Our District is made up of 15 private Lodges from villages and towns throughout the Ards Peninsula, a peninsula in County Down, Northern Ireland which separates Strangford Lough from the North Channel of the Irish Sea, on Ireland's northeast coast. A number of towns and villages are located on the peninsula, such as the seaside town of Donaghadee, with the surrounding area known as the Ards district. Newtownards, situated at the northern end of the peninsula, is the largest town in the area, while Portaferry is at the southern end of the Peninsula. It is situated in the Ards and North Down Borough Council area.
Located ten miles from Belfast, the Ards Peninsula has Strangford Lough at it's heart. The Lough, the largest sea inlet in the British Isles and its internationally renowned wildlife, form the focus of the Ards Borough for many visitors. The Irish Sea stretches from Donaghadee to Portaferry with long stretches of sandy beaches which are perfect for walking and water sports.
The peninsula was once known as "The Ards", and was conquered by the Normans in the 12th century, with the Norman family Savage building a number of castles, and priories on the peninsula.
The Ards Peninsula was the site of a number of airfields built during World War II: RAF Ballyhalbert and it's satellite airfield, RAF Kirkistown. Both are now closed and the Kirkistown site is used as a car and motorcycle racing circuit.