There are themed tours run in partnership with Vahalla Street Theatre Company which bring a sense of interactive fun and drama, making the organised outings a source of great entertainment and enjoyment which will capture both children and adult’s imagination.
According to Alastair McDowell, Events Development Officer with the Council, the tours are a great way to explore the region. He said: “The Ards area has so much history and heritage, as well as natural beauty, that the possibilities for tours are endless, and our approach, particularly with the themed tours, is to make the whole experience as entertaining and interesting as possible to appeal to the whole family.
“We always find that the bus tours appeal as much to local people who don’t often realise what’s on their doorstep, as they do to visitors which is why the Council is encouraging local people to pick up a brochure and see what appeals to them”.
The new brochure detailing the full range of trips on offer features several new opportunities to explore the history, heritage and mystery of the area.
One of the highlights of the 2013 programme is the special 1613 Movilla Cemetery Tour, ‘In Search of the Provosts of Newtown’ that is part of the Council’s 400th anniversary celebrations to mark the granting of the Royal Charter in Ards. The tour offers people the chance to learn its story and those of the people laid to rest there, many of whom were involved in significant events that occurred throughout history.
An enchanted ‘Fairies and Folklore’ walking tour at Scrabo tells the story of Shane McAnanty, the King of the Ulster Fairies who resides on Scrabo Hill, and calls on family members to seek out the little man, who will be up to a some mischief.
The ever-popular historical walking tours of Newtownards, Comber and Donaghadee taking in the key sites in both towns, as well as boat tours of Strangford Lough and a day trip to the Copeland Island, are also included in the programme.
Keeping the favourites and freshening the programme has meant the ‘Experience Ards’ concept has grown year on year since it was launched in 2002.
Brochures are now available from Tourist Information Centres province-wide. Tickets with prices starting at £3 can be booked in advance from Ards or Portaferry Tourist Information Centres: Tel: 028 9182 6846.