families looking for a great day out can discover a world of wildlife at Castle Espie Wetland Centre or learn more about some of the residents of the lough at Northern Ireland’s only aquarium, Exploris, located in Portaferry.

Portaferry's Market on the Square also takes place on the first Saturday each month between April and December. Visitors can treat themselves to some great locally produced artisan food, enjoy live music, entertainment and craft activities for children.


The Ards Peninsula is home to several leading secondary schools including the integrated Strangford College,Regent House Grammar School and Down High School, along with many primary schools such as Killinchy Primary School and St Joseph’s Primary School.

Eating & Drinking

The Ards Peninsula has a wide range of food and drink options, with seafood dishes being the most popular due to its prime location on the lough.

From local favourite Daft Eddy’s, fresh local fayre at Balloo House, casual dining at The Lobster Pot, and classic pub grub at The Artisan Cookhouse, there is something for everyone!

The peninsula also offers a variety of bars for those who like to stay out a little later, including the popular Hole in the Wall, Dumigan's Bar in Portaferry - one of Ireland’s smallest pubs, and The Dufferin Arms in Killyleagh which offers great food, a unique atmosphere and live music.

For visitors to the region, there are a number of hotels to choose from, including The Portaferry Hotel, with fabulous views across Strangford Lough and the Dufferin Coaching Inn which sits at the top of the High Street in the shadow of Killyleagh Castle.


There are several convenient ways to get around the Ards Peninsula, including walking, cycling and driving.

The area is also serviced by a number of bus routes to Belfast and beyond.

Photos of Ards Peninsula

Map of Properties for Sale in Ards Peninsula

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