Over looked by the famous Scrabo Tower, Newtownards is the biggest town in the Ards Borough. With a population of over 27,000 people, it is considered in the large town class. It boasts a huge variety of shops and retail outlets, long with plenty of bars and eating establishments for locals and visitors alike.
It is a sprawling town, stretching from the Craigantlet hills, right across to (almost) the outskirts of nearby Bangor and only 8 miles or so from the eastern sea coast. It has a bustling town centre with a very busy main street and many nearby streets, full of shops and small restaurants and bars. Driving in to Belfast leads you through the bustling east Belfast village of Ballyhackamore , full of other fine eating establishments.
Recent developments have seen the planning for huge multi million shopping centres, along the Comber road, making it a popular town for visitors and a popular place to live. Many Ards residents commute to Belfast for work.
The town posseses a number of local attractions, including the imposing Scrabo Tower and the Somme Heritage Centre. On the eastern shore of Strangford Lough, a few miles outside Newtownards and close to Greyabbey, stands Mount Stewart, an 18th century house and garden — the home of the Londonderry family.