Ards Peninsula is an area of outstanding natural beauty that separates Strangford Lough from the North Channel of the Irish Sea. Ards is a mix of urban and rural communities, with several large towns including Bangor and Newtownards. The area’s attractions, in addition to beautiful sea views and green fields, include Strangford Lough’s internationally renowned wildlife, Northern Ireland’s only aquarium, and early Christian heritage sites like Movilla Abbey. The area has car ferry service, but an even more appealing way to travel is by historic steam locomotive on the Downpatrick Railway in the summer months. Ards and North Down was rated the second best place to live in Northern Ireland, based on factors including earnings, education, and employment levels, according to a 2015 Detail Data analysis.