County DownIrish: Contae an Dúin) is a county in Northern Ireland.
Cities, towns and villages
- 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.
- (Lios na gCearrbhach, "fort of the stream") - partly in County Antrim, location of the Irish Linen Museum
- 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
- (Beannchar) - large wealthy town on the coast
- Downpatrick (Dún Pádraig, "Patrick's stronghold") - Believed to be the burial place of Saint Patrick, check out the St Patrick's Centre
- (Ard Mhic Nasca) - with the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum
- Newcastle (An Caisleán Nua) - seaside resort town
- (Dún Dónaill)
- Newtownards (Baile Nua na hArda) - the Scrabo Tower and the Somme Heritage Centre
- (Droichead na Banna) - a number of ancient sites as well as the last remaining of the old established Irish linen Jacquard weavers in Ireland
- Carryduff (Ceathrú Aodha Dhuibh, "Black Hugh's quarter")
- (Cromghlinn) - village with significant amounts of Georgian architecture
- Strangford (Baile Loch Cuan) - a number of castles and locations used in the filming of Game of Thrones
- (Caisleán Uidhilín, "Uidhilín's castle") - including forest park
- Portaferry (Port a' Pheire, "landing place of the ferry") - and the Exploris aquarium
- (na Beanna Boirche) - range popular with hikers
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.
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.
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.
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.