Explore Down and Armagh
BANGOR probably takes its name from its curving bay set between a pair of symmetrical headlands, and its sheltered position made it ideal for exploitation as a holiday resort. The town has been hugely popular with Belfast people since the railway came in the 1860s, but today it’s as much a suburb of Belfast as a holiday spot. It still possesses a tawdry charm, stuck in a 1960s time warp with all the appropriate bucket-and-spade paraphernalia – giant swan boats to paddle around a mini-lake in the fun park, a miniature railway and amusement arcades. There’s also a 500-berth marina, which makes Bangor a good place for stocking up on provisions or exploring the coast, while for the land-based the town is well equipped as a stop-off point for dinner and a stroll along the promenade.