Down is remarkable for its many low, beautifully cultivated hills. However, in south County Down, the rugged Mountains of Mourne, formed from stark granite, offer a striking contrast to this arable land. Here, Slieve Donard rises to a height of 848 metres. Slieve Croob tops another group of hills in the centre of County Down.
To the east, the Ards Peninsula forms a barrier between the sea and an almost land-locked Strangford Lough. With a history spanning 7000 years, County Down has many important archaeological sites and ancient monuments, together with attractions for the sportsman, the climber and the walker.
Belfast, Newcastle and the County Down Coast
Belfast, Northern Ireland's principal city, straddles the border between County Down and County Antrim. Belfast has become a boomtown lately, with trendy cafes, bars and restaurants springing up everywhere. Popular attractions include Queen's University, the Botanic Gardens, the Ulster Museum and the City Hall. The new Odyssey Stadium hosts everything from Ice Hockey to pop concerts. Whether you stay in Belfast or not, a walking tour of the city is a great addition to any itinerary.
Newcastle, Bangor, Donaghadee, and Warrenpoint are some of the fine resorts that line the Down coast; they are linked by good roads that closely follow the picturesque winding shoreline. Why not explore this beautiful corner of Ireland with one of our rail tours?
All towns in County Down | Map of County Down