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Immerse yourself in history with traditional festive experience in Co Down


Christmas is a time for tradition. Whether it’s inviting the family around for a delicious turkey dinner, playing an energetic game of charades or pulling Christmas crackers, it’s all based on family tradition.

For a truly traditional festive experience with joyful carols, food that will tingle your taste buds and, of course, luxurious accommodation full of character and atmosphere, take a short break in Co Down.

Immerse yourself in a traditional Christmas from a bygone era between the 1st and 15th December at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. Leave the hustle and bustle of the high street behind and step 100 years back in time. Stroll around the candlelit Ballycultra village, listen to the brass bands play Christmas carols and taste traditional Christmas Fayre. Experience the magic of Christmas in a special show at the Picture House and try your hand at creating your own decoration.

Ulster Folk and Transport Museum

You can’t get more traditional than the Old Inn at Crawfordsburn, which dates back to 1614. In which you can expect peace, calmness and tranquillity.

Situated a six minute drive away from the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, The Old Inn feels festive all year round with its open log fires and comfortable chairs to sink into. Tuck into freshly roasted chestnuts on arrival and join the carol singers around the Christmas tree before you retire to your luxurious bedroom. After a night of peaceful sleeping, wake up to a hearty cooked full Irish breakfast in the morning.

If you need a last minute gift, North Down Craft Collective’s Winter Festival Market is full of unique presents which will fit perfectly under your Christmas tree.

Sip on mulled wine received upon entry to the market and chat to local artisan makers and producers as you browse their offerings. The Winter Festival Market takes place at Holywood Old School on Saturday 9th December.

The Old Inn

Less than five minutes away you can treat yourself to a meal at one of the finest restaurants in Northern Ireland, Mitre Restaurant, at the Culloden Estate and Spa. Sample fresh Irish produce, herbs and leaves from its herb garden, expertly prepared by leading chef Paul McKnight in a warm and friendly atmosphere. You can enjoy a traditional Sunday lunch between 12.30 and 3pm and a resident piano player entertains guests on weekend nights both before and after dinner.

Nearby attractions

North Down Museum

Uncover the fascinating saga of the area in Northern Ireland's most visited small museum, located in the picturesque stable block of Bangor Castle in the beautiful ground of Castle Park. The story of the region's history, archaeology and wildlife unfolds before you through a series of exciting audio-visual displays and intriguing exhibits.

Bangor Castle Walled Garden

The Ward family designed the Castle Park Walled Garden in the 1840s, considered by many as a secret garden. However, in 2009 it was restored and officially opened as a beautiful visitor attraction. Explore the 1.5 acre site’s four distinct sections and marvel at the two unique pieces of sculpture inspired by North Down’s maritime history.

Crawfordsburn Country Park

Get the layers on and get outdoors with a trip to Crawfordsburn Country Park. It’s situated on the coast between Bangor and Holywood and features two excellent beaches with spectacular scenery and views across Belfast Lough. Warm up after your walk with a trip to the visitor centre and café.

  • To book your Christmas break visit

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