Search the best hotels in County Down
About County Down
Hugging Northern Ireland’s north-eastern edge, County Down offers beautiful landscapes — from the Mountains of Mourne to windswept Strangford Lough — as well as captivating historic towns to discover. With everything from simple B&Bs to elegant luxury hotels, accommodation options are wide ranging and fit for a whole host of budgets. Our pick of the best places to stay in County Down includes some wonderful ivy-clad country houses, stylish contemporary hideaways and laid-back guesthouses, all nestled amidst the region’s striking natural beauty.
Boasting some lovely, lively towns, pretty villages, great golf courses and miles of paths for coastal rambles and hilly hikes, County Down is a wonderful base for a relaxed couples’ escape, a fun getaway with friends, or an outdoorsy family holiday. For a seaside stay, try Bangor, where there are great gastro-pubs, a thriving marina, fantastic beaches and cultural attractions to admire — including the North Down Heritage Centre and Bangor Abbey. Pretty Holywood is also an attractive base on the shore of Belfast Lough, and the town’s annual jazz and blues festival is a real highlight.
Golfers can enjoy a round at the Royal County Down Golf Club, in a picturesque location near Newcastle, whilst walkers can explore the dramatic Mourne Mountains, crowned with granite peaks and criss-crossed with countless trails and offering the best hiking in Northern Ireland. Head to Tollymore Forest Park for walking and birdwatching. The Park’s Shimna River is also a popular sea trout and salmon fishing spot. Nature lovers will adore the Castlewellan Forest Park, too, which includes Northern Ireland’s national Arboretum, as well as the impressive Castlewellan Castle, a Scottish baronial-style edifice.
Strangford Lough, the largest inlet in the British Isles, is spectacularly atmospheric, with a wealth of archaeological evidence establishing the presence of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, Vikings and Normans in this fascinating wild landscape. See light-bellied brent geese flocking from Arctic Canada, learn about the region’s kelp industry, spot Irish Hares and stroll through meadows of wildflowers on day-long visits, or stay near Portaferry to soak up even more of what the area has to offer.
From hiking to golf, top-notch cuisine to ancient history, there’s stacks to see and do in County Down. Many of our favourite hideaways will happily point you in the right direction for great fishing, cycling and horse riding — all fun with friends or as a family. Whether you choose to spend your days clambering up granite hills or unwinding at the spa, the best places to stay in County Down promise a warm welcome in enchanting surroundings.
The Best Places to Stay in County Down
- Tyrella House is a grand eighteenth century property with three elegant Georgian bedrooms, mature gardens, a private beach and a polo ground. Stay here for riding and polo lessons, as well as marvellous old-world charm and a friendly family feel. Book the Family Suite if you're travelling with little ones, who can safely swim in the sea.
- Clandeboye Lodge offers chic rooms with Scandi-style furnishings and luxurious bathrooms in a pretty setting near Bangor. The Coq & Bull is a lively eatery focusing on homegrown and local produce and there are stacks of activities for everyone in the area — from golf to interactive museums, beach fun to rural walks. The spacious family suite sleeps four people and the vibe is wonderfully inviting.
- Portaferry Hotel is a charming waterfront hotel with views over the Strangford Lough. Old-fashioned rooms are comfortable and cosy, whilst the award-winning restaurant is the big sell. Mouth-watering dishes are crafted from the finest local ingredients — this is one for foodies who appreciate a friendly atmosphere and a beautiful view.
- The Old Inn's 2AA Rosette restaurant prides itself on innovative dishes using superb seasonal produce, the rooms are traditional and atmospheric, and the appealing rural location is set close to both Belfast City Airport and the sea. A romantic foodie choice for those looking to soak up the feel of an original 1614 coaching inn. Don’t miss a cracking afternoon tea by the fire!
- Slieve Donard Resort and Spa is one of Northern Ireland’s best known hotels, nestled between the Mountains of Mourne and the sea. Rooms are stylish and contemporary, The Royal County Down Golf Course is right on the doorstep and the state-of-the-art spa features striking sea views. Unwind with restorative therapies in one of 16 treatment rooms. One for golfers and spa lovers.
- Belmont House Hotel is a gorgeous Georgian property with eight elegant rooms, carefully refurbished to offer an appealingly luxurious stay near Banbridge. Set in nine acres of gardens, the ivy-clad house is a popular wedding venue, and the onsite restaurant serves fantastic food. A soothing, romantic hideaway.
For a B&B
- Nutgrove House is a beautiful B&B in a house dating back to the 1830s and boasting views of the Mourne Mountains. The two rooms are characterful and cosy, and there’s a cute Shepherd’s Hut in the garden — perfect for a quirky stay! With extensive gardens, tennis and croquet, this is an enchanting couples’ or family retreat.
- Cherryhill Lodge is a comfortable B&B with three contemporary bedrooms. Stay here for the proximity to Newcastle, Tollymore Forest Park and the Royal County Down Golf Club. One for golfers and walkers.
- Ballymote House offers a peaceful rural escape, with four traditional rooms, a relaxed feel and delicious big breakfasts. There’s lots to do in the area — from rambles to golf, horse riding to fishing, or simply chilling out in the large gardens.
- Cairn Bay Lodge is a lovely, laid-back B&B overlooking the coast in the beautiful town of Bangor. Think traditional wooden beds, bright artwork and sea views from some of the bedrooms. Family-run and relaxed, this is the ideal base for walking, cycling and cosy evenings in nearby pubs.
- Baytree Boutique B&B promises two very pretty rooms in a renovated farm building, just a couple of miles from Hillsborough. Pick this place for its chic decor, great breakfasts and wonderful location, with lots of scenic walking trails and golf in the area. You can also take over the whole property if travelling as a group.
