Helen’s Bay Golf Club
Helen's Bay Golf Club: A Charming Golfing Experience in Co. Down
Nestled on a gentle hill overlooking Belfast Lough, Helen's Bay Golf Club offers a challenging yet entertaining test of golf amidst stunning surroundings. With its mature trees, well-maintained fairways, and protected greens, this hidden gem is a must-visit for golf enthusiasts.
Helen's Bay Golf Club, established in 1896, is one of the prettiest golf courses in the North Down/Greater Belfast area. Located on the picturesque coast of Co. Down, this nine-hole parkland course provides a unique and charming golfing experience.
Laid out over a century ago, Helen's Bay Golf Course is a beautiful parkland course nestled on a gentle hill at the mouth of Belfast Lough. The course combines mature trees planted by the Club's first patron, the Marquis of Dufferin and Ava, with beautifully maintained fairways and small, protected greens kept in superb condition. This creates a challenging yet enjoyable test for golfers of all levels.
Spread over nine holes, the course is bordered by mature woodland, a country park, and an unspoiled beach. It offers 18 diverse tee positions, resulting in a varied and interesting round of golf. As you navigate the course, you'll be treated to stunning views over Belfast Lough to the Antrim Plateau, the Irish Sea, and the Galloway coast. On clear days, you can even catch a glimpse of Ailsa Craig, a rocky island off the coast of Scotland.
Helen's Bay Golf Club is known for being a true test of straight hitting, shot planning, and short game accuracy. It rewards accuracy and strategic play, making it an honest golf challenge that brings a smile to both low handicappers and higher handicappers. The course's 66 bunkers add an additional layer of challenge and excitement to the game.
While playing at Helen's Bay Golf Club, take the time to enjoy the warm and welcoming clubhouse. Relax before or after your round in the bar, which offers panoramic views of the course and Belfast Lough. The restaurant provides excellent lunch and dinner options at reasonable prices, allowing you to savor great food and wine while enjoying the company of fellow golfers.
If you're planning a visit to Helen's Bay, consider exploring the surrounding area as well. Co. Down offers a wealth of attractions, including the stunning Mourne Mountains, the picturesque Ards Peninsula, and the vibrant city of Belfast. Take a scenic drive along the Causeway Coastal Route, stopping at iconic landmarks such as the Giant's Causeway and Carrickfergus Castle.
Whether you're a local golfer seeking a new course to play or a visitor looking for a unique and charming golfing experience, Helen's Bay Golf Club is the perfect choice. Come for the challenging course, stay for the breathtaking views, warm welcome, and the chance to create lasting memories on this beautiful coastal course in Co. Down.
In addition to playing golf at Helen's Bay Golf Club, there are plenty of other activities and attractions to enjoy in the surrounding area of Co. Down. Here are some recommendations to make the most of your visit:
1. Visit Crawfordsburn Country Park: Just a short drive from Helen's Bay, Crawfordsburn Country Park is a beautiful natural oasis. Take a leisurely walk through the woodlands, enjoy a picnic by the beach, or explore the charming Crawfordsburn Old Inn, a historic pub dating back to 1614.
2. Discover the Mourne Mountains: Located a bit further south, the Mourne Mountains offer breathtaking landscapes and opportunities for outdoor adventures. Lace up your hiking boots and tackle the challenging trails, or simply take a scenic drive through the picturesque countryside.
3. Explore Belfast: As the capital city of Northern Ireland, Belfast is a vibrant and culturally rich destination. Visit the Titanic Belfast museum to learn about the city's maritime history, wander through the historic Cathedral Quarter, and indulge in delicious local cuisine at one of the city's many restaurants.
4. Play Golf at Royal County Down: If you're a golf enthusiast looking for another world-class course to play, consider a visit to Royal County Down Golf Club. Located in Newcastle, just a short drive from Helen's Bay, this renowned course consistently ranks among the best in the world.
5. Discover Castle Ward: Located on the shores of Strangford Lough, Castle Ward is a unique and fascinating National Trust property. Explore the stunning 18th-century mansion, wander through the beautiful gardens, and immerse yourself in the captivating history of the estate.
6. Visit Mount Stewart: A short drive from Helen's Bay, Mount Stewart is a magnificent National Trust property known for its stunning gardens and elegant house. Take a leisurely stroll
7. Take a Coastal Drive: Co. Down is renowned for its stunning coastal scenery. Embark on a scenic drive along the Ards Peninsula, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the Irish Sea and visit charming coastal villages such as Portaferry and Donaghadee.
