County Down, (pronoynced "Coynty Doyn" or Contae An Dśn in Irish) is one of the six counties that form Northern Ireland (United Kingdom), covering an area of 2,448 km² (945 square miles). It belongs to the province of Ulster. The estimated population in 1992 was 416,600, a more recent figure puts it at 454,000. The county town is Downpatrick.
Down contains both the southernmost point in Northern Ireland (Cranfield Point) and the easternmost point on the island of Ireland (Burr Point).
The county borders County Antrim (Northern Ireland) to the north, the Irish Sea to the east and County Armagh (NI) to the west.
The county colours, as used on flags at inter-county sporting events, are red and black.
An area of County Down is known as Brontė Country, after Patrick Brontė (originally Prunty) -- father of Anne, Charlotte, and Emily Brontė -- who was born in this region.
Down is also home to the Northern Ireland Aquarium, located in Portaferry, on the shores of Strangford Lough, on the Ards Peninsula.
County Down is where, in the words of the famous song by Percy French, "the mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea", and the granite Mourne mountains continue to be renowned for their beauty. Slieve Donard, at 848 m (2,796 feet), is the highest peak in the Mournes (and in Northern Ireland). Another important peak is Slieve Croob, at 532 m (1,775 ft), this is the source of the River Lagan.
Down contains two prominent penisulas: Ards peninsula and Lecale peninsula .
The county has a coastline along Belfast Lough to the north and Carlingford Lough to the south (both of which have access to the sea). Strangford Lough lies between the Ards peninsula and the mainland. Down also has a very short coast on Lough Neagh. Smaller loughs include Lough Island Reany .
The river Lagan forms most of the border with Antrim. The river Bann also flows through the southwestern areas of the county. The Clanrye and Quoile river also flow through the county.
There are several islands off the Down coast: Mew Island , Light House Island and Copeland Island , all of which lie to the north of Ards. Gun Island lies of the Lecale caost. In addition there are a large number of small island in Strangford Lough.
List of towns, cities and settlements in Down