Ards (named after the Ards Peninsula) is a local government district in Northern Ireland with the status of borough. It is one of twenty-six districts formed on 1 October 1973, and has its headquarters in Newtownards. Other towns include Portaferry, Comber, and Donaghadee, and the population of the area was 78,078 according to the 2011 census.
Strangford Lough is at the heart of the area, and is the largest inlet in Ireland with internationally renowned wildlife. The Irish Sea coast stretches from Donaghadee to Portaferry. Mount Stewart, a National Trust property on the shore of Strangford Lough is in the area, as well as Northern Ireland’s only aquarium, Exploris, in Portaferry and Grace Neill's pub in Donaghadee.