Crawfordsburn, County Down, Northern Ireland


Updated On: April 18, 2024 by   Shaimaa OlwanShaimaa Olwan

Crawfordsburn is a small village in County Down, Northern Ireland, now a commuter suburb between Holywood and Bangor. It is bounded to the north and northeast by Crawfordsburn Country Park, which attracts many visitors to it, which we have been to. Check out our video above of Crawfordburn and what we did while there.


Coming across this article is an indication of how lucky you are. The video is an invitation to one of the best spots in Northern Ireland, Crawfordsburn Country Park. If you ever wonder what you can do there, we introduce you to this scenic park.

It is perfect for family outings and a solo tour of tranquillity. The park is a natural retreat that you can head to for a relaxing time and spectacular scenery. Whether you want to read or peacefully walk around, Crawfordsburn Country Park is your best bet. Let us give you a glimpse of this extraordinary place.

A Quick Glimpse of Crawfordsburn Village

Crawfordsburn, County Down, Northern Ireland – Camping in NI

In County Down lies the small village that is called Crawfordsburn. It sits between Bangor and Holywood, nearly four km from Bangor town centre. In case you don’t know, Holywood- with a single L- is a town in County Down.

More specifically, it lies in the metropolitan area of Belfast, over the shore of Belfast Lough. One of the most significant events in this town is the Jazz and Blues Festival, which takes place every year. The village doesn’t have a high population; however, it attracts multiple visitors yearly, thanks to its splendid park.

Local Cuisine

No visit to the village would be complete without sampling the local cuisine. The village boasts a range of eateries, from quaint cafes to fine dining restaurants, serving delicious dishes made with locally sourced ingredients.

Seafood lovers will delight in the day’s fresh catches, including lobster, crab, and mussels, sourced from the waters of Belfast Lough. Traditional Irish fare, such as hearty stews and freshly baked soda bread, are also popular choices, providing a taste of authentic Irish cuisine.

After a day of exploration, visitors can relax and unwind with a pint of Guinness or a dram of whiskey at one of Crawfordsburn’s cosy pubs, where live music and warm hospitality await.

Outdoor Activities

The village offers many activities for those seeking outdoor adventure that suit all interests and abilities. The expansive coastline provides ample opportunities for water sports, such as kayaking, sailing, and windsurfing, while the surrounding countryside is ideal for hiking, cycling, and horseback riding.

Crawfordsburn Country Park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with its diverse recreational facilities. The park features tennis courts, a children’s playground, and a nine-hole golf course, providing plenty of options for active pursuits. Guided nature walks and educational programs allow visitors to learn more about the park’s flora, fauna, and conservation efforts.

History of Crawfordsburn Country Park


Long before the area of Crawfordsburn was known by that name, people used to call it Ballymullan. That was actually before the Plantation of Ulster. The new naming emerged in the 17th century when the area became a small settlement along North Down Routeway. There is a stream that courses through the village named Crawfordsburn; the village was named after it. Besides, a family that bears the name Crawford used to live there. Along with the Sharman family, they assisted in developing the village in the 18th and 19th centuries. The area used to be a significant tourist attraction, especially for visitors who passed by Helen’s Bay.

Things to do in Crawforsburn Country Park

To be honest, parks are meant to be places where you do things very much. It is more of a place for relaxation and tranquillity. This particular one is no exception. The best part is that you can go alone or with your family. Moreover, Crawfordsburn Country Park is located on the shores of Belfast Lough, particularly on the southern side. There, you can enjoy the scenery of two magnificent beaches.

Not to mention the wooded glens through which you can enjoy a peaceful stroll. There is also a stunning waterfall you can sit by and enjoy the sound of water crashing into stones. Just being around all sorts of nature is quite calming.

Are you an animal lover? Many small animals take homes in the woodland Glen, including hedgehogs, badgers, and squirrels. To make the place more attractive, watch out for the seals. You can see them while walking along the coastal path. They enjoy their time by the waves, playing and cavorting.

