Banbridge TIC is in the town centre, with the gleaming F.E. McWilliam Gallery and Studio, opened in 2008 and visited by HM The Queen and Prince Philip the following year, well signposted off the main the outskirts. Born in Banbridge in 1909, McWilliam is regarded as one of Ireland’s most influential and successful sculptors. His original studio forms part of this stylishly designed space, and regularly changing exhibitions, a sculpture garden, café and craft shop complete the picture.
The surrounding area is known as the Gateway to the Mournes, so it's no surprise to discover plenty of golfing, angling, horseriding, cycling and walking opportunities.
Stretches of the 20mile Newry Canal Way (connecting Newry with Portadown and originally built to transport coal) dip into the District's domain and daytrippers can stop off at Scarva Visitor Centre (April-Sept: Tue-Sun 09:00 - 17:00, tel. (+44) (0)28 3883 2163), have a pot of tea and learn about the Canal's rich history.
Rathfriland's Brontë Interpretive Centre (17 March - late Sept: Fri-Sun 12:00 - 16:30, other times by appointment, tel. (+44) (0)28 4062 3322) tells the story of the literary sisters' father who hailed from the area. The Centre is also home to the Brontë Music Club which regularly features a great line-up of top quality performers.
Banbridge TIC open: Mon-Fri 09:00 - 17:00, Sat 10:00 - 16:00. Gallery open Mon-Sat 10:00 - 17:00, June-Aug also Sun 13:00 - 17:00.