8. Explore Strangford Lough: Discover the beauty of Strangford Lough, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Take a boat tour to admire the diverse wildlife, including seals and seabirds, or explore the quaint villages and historic sites dotted along the lough's shoreline.
9. Visit the Ulster Folk Museum: Immerse yourself in the rich history and heritage of Northern Ireland at the Ulster Folk Museum. Located in Cultra, near Belfast, this open-air museum showcases traditional buildings, crafts, and exhibits, offering a glimpse into rural life in the past.
10. Enjoy Watersports at Bangor Marina: If you're seeking some water-based activities, head to Bangor Marina. Try your hand at sailing, kayaking, or paddleboarding, and enjoy the stunning views of Belfast Lough as you glide across the water.
11. Sample Local Cuisine: Co. Down is home to a thriving food scene, with many excellent restaurants and cafes showcasing the best of local produce. Indulge in fresh seafood, traditional Irish dishes, and innovative culinary creations, accompanied by a pint of local craft beer or a dram of Irish whiskey.
12. Visit the Saint Patrick Centre: Learn about the life and legacy of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, at the Saint Patrick Centre in Downpatrick. Explore the interactive exhibits, discover the history of Christianity in Ireland, and visit the nearby burial site of Saint Patrick himself.
Whether you're exploring the stunning natural landscapes, delving into history and culture, or immersing yourself in the vibrant culinary scene, Co. Down offers a wealth of experiences to complement your visit to Helen's Bay Golf Club. With its charming coastal location and proximity to attractions like Belfast, the Mourne Mountains, and Strangford Lough, you'll find endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation.
13. Take a Game of Thrones Tour: Co. Down is a significant filming location for the hit TV series Game of Thrones. Join a guided tour to visit iconic sites such as Castle Ward, which served as the backdrop for Winterfell, and Tollymore Forest Park, where the first scenes of the show were filmed.
14. Enjoy Waterside Walks in Newcastle: Just a short drive from Helen's Bay, the coastal town of Newcastle offers stunning scenery and outdoor activities. Take a leisurely stroll along the promenade, breathe in the fresh sea air, and soak up the breathtaking views of the Mourne Mountains.
15. Visit the Saint Patrick's Trail: Follow in the footsteps of Saint Patrick along the Saint Patrick's Trail, a scenic driving route that showcases significant sites associated with Ireland's patron saint. Explore ancient ruins, visit historic churches, and learn about the fascinating legends and stories surrounding Saint Patrick.
16. Discover the Ards Peninsula: Explore the picturesque Ards Peninsula, known for its quaint villages, sandy beaches, and scenic drives. Visit the charming town of Portaferry, take a ferry ride to the beautiful Strangford village, and enjoy the tranquility of the area's unspoiled natural landscapes.
17. Play Golf at Clandeboye Golf Club: If you're looking to play another round of golf, Clandeboye Golf Club is a fantastic choice. Located near Bangor, this 36-hole parkland course offers two challenging and well-maintained courses, surrounded by beautiful woodland and rolling countryside.
18. Go Birdwatching at Castle Espie: Bird enthusiasts will love a visit to Castle Espie, a wetland nature reserve located on the shores of Strangford Lough. Explore the extensive network ofbird hides and walking trails, and spot a wide variety of bird species, including ducks, geese, and wading birds. Learn about the importance of wetland habitats and conservation efforts to protect these precious ecosystems.
19. Attend a Festival or Event: Co. Down hosts a range of festivals and events throughout the year, offering a chance to immerse yourself in the local culture and community. From music and arts festivals to food and drink celebrations, there's always something happening in the area. Check the local event calendar to see what's on during your visit.
20. Relax on the Beaches: Co. Down boasts stunning beaches along its coastline, perfect for a leisurely stroll or a day of sunbathing and picnicking. Helen's Bay itself has a beautiful beach, and nearby beaches such as Crawfordsburn Beach and Tyrella Beach are also worth exploring.
21. Visit the Exploris Aquarium: Located in Portaferry, the Exploris Aquarium is a must-visit for marine life enthusiasts. Explore the interactive exhibits, get up close to fascinating sea creatures, and learn about conservation efforts to protect our oceans.
22. Go Shopping in Belfast: If you're in the mood for some retail therapy, head to Belfast. The city offers a fantastic range of shops, from high-end boutiques to quirky independent stores. Explore the bustling Victoria Square Shopping Centre, browse the stalls at St. George's Market, and find unique souvenirs and gifts to take home.
Co. Down offers a diverse range of activities and attractions to complement your visit to Helen's Bay Golf Club. Whether you're seeking outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply a chance to relax and unwind, you'll find plenty to keep you entertained in this beautiful part of Ireland.