Banbridge is centrally located in County Down and ideal for exploring counties Down and Armagh.
Travel from here to the east to explore the nature around Strangford Lough and the coastline of the Ards Peninsula or the heritage sites around Downpatrick on the Lecale Peninsula. Adventure lovers should head southeast for the Mourne Mountains and the shores of Carlingford Lough, while to the northwest is Lough Neagh, a bird-watcher’s paradise. The city of Armagh is also 30 minutes’ drive away.
As well as soaking up the peace of the countryside or exploring local villages and towns there are lots of outdoor activities to do in the area, such as walking, cycling, horse riding, cycling, archery, and golf. Camping options in the surrounding countryside include Clare Glen Forest Park which has options for tents and campervans or motorhomes. For nature walks and mountain biking, try Gosford Forest Park. This is also near other luxury glamping options, some with tents, log cabins, caravans, and shepherd’s huts.
The Mourne Mountains to the southeast are ideal for those who love any type of adventure—you can take scenic drives to beauty spots, go walking, hiking, and climbing, or try adrenaline-pumping sports like rock climbing, mountain biking, and abseiling. The area is designated as the Mourne Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so wild camping is not permitted. Much of the land is privately owned and grazed by animals, but there are plenty of camping options around the seaside resort of Newcastle and along the Mourne Coastal Route at Annalong, Kilkeel, and Rostrevor on Carlingford Lough.
For a mix of history and heritage, coastal scenery and beaches, birdwatching and scenic views, explore the area around Downpatrick and the Lecale Peninsula. Game of Thrones buffs might like to visit or camp at Castle Ward, while those interested in history can learn more about St Patrick in Downpatrick town. There are lots of options for camping, including country parks with views of Strangford Lough or coastal settings near beaches.
The best time for camping is between May and September. The warmest temperatures are usually in July and August but these are high season and school holiday time, so book in advance. The busiest times in campsites are from Easter onwards, July and August plus bank holidays, especially the week around the 12 July holiday. Local festival times are also busy.