The forest features riverside walks and an arboretum. There is a two-mile forest drive to panoramic views over Carlingford Lough. There is also a Play Park with children’s play area and tennis courts, an Information area and a cafe.
Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor
The forest drive leads to a car park from where walkers have the opportunity to climb to Cloughmore or ‘the big stone’, a 30ton erratic, which sits at approx 1000ft above Rostrevor. Geologists explain its presence here as having being deposited during the ice age.
Local Folklore claims it was thrown here by Finn Mac Cool during a fight with a Scottish Giant. During the same battle, the Scottish Giant allegedly tore out a handful of earth and flung it back at Finn, which missed. The earth landed in the sea and became the Isle of Man while the divot he made, filled up with water and became Lough Neagh.
The Fairy Glen, Rostrevor
Rostrevor Oak wood is a relic of a much larger forest. The woodland contains Oak, Ash, Sycamore, Hazel to name but a few. There are lots of ferns and flowers like wild garlic, primroses and bluebells. The forest is home to jays and squirrels and it hosts a number of rare plants like wood avens and hard shield fern.
The Narnia trail
These trails in Kilbroney Park bring to life the story of Narnia and other stories, myths and legends associated with this special area of the Mournes.
The Narnia legends are interpreted along a short family loop trail, entered like the magical world itself, through a Wardrobe, and leading the visitor to several interpretative stations with themes including, The Tree People, The Beavers ‘House, The Citadels and many more.
CS Lewis is arguably one of the most influential writers of his time with notable works including The Chronicles of Narnia, Mere Christianity and The Allegory of Love. Lewis’s works have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold millions of copies.
The books that make up The Chronicles of Narnia have sold over 100 million copies and been popularised on stage, TV, radio and cinema. Speaking of his source of inspiration, the writer who spent boyhood holidays in the village reportedly said,
“That part of Rostrevor which overlooks Carlingford Lough is my idea of Narnia”
A more challenging walk has been created to the legendary Cloughmore Stone, linking another important legend – that of the Giant Fionn McCumhaill – to the Narnia theme.