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You can reach Portaferry by calling VHF0.
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Portaferry is located in Ards.
Ards is a borough situated on the Eastern coast of Northern Ireland; it is a part of County Down, and it was named after the Ards Peninsula. The capital is at Newtownards. The most famous attraction is the Strangford Lough, internationally recognized for its wildlife, as well as for its dry, fertile soils, perfect for agriculture. Ards Peninsula is full of beautiful small towns and villages, which will catch your eye and seduce your heart with their quirky, old, charming houses.
The Ards Borough has a wonderful and complete history, as it was moulded over the years by significant cultures: Celts, Normans, Vikings and Saint Patrick himself.
Regarding the accommodation, you don’t have to worry. The district has hundreds of hotels, B&Bs, inns and guest houses. You just have to choose one according to your needs and budget. Besides the wonderful and cozy rooms, you will often enjoy a great view and always experience the Irish hospitality. The top rated and most booked places are Rayane House, Clandeboye Lodge Hotel, Dufferin Coaching Inn, Glassdrumman Lodge, Slieve Donard Resort and Spa, Culloden Estate & Spa, The Whistledown Hotel. You may also want to consider Briers Country House, Burrendale Hotel, Donard Hotel, Cherryhill Lodge, Mountain View B&B, The Cairn Bay Lodge, The Retreat Greyabbey and Hunters Lodge Luxury B&B.
The traditional food is a mix of Scottish and Irish heritage, and you can try it in the many restaurants and pubs. The typical dishes are bread and potatoes based, ingredients still used in the modern cuisine. The Ulster Fry is the Irish traditional breakfast. It is made with tatie bread, sausages, bacon, fresh tomatoes and a fried egg with a runny yolk. Other local specialities include champ (mashed potatoes with butter and fried spring onions), Irish stew (meat, potatoes, carrots and onions), Dulse (seaweed snack). Try the potato bread farl, potted herring, Guinness pie, butcher’s sausages, pasties (made from sausage meat, onions and mashed potatoes) and boxty (a starchy potato cake). Here are some suggestions that will help you decide where to start you gastronomic journey: Vanilla Restaurant, The Old Schoolhouse Inn, The Bistro, Corin, Katch 27. Also, check out Sugarcane Café Bistro, Chef and Manager, Turnip House, Aldos, Brunels Restaurant and Villa Vinci.
Newtownards is an old market town, with shopping notoriety. There are a lot of coffee shops, where you can relax for a couple of hours, try all sort of coffee drinks and sweet treats. Local producers bring all kind of goodies every Thursday, so you can take a stroll if you are in the area, meet the sellers and buy fresh products for home. There are very few who travel just to eat and sleep in nice places; the majority wants to keep themselves entertained and participate in fun or educational activities. The most active ones can choose to spend their time by playing golf, spending days at the beach (Cranfield, Ballyholme). How about horseback riding at the beach or the Laneway Lodge, trying an offroad experience with an ATV or going indoor climbing at Clip ‘n’ Climb Dundonald?
If you are looking forward to connecting with nature, Ards provides a variety of parks, gardens and wildlife areas: Tollymore Forest Park, Silent Valley Mountain Park, Castlewellan Forest Park. Don’t miss Kilbroney Park, Delamont Country Park, Ward Park, Castle Park, Murlough National Nature Reserve, Seaforde Tropical Butterfly House and Rowallane Garden. History enthusiasts will have to keep up with their tight schedule if they want to visit all the museums in the area. Visit Ulster Folk and Transportation Museum, Somme Heritage Centre, F E McWilliam Gallery, North Down Heritage Centre. Don’t forget about Downpatrick & County Down Railway, Down County Museum, The Saint Patrick Centre and Newry and Mourne Museum.
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