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Banbridge – Everything You Need to Know About the Co. Down Town

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Banbridge – Everything You Need to Know About the Co. Down Town

Situated in the north-western corner of County Down, the town of Banbridge has a rich history and a unique and vibrant character. This small but charming community is home to a wide range of attractions, activities and amenities, making it the perfect destination for exploring this beautiful part of the United Kingdom. Here, we’ll take a comprehensive look at Banbridge, exploring everything from its origins and evolution to its culture, activities and nearby attractions.

History of Banbridge

Founded in 1619, Banbridge is one of the oldest towns in Ireland. Originally known as ‘Bailieborough’, the settlement steadily grew from its outset and eventually developed into a leading centre of trade and industry. Its growing reputation as a hub of activity and commerce saw it receive its charter in 1763, with the reasons for its new status being attributed to its thriving linen industry and significant role within the linen trade. By 1830, the population had increased to a remarkable 23,000. The town continued to grow throughout the 19th century, with an armoury constructed in 1880 to meet demand due to the increasing number of armed regiments located in the area. The armaments industry would eventually become the town’s main industry, bringing considerable wealth and prosperity to the local population. By 1901, the population had reached a peak of 27,000.In the 1940s, Banbridge experienced a surge in investment in a variety of areas, including transport links and new housing development. The influx of capital saw considerable changes to the town’s physical infrastructure, making it what it is today.

What To See & Do

Banbridge is full of places to visit and activities to take part in. For those who fancy a spot of shopping, the town centre boasts an impressive selection of retail stores that span a range of different product categories including fashion, home appliances and household items. Many of them are traditional independent retailers, adding an old-fashioned charm to the town’s shopping district. There are also numerous places to eat in Banbridge, ranging from traditional Irish fare like pubs and cafes offering “Ulster fries’, to Italian bistros and international outlets like Nando’s and Edwards Coffee house. If you’re looking for something outdoorsy, then visit Bann Valley Community Centre or Ross Castle in near Tullylish. Bann River is also nearby, offering stunning views and great opportunities for fishing – an activity for which Banbridge is well-known. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for something educational to do, you could visit Scarva House Visitor Centre – a local museum with an interesting selection of artefacts related to Irish cultural heritage. Banbridge is also home to Eikon Exhibition Centre – a popular destination for family outings that features unique interactive displays and artwork created by local artists. It’s also well worth making time for a trip to the nearby famous Mourne Mountains – one of the United Kingdom’s largest areas of natural beauty.

Events in Banbridge

As you may have guessed by now, Banbridge is not a sleepy one-horse town – far from it. The place has a rich cultural heritage that includes many annual events that make great fun day trips or longer breaks away from home. Popular events in Banbridge include:

  • Oktoberfest
  • Strawberry Festival
  • An Grianan Oiche
  • Banbridge Music Festival
  • Banbridge Show

For more information about events taking place in Banbridge and the surrounding area, visit bannvalleycentre.com/whats-on/.


No trip to Banbridge is complete without finding a comfortable base from which to explore all that the town has to offer. Fortunately, there are some excellent options available – including quaint boutique hotels and luxurious spa resorts – to suit everyone’s needs. Here’s a few examples:

  • The Manor House Hotel Banbridge​​​​​​​ – A 4-star hotel in Bannvale offering family friendly accommodation.
  • Banbridge Spa Hotel – A modern spa hotel situated on a mountain top.
  • Middleton Lodge – A family run B&B situated on the edge of Banbridge.
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For additional information about hotels and guest houses within Banbridge and the surrounding area, visit visitcountydown.co.uk/accommodation/.

Getting Around Banbridge

Banbridge has excellent transport links both near and further away via “Translink NI’ bus service – allowing visitors to explore nearby towns such as Portadown (15 mins away) or Belfast (45 mins away). There are also frequent buses to take you back out of town towards Newcastle and Larne – ideal if you’re planning on exploring more of County Down during your stay. For more information about local transport links and timetables, visit translinkni.co.uk/journey-planning#/.


In conclusion, Banbridge is a charming Co Down town with plenty to offer visitors looking for a true taste of rural Ireland. It has everything from historical attractions and cultural events to high-end restaurants and luxury hotels – all just a stone’s throw away from some fantastic countryside that A-grade visitors won’t want to miss out on during their stay in County Down!

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Banbridge – Everything You Need to Know About the Co. Down Town

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!