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TLL Rent - Down Coast

Posted On 02/03/2022

County Down Coast - TLL Road Trip Itinerary

Explore the natural beauty that County Down has to offer with this scenic route of 90+ Miles!

This route allows you to experience the rich history of County Down, hike the , explore the dense forest parks and dine in the finest restaurants cooking up fresh local produce.

There is something for everyone, so let’s go!

Start your journey in the heart of Belfast city at the Titanic Museum, an interactive ode to the world famous ill-fated vessel. If that's not your style, why not visit St George's Market? One of Belfast's oldest attractions. Sample some local delicacies and do a spot of shopping before hitting the road to start your adventure.

Heading North East in your camper, you will find Crawfordsburn Country Park. This park hosts two stunning beaches, a view across Belfast lough, and a gorgeous walk through wooded glens and alongside a beautiful waterfall. The perfect place to stop and relax. Take a dip if the weather is good or keep an eye out for the spectacular wildlife throughout the park such as hedgehogs, badgers and the Brent geese which wander the coastal paths. 

Make your way into Bangor, a seaside town favoured by locals. Check out the Bangor Marina, internationally praised as an award winning Marina which has achieved Blue Flag Award Status. Why not visit the McKee Clock and Sunken Garden, situated on the Marina itself. 

If you fancy a bit more history, you can visit Bangor Castle, an an impressive building that was constructed for Robert Edward Ward and his family in 1852. The building is situated in the grounds of Castle Park, just a short walk from Bangor Castle Walled Garden. The Ward family designed the Castle Park Walled Garden in the 1840s. Before that it was considered by many as a secret garden. The Garden opens seasonally from April to October.

Eat and drink your fill in Bangor's many bars and restaurants before settling down for a well earned nights rest. 

Take the Ards Peninsula as you continue on your journey to Strangford, on this scenic route you can see the beautiful views that the North Coast has to offer. You can catch a short ferry to Strangford from Portaferry.

Stop off at Castle Wardan 18th-century National Trust property located near the village of Strangford. Castle Ward is open to the public and includes 332 hectares of landscaped gardens, a fortified tower house, Victorian laundry, theatre, restaurant, shop, saw mill and a working corn mill.

As for Game of Thrones® Fans, you can visit Winterfell Castle & Demesne which was used extensively for the filming of Game of Thrones®. When you first arrive onto the ancient demesne you soon realise why the HBO® location scouts chose the time-warp 'Old Castle Ward'; the sprawling medieval walls and imposing castle tower gate, the beautiful surrounding landscapes and far-reaching views across the lough; it was the perfect place to create the Game of Thrones® Castle 'Winterfell' - the home of the Stark family.

Take a trip to Downpatrick and visit Ballyduggan Medieval Settlement, home of the Magnus Viking Association. The settlement allows you to explore the medieval village where you can experience life as a Viking and even participate in axe throwing.

There's no shortage of things to do and places to visit!

From Downpatrick, continue along the coast and take a break at Murlough beach, a vast, five-mile long, golden sand beach, nestled under the beautiful Mourne Mountains.  The winds along this stretch of the coast can be strong, making it a popular place for surfing, kite surfing, and windsurfing. Perfect for all sporty families and adventurous types.

Nearby is Dundrum Castle, believed to have been built in or around 1177 by John De Courcy as part of his coastal defence after he invaded Ulster. Dundrum Castle is located on a wooded hill north-west of Dundrum village near Newcastle. It controls access to Lecale and dominates Dundrum Bay. Its main purpose was to control the land routes from Drogheda to Downpatrick and still stands there today. 

If a day adventuring in Newcastle town isn't for you and hiking the Mourne Mountains is too extreme, then we recommend visiting Tollymore Forest Park. A beautiful park which covers an area of almost 630 hectares at the foot of the Mourne mountains. The Park is a fantastic area for many outdoor activities including walking, caravanning/camping, horse riding and orienteering and has a fantastic Nature Play space for the kids.

Your last stop sees you in the quaint village of Rostrevor. And although it is small, it is mighty too, with plenty to explore and keep you entertained. Visit Rostrevor Forest Nature Reserve, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It includes three trails ranging from 1.2 miles to 4.3 miles. Something to suit everyone. 

The majesty of the Mournes can be felt as soon as they come into view: a sweeping range of grand peaks, this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty certainly lives up to this title. Choose any of the Mournes’ many weaving trails, and you will be treated to epic scenery, legendary stories and a sense of pure awe as you roam this vast mountain range.

Nearby is the Silent Valley Reservoir which was built to gather water from the Mourne Mountains. Ringed by mountains, 'The Valley', located within the Mourne Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, houses beautiful parkland, lakes and a pond.

[Photos by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash]