Featured image for the guide to living in Holywood. Ariel view of houses near the Holywood coast.
23 July 2021

A guide to living in Holywood


Are you planning a move to Holywood? have created a guide to living in Holywood which showcases the best that this seaside town has to offer.

Living in Holywood

According to the Sunday Times Guide 2021, Holywood is the best place to live in Northern Ireland with its languid coastal glamour and frequent trains to Belfast.

Just outside Belfast and in close proximity to Bangor, resides the charming town of Holywood. Renowned for its affluent lifestyle, the town’s Victorian appeal has been perfectly preserved with modern additions operating in stylishly renovated buildings. The town is a perfect composition of chic shops, elegant eateries and traditional pubs with flair, to ensure the town centre is a hub of activity. Independent shops are at its heart, with the thriving community keen to support local retailers. This makes the shopping experience altogether unique, drawing visitors from the surrounding areas.

Holywood’s abundance of local parks and woodlands offers the perfect balance to town life, where panoramic views of Belfast and the Lough can be relished. In fact, several homes in the area enjoy a backdrop of unrivalled views, which greatly adds to its attraction.

Sporting facilities are plentiful, with Holywood Yacht Club meeting the needs of keen sailors. Likewise, its two golf clubs, which of course are frequented by Rory McIlroy are always busy, while music revellers can be found in Queen’s Hall.

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Who is Holywood ideal for?

Holywood’s prime location and good road links offer ease of commute for those who work in the nearby areas. Families living in Holywood benefit from a wide selection of schools, stunning views, a chic town centre and an abundance of green areas!

Houses in Holywood includes mansions, apartments, detached and semi-detached homes, ensuring there is something for everyone.

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Where to eat in Holywood?

  • The Dirty Duck: With a reputation as one of Holywood’s finest eateries, The Dirty Duck never fails to impress. Providing stunning views, mouth-watering food and a winning atmosphere, the venue meets the needs of a wide range of diners.
  • Cultra Inn at The Culloden: Within the grand Culloden Hotel, Cultra Inn is a traditional pub and bistro. Enjoy the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere as you sit by the log fire, take in the stunning views or enjoy a drink or delicious meal with friends.
  • Rayanne House: Giving meaning to the term hidden gem, when you learn about Rayanne House, you won’t forget it. Offering an intimate fine dining experience and gastronomical delight, the five-star boutique hotel is unlike any other.
  • The Coffee Yard: Coffee connoisseurs and lunch lovers can all be found at The Coffee Yard. With an emphasis on hearty food made from fresh, locally produced, high-quality ingredients, the café also showcases stunning work from local artists for a twist on the norm.
  • The Bay Tree: While recognised by many as having the best cinnamon scones in Northern Ireland, The Bay Tree is much more than just this. With a string of accolades to its name, diners delight in the wide array of dishes available, at any time of the day.
  • Camphill Holywood Organic Foods: Camphill Holywood is an integrated urban community that provides work and life opportunities for people with learning disabilities to lead independent, inclusive and meaningful lives within the wider community. Here, enjoy home-baked goods and friendly service at all times.
  • Noble: Located in the heart of Holywood, bustling Nobel features a changing, seasonal menu and an evolving, exciting wine list, to delight diners time and time again.
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What to do in Holywood?

  • Ulster Folk and Transport Museum: Take a step back in time and discover life in a country town, more than 100 years ago, thanks to one of Europe’s most comprehensive transport collections. A fun-filled day out with a range of exhibitions and attractions which adds great appeal.
  • The Culloden Estate & Spa: The luxury five-star hotel is the ideal place to relax and unwind. Take a dip in the pool, soothe your mind in the spa or simply enjoy a coffee and soak up the spectacular views.
  • Redburn Country Park: The beauty of the mixed woodland, various walkways and wildlife creatures ensure this area is a wonderful place to explore by foot! Perfect for ramblers, runners and strollers alike, follow any of the woodland paths and marvel in its beauty on the way.
  • Royal Belfast Golf Club: Hailed as the oldest golf club in Ireland, the Royal Belfast Golf Club is definitely one-of-a-kind. With both a highly praised golf club, course and shop, it effortlessly matches the needs of the keen golfer.
  • Holywood Golf Club: Offering another chance to walk the same fairways as Rory McIlroy, the club is set high in the Holywood Hills of County Down, for perfect views and a great game of golf.
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Schools in Holywood

  • Sullivan Upper School: Founded in 1877, Sullivan Upper School is an inter-denominational voluntary Grammar school in the heart of Holywood. Sullivan has a strong reputation for academia and sporting success.
  • The Holywood Steiner School: The Rudolf Steiner School in Holywood is part of the Steiner Education movement which fosters creativity, confidence and capacity to care.
  • Rockport School: Rockport school is an independent day and boarding school on the outskirts of Holywood. Rockport school is a member of Round Square to provide a collaborative environment to help students develop character, understanding and global competence.
  • Priory Integrated College: Originally Holywood High School, Priory Integrated College was formed in 1997 when the integrated education movement began. Priory offers post-primary for children from all communities and backgrounds.
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Properties for Sale in Holywood

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Houses for sale in Holywood.

Properties to Let in Holywood

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Houses to rent Holywood.

Looking for jobs in Co. Down?

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Planning your next move?

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