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County Down (Irish: Contae an Dúin) is a county in Northern Ireland.

Cities, towns and villages[edit]

Map of County Down


  • 1 Belfast (Béal Feirste, "mouth of the river bank") - partly in County Antrim — the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland. It is also the second largest city on the island of Ireland (after Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland), and the fifteenth largest in the United Kingdom. Shattered by more than three decades of paramilitary conflict, Belfast has undergone a renaissance and is now a vibrant, modern city.
  • 2 Lisburn (Lios na gCearrbhach, "fort of the stream") - partly in County Antrim, location of the Irish Linen Museum
  • 3 Newry (Iúr Cinn Trá, "gap of the north") - partly in County Armagh in south-eastern of Northern Island between the Mourne Mountains and the Ring of Gullion


  • 4 Bangor (Beannchar) - large wealthy town on the coast
  • 5 Downpatrick (Dún Pádraig, "Patrick's stronghold") - Believed to be the burial place of Saint Patrick, check out the St Patrick's Centre
  • 6 Holywood (Ard Mhic Nasca) - with the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum
  • 7 Newcastle (An Caisleán Nua) - seaside resort town
  • 8 Dundonald (Dún Dónaill)
  • 9 Newtownards (Baile Nua na hArda) - the Scrabo Tower and the Somme Heritage Centre
  • 10 Banbridge (Droichead na Banna) - a number of ancient sites as well as the last remaining of the old established Irish linen Jacquard weavers in Ireland
  • 11 Carryduff (Ceathrú Aodha Dhuibh, "Black Hugh's quarter")


  • 12 Hillsborough (Cromghlinn) - village with significant amounts of Georgian architecture
  • 13 Strangford (Baile Loch Cuan) - a number of castles and locations used in the filming of Game of Thrones
  • 14 Castlewellan (Caisleán Uidhilín, "Uidhilín's castle") - including forest park
  • 15 Portaferry (Port a' Pheire, "landing place of the ferry") - and the Exploris aquarium

Other destinations[edit]



English is the primary language, although you may find it a challenge understanding as locals talk very fast and have a distinct accent from the rest of Ireland.

Get in[edit]

Most visitors will arrive in Belfast City Airport or Belfast International at Aldergrove. While 'George Best City Airport' is right in the city, the International is 20 miles (32 km) away by Motorway, so plan your transportation accordingly.

Get around[edit]

There is a limited bus service between several towns in County Down, but many must connect in Belfast.

The best way to see around is to hire a car, as distances are far too great for cycling.


Castle Ward, near Strangford, has been the property of the Ward family since the 16th century

The Ards Peninsula has many 'typical' Northern Irish towns which are interesting to travel around.


Visit the Mourne Mountains. Trek the mountain paths for nice rivers and a great view over Newcastle towards the top. Alternatively, drive around them for wonderful scenery (on a good weather day) and quaint mountain walls before reaching Silent Valley and looping back around the other side.

Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to County Down is a usable article. It gives a good overview of the region, its sights, and how to get in, as well as links to the main destinations, whose articles are similarly well developed. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.