The Mourne Mountains are another of Northern Ireland’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and it’s not hard to see why.
The subject of the famous song by Percy French which describes ‘where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea’, this majestic mountain range is truly breath-taking.
So what makes the Mountains of Mourne so special? Well how about these for starters..
1. A Walkers Paradise
The Mourne Mountains and the neighbouring Ring of Gullion areas in Northern Ireland are the ultimate walker’s paradise. The views are quite magnificent and the varying heights and terrains offer a route for every level of walker, from the serious hiker to those who enjoy a more gentle stroll. For the ultimate challenge try a strenuous ascent up and over Slieve Donard’s summit.
2. Fun by the seaside
As a child I can remember racing up the beach at Newcastle and thinking this was the best place I had ever been. Newcastle has changed a lot since then and all for the better. This lovely little seaside town has the Mourne Mountains as its backdrop and offers much to the visiting tourist. Good restaurants, a fabulous Spa with seaviews at the Slieve Donard Hotel, a world class golf course The Royal County Down and a fabulous new promenade along its length. There’s also a whole bunch of great stuff for kids.
3. Murlough Nature Reserve
Owned by the National Trust, this fragile 6000 year old sand dune system has a spectacular location at the edge of Dundrum Bay looking on towards the Mourne Mountains. Follow the excellent network of paths and boardwalks around the reserve and enjoy a spot of bird-watching, catch glimpse of one of the rare species of butterfly there or keep an eye out for Grey seals in the sea.
4. Your kids will
As is the case with many of Northern Ireland’s tourist areas, the Mourne Mountains are particularly well endowed with attractions for children. They will definitely not be bored here, even if they can’t get access to WiFi for an afternoon. Take your pick from Seaforde Tropical Butterfly House, Fort Evergreen Children’s Play Fort, exploring the beaches at Murlough Nature Reserve, the outdoor heated pools in Newcastle and the Maize Maze in Castlewellan among many others.
5. Wine, Dine & Cook
Not only are there some great options for eating out in the Mourne Mountains, there are also a few good cookery schools here; the Mourne Seafood Cookery School and Aine’s Kitchen. If you prefer someone to do it for you then try Brunel’s Restaurant, The Oak and The Vine in Newcastle, The Mourne Seafood Bar in Dumdrum or the traditional Boyles Restaurant in Dromore.
Where to stay in the Mourne Mountains?
Why not browse our fantastic selection of Accommodation (Where to Stay) in and around the Mourne Mountains and decide for yourself why the Mournes are one of the finest areas to visit in Ireland!