Places to see in County Down

Historic Homes and Gardens of County Down

Castle Ward

Castle Ward, Strangford Lough

From Oakleigh House B&B follow the east coast to Strangford, where you should visit the National Trust property of Castle Ward. An 18th Century mansion built in two styles to accommodate the two different tastes of husband and wife. The west front is classical and the east front is Gothic style. There is a Victorian laundry and pastime centre and a water driven sawmill and corn mill. It is set in 700acres on the shore of Strangford Lough.

Mount Stewart

Mount Stewart House

Cross Strangford Lough on the ferry and drive north to visit Mount Stewart House and Garden. It is an 18th Century house with 19th Century additions. When the home of Lord Castlereagh, the family collected works of art and furniture from all over the world. Mount Stewart also has one of the greatest gardens in the British Isles with all styles of gardening, a wondrous plant collection and extraordinary stone animal collection.

Rowallane Gardens

Travel to Newtownards to see Scrabo Tower and call in at Rowallane Gardens, a National Trust property outside Saintfield. Noted for its collection of azaleas and rhododendrons and featuring a walled garden, rock garden, wood and wildflower meadows.. On the way home call in at Seaforde Gardens and Tropical Butterfly House, home to hundreds of free flying tropical butterflies as well as parrots, reptiles and insects. Beautiful gardens include a maze and many rare trees and shrubs

Castles and Churches

Dundrum Castle
  • Dundrum Castle
    A key castle in the Anglo-Norman conquest of Ulster in the late 12th Century on the site of a pre Norman stronghold
  • Clough Castle
    An example of an Anglo- Norman earthwork. A castle with mount, stone tower and enclosure(motte and bailey)
  • Maghera Church and Round Tower
    Ruined round tower marks the site of an early monastery founded in the 6th Century by Saint Donard.

Dolmen

Legananny Dolmen
  • Legananny Dolmen
    An ancient tomb on the southern edge of Slieve Croob mountain. 2 portal stones and a long capstone gives the structure its distinctive tripod appearance
  • Annadorn Dolmen, Loughinisland
    A slightly displaced capstone covers a chamber of which 3 side stones survive
  • Ballynoe Stone Circle, Downpatrick
    Megalithic monument. 100ft stone circle encloses an ellipse of stones and prehistoric burial mound