Explore more

In advance of your visit, why not check out all there is to see and do, or even make plans for a short break in one of the local accommodation. Visit Ards and North Down (

Exploris is located on the Ards Peninsula, surrounded by the Irish Sea and Strangford Lough creating over 100miles of coastline.  The area is sprinkled with history and heritage, culture and family fun.  The ferry ride between the two villages of Portaferry and Strangford is not to be missed – go as a foot passenger taking in the breath taking views of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty!

Local places to Eat, Drink and Stay

The Port Hotel (

Captain Jacks (

Saltwater Brig (

Harrisons of Greyabbey (

The Cuan, Bar/Restaurant/Accomodation (

The Artisan Cookhouse – Restaurant (

The Lobster Pot

Things to do in Portaferry

Echlinville Distillery (

Portico (

Pickie FunPark (

Castle Ward/Mount Stewart (

Sustainable Journeys Ireland (

Visitor Information Office

Within the Reception of the aquarium you will find Portaferry Local Visitor Information Office, displaying lots of literature, useful maps and an interactive touchscreen helping you to discover the area and beyond, staff are on hand to assist with enquiries.

Close by you could explore fascinating National Trust properties, enjoy coastal walks, take in a musical performance, relax on a boat trip and taste amazing local food and drink – which so much to do, why not stay a while!

For the perfect family break, check out these ideas: (

Explore the Heritage Trail

Explore the Portaferry Heritage trail and learn about the history of the amazing little coastal town that many of here in Exploris are lucky to call home.

Explore the Castle, the Quay and Market House, which have been part of Portaferry life for centuries, while Exploris Aquarium will introduce you to the area’s natural heritage and exciting wildlife.

Keep an eye out for bronze plaques at places of interest to find out more as you explore. Using the handsets or the QR codes along the way you’ll get to know some characters from the past, all with tales to tell.

For something to entertain the mini explorers there is a Kid’s Explorer Pack with fun facts and challenges to complete as you go!

Enjoy your trip around Portaferry, be sure to refuel after your walk in one of the many eateries or treat yourself to an ice-cream!

•    The full trail covers approximately two miles and has 20 stops, with information panels and audio at some of the stops.

Where to access the Heritage Trail

The printed trail is available in various outlets in the town or from the Local Visitor Information Office in Exploris Aquarium along with *handsets. Heritage Trail Guides can also be picked up before your arrival at Ards or Bangor Visitor Information Centres.

*A holding deposit will be required to use a handset and will be refunded on return to Exploris.

You can listen to the audio from the trail now from wherever you are and picture the scene in the picturesque town!