Crawfordsburn Beach
Crawfordsburn Beach

Facilities at the Park

Crawfordsburn Country Park allows all people to come and walk around. It also has accessible parks, toilets, and walking trails for those with disabilities. No one gets left out in this park, thankfully. While there isn’t much to do, some cafes serve food and drinks for pedestrians. You can always grab something to snack on while watching the natural retreat in the park.

Activities and Events

The village hosts various events and activities throughout the year that showcase its vibrant culture and community spirit.

One of the village’s calendar highlights is the Crawfordsburn Country Festival, held annually in summer. This lively event celebrates County Down’s best rural life with live music, traditional dancing, craft stalls, and local food and drink vendors. It’s a fantastic opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the village’s sights, sounds, and flavours.

Outdoor enthusiasts will find no shortage of activities in the village, from hiking and cycling to fishing and horseback riding. The village’s stunning natural surroundings provide the perfect backdrop for adventure, with opportunities for exploration at every turn.

Gastronomic Delights

No visit to Crawfordsburn would be complete without sampling the village’s delicious cuisine. From cosy tearooms serving homemade scones and pastries to elegant restaurants specializing in fresh seafood and traditional Irish fare, there is something to satisfy every palate in the village. Local delicacies such as Irish stew, soda bread, and smoked salmon are famous, showcasing the region’s culinary heritage and abundance of fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Places of Interest Around the Park

Many visitors prefer staying near Crawfordsburn Country Park, so they can pass by anytime. Here, we list the most significant places you can visit around the Park.

The Old Inn

The Old Inn Crawfordsburn
The Old Inn Crawfordsburn

Here is the best hotel in County Down, the Old Inn. The place dates back to 1614, and people have been going there forever. It is not just a regular place to stay; superior rooms have luxurious furnishings and styles. On the roof of the inn, there is Parlour Bar & Lounge. Besides, you can enjoy a fancy meal prepared by master chefs in Lewis Restaurant. The restaurant’s name probably honours the famous writer C. S. Lewis. He used to visit the Old Inn frequently.

The hotel’s strategic location makes it on the list of the top attractions in Northern Ireland. It is only 10 minutes away from Belfast City Airport and just one mile away from the sea. Above and beyond, the eccentric Crawfordsburn Country Park is just around the area. Many activities can be done in the area, including sailing, scenic walks, golfing, and captivating sights.

St. John the Baptist Church (The Old Church)

For a thousand years, St. John’s has been a significant worship place for Christians. People usually refer to it as the Old Church. It’s been around since the 12th century. The church is famous for having two halls that are perfect venues for holding events.

Crawfordburns Scout Activity Centre

Crawfordburns Scout Activity Center is right next to the park. With its vast area of 22 acres, the place is used for camping. It has a camping ground with several buildings that are used for accommodations. The building opened for Scout Camping back in 1948. Right before that, it used to be part of the Sharman estate.

Carrickfergus Castle

Carrickfergus Castle
Carrickfergus Castle

This castle is one of the most prominent castles in Northern Ireland; you should never miss it. Carrickfergus Castle stands on a rocky area overlooking the shore of Belfast Lough. John de Courcy was the builder of the castle; he built it in 1178. Courcy was the Anglo-Norman baron who conquered Ulster.

Around the castle, there are great restaurants and a car park. Most importantly, the sea surrounds the castle from all corners. The place is highly preferred by families since there is a lot of activities to do. Some visitors can enjoy climbing around the cannon along with captivating guided tours.

Last Words

Crawfordsburn, with its captivating beauty and rich history, offers a truly unique destination for visitors to County Down, Northern Ireland. From its tranquil beaches and lush woodlands to its historic landmarks and vibrant culinary scene, the village invites exploration and discovery at every turn.

Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventure, cultural enrichment, or simply a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, the village has something to offer everyone. So, pack your bags, embark on a journey of exploration, and immerse yourself in the timeless charm of Crawfordsburn, where the beauty of nature meets the warmth of Irish hospitality.

Have you ever visited Crawfordsburn County Park or any other locations/attractions we mentioned? We would love to hear from you!

Don’t forget to check out other locations and attractions around Northern Ireland: Helens Bay Beach| Glens of Antrim| Carrickfergus Museum| Crawfordsburn Beach|Bangor Harbour| Carrickfergus Town| Popular Attractions in Belfast|

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