The Ards Peninsula is an area of outstanding natural beauty, unspoiled, uncrowded and the perfect setting for a magical coastal drive. Here you’ll find a rural way of life and a genuine Irish welcome combined with a haunting landscape, history and tranquility. The coastal road along the southern shore of Belfast Lough plays hide and seek with the sea, like the railway that runs alongside it, it darts in and out of the hills giving glimpses of sandy beaches, yacht clubs and busy harbors. Away from the coast are the beginnings of the rounded drumlin hills of the Ards Peninsula, unexpectedly rural so near to Belfast.
Stop to photograph Stormont, seat of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Drive to Greyabbey and visit the Cistercian Abbey from which the village takes its name. Follow the coastal route through the town of Millisle to Donaghade, with its long seagoing history and still popular today with water enthusiasts. From Donaghadee you’ll enjoy spectacular views across the Irish Sea -and see the impressive lighthouse, built in 1836 and the first lighthouse in Ireland to be lit by electricity. Stop at a local hostelry for Irish coffee. Afterwards, enjoy some free to explore this pretty little hamlet.