Located in the heart of the District is the main town of Banbridge, which is also the area’s administrative centre. Banbridge Town has much to offer to all potential visitors. It is situated only 15 minutes by car from Craigavon, and, in half an hour you can be on the golden sands of Newcastle, immortalised in Percy French’s ‘Where the Mountains of Mourne Sweep Down to the Sea’ and, in the same space of time you can be in Belfast City or at the Airport.
Banbridge has excellent retail facilities for visitors and locals alike. Many visitors to the area often comment on the warm welcome they get when they frequent the shops and businesses based in the District’s main town. The friendly atmosphere of the town and its people, the industrial activities combined with the age-old industry of agriculture in the fertile District around the town, has won Banbridge the reputation of being one of the most flourishing and progressive towns in the whole of County Down.
Visitors to the area never forget its most distinguishing feature, The Cut. This is the name of the underpass in the middle section of the road, which runs parallel to Bridge Street and Newry Street. In former times, the great hill on the south of the river presented a huge problem to the horse drawn Royal Mail coaches of old who threatened to bypass the town which would have resulted in lost trade. The action taken as a result of this threat can be seen today in a feature that makes Banbridge like no other town in Ireland. In 1834, the wide main street was divided into three sections with an underpass cut out in the middle to lower the hill and a bridge built over the gap. The bridge is called the Downshire Bridge, also known locally as ‘Jinglers Bridge’ while the underpass became known as ‘The Cut’.