DONAGHADEE - the area
Donaghadee is a small seaside town in County Down, Northern Ireland. It lies on the northeast coast of the Ards Peninsula, about 18 miles east of Belfast and about six miles south east of Bangor. Donaghadee is probably best known for its lighthouse and harbour, of which Rosebank Court offers spectacular views. On a clear day you can see both the Copeland Islands and Scotland from the sitting room window. Should you wish to get a closer look you can take a day trip out to the bird sanctuary on the Copeland Islands.
There are fantasic local eateries and bars within walking distance from Rosebank Court. Donaghadee claims to have the oldest pub in Ireland in the form of Grace Neils, serving beer since 1611. Now, along with several other pubs and restaurants, it also serves excellent food which is locally sourced from the sea and the land. Donagadee has many individual food shops, as well as a Co-Operative which stays open most nights until 11pm. Not to be missed is the homemade ice cream at The Cabin, which also has a multitude of old fashioned sweety jars.
For those looking to excercise after all that eating, Donaghadee has an excellent golf course and tennis courts open to the public. There are many opportunities to walk and cycle either by the sea or on quiet inland roads. Nearby Bangor has a brand new sports complex The Aurora, where you can swim or visit the gym. Bangor also has a train station where you can park the car and take the scenic coastal train journey in to Belfast. Once in the capital city you can visit the excellent Titanic Museum along with many other sights and attractions including an open bus tour, excellent shopping and two theatres. Another memorable day out is a short drive away to nearby Portaferry where you can take the ferry over to the pretty village of Strangford. Have lunch in the traditional pub The Cuan, or in the seafood restaurant The Lobster Pot. Drive on to visit the National Trust property Castle Ward on the shores of the lough. Then back to Donaghadee to enjoy a night of food and music in the local bars.
Suggested days out from Rosebank Court
You’ve just arrived and settled in so why not explore the local area. Stroll in to Donaghadee to see the Lighthouse and walk along the harbour wall. Why not have fish and chips followed by an ice cream from The Cabin, just down the road from the Co-op. The family have been making their ice-cream at home since 1929. If it’s tea and a cake you are after then up from The Cabin on the left is the perfectly-named Slice of Heaven Dessert café.
Time for some exercise now, so from the sea front you will see a castle-like structure called the Moat....Donaghadee’s answer to the Taj Mahal! Climb up – there is a great view from the top.
There is a walking tour of Donaghadee leaflet both in the house and in the tourist porch at The Pier (Pub/Restaurant) on the front. Or you could use local guide Wesley Martin who does walking tours and has lots of funny inside information. Tel 07969 257077.