- Peartree Hill is a charming B&B with three modern rooms, perfectly poised for exploring both Belfast and the County Down coastline. Choose this guesthouse for its intimate feel and generous breakfasts.
For an apartment or cottage
- If you'd prefer a self-catering option, we suggest that you visit our online partner Booking.com.
- Fly to George Best Belfast City Airport, just three miles from Belfast city centre, or hop aboard a ferry to Belfast from one of several ports in Scotland or England. The highlights of County Down are easily accessible by road or rail from Belfast, which borders County Down.
- This is a beautiful region to explore by road. Contact our online partner Rentalcars if you would like to hire a car.
- Time your trip between May and September for long days and slightly warmer temperatures, with daily averages peaking around 16°C. July and August are the warmest months and the most popular time to visit, so book your stay well in advance!
STILL NOT SURE?
- Explore our list of all the best places to stay in Belfast.
- Alternatively, expand your search to see our pick of the best places to stay in Northern Ireland.
- Or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice.
Monthly Weather in County Down
Best Hotels in County Down
Ballymote House Downpatrick, County Down 4 rooms from £71Country Escape - A great spot for a countryside escape in County Down.Fishing - Fishing trips, whether sea or fly, can be organised by the hotel.Great walks - The surrounding countryside is full of lovely walking routes.Sights nearby - Take a trip to nearby Down Cathedral.
Peartree Hill Belfast, County Down 3 rooms from £75Local exploring - A great base from which to explore both Belfast and the surrounding countryside.Owner managedSights nearby - Visit the world famous Harland and Wolff Cranes - Samson and Goliath.Great walks - Go for a walk around Strangford Lough.
Cherryhill Lodge Newcastle, County Down 3 rooms from £85Local exploring - A good base from which to explore south County Down's coastline.Great walks - The surrounding area is great for walking.Sights nearby - Pay a visit to Dundrum Castle.Seaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.
Portaferry Hotel Portaferry, Co Down, County Down 14 rooms from £90Value chic - Excellently priced with a great locationFoodies - Award-winning restaurantCooking classes - with David Bamber, the hotel's Executive ChefKayaking - Strangford Lough Canoe Trail
The Old Inn Crawfordsburn, County Down 33 rooms from £100Total relaxation - A charming and indulgent inn set in a tiny hamlet with superb food and glorious walks.Great walks - Just five minutes from Helen's Bay and the start of a deservedly popular coastal walk all the way to Bangor.Romantic - Good for couples.Secluded setting - For escaping.
An utterly charming inn set in a quiet hamlet just outside Belfast. Elegant and characterful throughout expect enormous fireplaces, chandeliers, heavy four poster beds and rich hues. Opt for a historic suite to feel like you've stepped back in time. The exemplary restaurant tops this fabulous hotel. See More
Cairn Bay Lodge Bangor (County Down) 8 rooms from £104Total relaxation - A quiet coastal guesthouse complete with spa and beauty salon.Sailing - Take a boat trip to unique island bird sanctuaries.Full of characterSeaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.Recommended by - Good Hotel Guide
Belmont House Hotel Banbridge, County Down 9 rooms from £105Local exploring - A great spot for those looking to explore Banbridge and the surrounding countryside.Sights nearby - Pay a visit to the nearby Cathedral of Saint Patrick and Saint Colman.Great walks - The surrounding countryside is full of lovely walking routes.Romantic - Good for couples.
Slieve Donard Resort & Spa Newcastle, Co. Down, County Down 172 rooms from £110Total relaxation - Whether a few rounds on the golf course or treatments in the spa - there is something for everyone hereRomantic Break - Spoil yourself and a loved oneWeddings - A popular wedding locationBirdwatching - Murlough National Nature Reserve
One of Northern Ireland's best known hotels set between the mountains of Morne and the sea. State of the art spa and pool complex, stylish contemporary rooms, and extensive conference facilities on the doorstep of the Royal County Down Golf Course. A great spot for avid golfers. See More
Nutgrove House Downpatrick, County Down 2 rooms from £110Great walks - The surrounding area is full of lovely walking routes.Tennis - Enjoy a game of tennis on the house's court.Sights nearby - Pay a visit to the nearby Down Cathedral.Full of character
Resplendent in 19th century opulence, Nutgrove House is a delightful guesthouse. The period furnishings and classical artwork give the place a distinct character with the house's beautifully landscaped gardens adding to the ambience. Try the Shepherds Hut for something a little different. See More
Clandeboye Lodge Bangor 43 rooms from £115Golf - This area is renowned for its courses with many just a short drive away and the Blackwood Golf Centre right next doorCountry Escape - With chic design, beautiful surrounding countryside, and fine cuisine, this is a luxurious rural breakActive Holiday - There are a plethora of outdoor pursuits in the area with something to suit everyoneRomantic - Good for couples.
A luxury rural hotel set in the Northern Ireland's rugged and picturesque countryside. Chic rooms are perfectly styled with geometric wallpaper, luxury bathrooms, and Scandinavian inspired furniture. Seasonal produce is used in the restaurant and there is a superb wine list. Country chic. See More
Baytree Boutique B&B Hillsborough 2 rooms from £115Great walks - The surrounding landscape is full of beautiful walking routes.Sights nearby - Visit nearby Malone House.
Tyrella House Downpatrick, Co. Down, County Down 3 rooms from £120Active Holiday - Golf, polo, walks and excellent riding trails on your doorstepCountry Escape - Enveloped by some of Ireland's best emerald countrysideSights nearby - Visit the many local National Trust houses and gardens.Fishing - Trout fishing can be arranged locally
Relaxed private country house in a beautiful coastal setting with its own private beach, polo ground and glorious wooded parkland. Three classical bedrooms with original Georgian features and elegant furniture. A wonderful B&B country escape for those who like to enjoy country activities. See More