County Down

Renting a County Down holiday cottage is a wonderful way to enjoy a relaxing holiday in this beautiful county.The Kingdom of Down, with 200 miles of spectacular coastline, loughs, forest parks and, to crown it all, the famous Mountains of Mourne. The prehistoric Stone Age people of 8,000 years ago, the Celts, St Patrick arriving in the 5th century on the shores of Strongford Lough and building his first church here, the Vikings and the Normans, all have put their historic stamp on the area. St.Patrick is buried in Downpatrick at St.Patrick's Church of Ireland Cathedral, under a very large granite boulder.

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The fifteen summits of the Mountains of Mourne display breath-taking scenery, unspoilt peaceful landscape. Now for the immensely long list of the available activities - hill-waking, rock climbing, sea kayaking, canoeing and yachting, deepsea-fishing, windsurfing, banana-ski-ing, archery, cycling, golf (of course!), horse-riding and many cultural heritage and artists' tours and events. In Cultra, Hollywood, the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum is dedicated to visitors of Irish-American stock. At Strangford Lough, find the Cistercian Grey Abbey (1198) and Castle Ward, a themed 18th century country estate, where children can play and dress up in the 18th century's clothes, and the Strangford Wild Life Centre. Numerous grand estate houses exhibiting many aspects of Irish life, from an arboretum at Castlewellan Forest Park, the Newry and Mourne Arts Centre at Newry, a North Down Heritage Centre in Bangor and finally, the Somme Heritage Centre where multi-media displays show the Irish and Ulster Volunteers' exploits in WW1.