The Borough of North Down
The Borough of North Down is situated on the southern shores of Belfast Lough in Northern Ireland. It covers an area of 88 square kms, which combines attractive coastline with many pleasant open spaces. The Borough boasts a population of around 87,000.
The main town in the Borough is Bangor, Northern Ireland’s second largest town (60,000 population). It is a seaside resort and market town. The area’s secondary centre is Holywood, 8kms northeast of Belfast, with a population of approximately 10,000. Most of the remainder of the population live in suburban villages along the coastline, such as Seahill, Crawfordsburn and Groomsport.
North Down has emerged as one of the most tranquil and stable areas in Northern Ireland and is acknowledged as an affluent and thriving location. In 2007 Bangor was voted as ‘the most desirable place to live in Northern Ireland’ by UTV viewers.
The Borough enjoys good rail and road links to Belfast and is recognised as a commuter town for the greater Belfast area. However, in recent years the local economy has been diversifying and the area now boasts a well-established business community. The strongest sectors are wholesale and retail, followed by business services, construction and manufacturing.
North Down is a popular tourist destination. Bangor is home to Ireland's largest marina, which attracts yachtsmen from all over the world and the North Down Coastal Path is well used by residents and visitors throughout the year. As well as seaside activities, North Down boasts many parks (including the most visited park in Northern Ireland, Crawfordsburn Country Park), six 19-hole golf courses, North Down Museum, Pickie Fun Park and the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum at Cultra (the most popular visitor attraction in Northern Ireland).
Bangor is twinned with the Austrian city of Bregenz and the US city of Virginia Beach.