Top things to do in the Mournes

The Mourne Mountains a granite mountain range located in County Down in the south-east of Northern Ireland, are among the most famous of the mountains in Ireland. The surrounding area is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is proposed as the first National Park in Northern Ireland.

With spectacular and varied panoramas, the Mountains of Mourne are famous as a boundless natural playground within Northern Ireland’s great outdoors. Their clean air and beauty entices adventurers and relaxation seekers alike.

Scale the highest peak

Towering above Newcastle, the Irish Sea and the whole of Ulster, Slieve Donard is a premier hillwalking, hiking and mountaineering experience. Rise to the challenge of climbing the high point of the Mournes and the rewards will be many. Pick a clear day and its summit will return truly unforgettable panoramas.

Lose yourself in Tollymore

Be it horse riding, gentle strolls, cycling, nature trailing or picnicking by the Shimna River, the magnificent Tollymore Forest Park is large enough and varied enough for it all. It’s so good, HBO have used it several times for scenes in Game of Thrones.

Hear the silence in the valley

Breathe in the fresh mountain air and soak up the tranquillity that surrounds the liquid amphitheatre of Silent Valley. Follow the waterside through nature, heritage or challenge trails or take in the exhibition room explaining how the dam and reservoirs were built. An inspirational site for photographers, walkers and picnickers, the silence is golden all-year round.

Play the great outdoors

Calling all adrenalin junkies – the Mournes are rock climbing, coasteering, abseiling, mountain biking, kayaking and you-name-an-adventure central. Mountain Biking at Castlewellan Forest Park and bouldering at Bloody Bridge are firm favourites in the area.

Ring the Peace Maze bell

Cycle, walk or horse-ride through the enchanting Castlewellan Forest Park or solve your way to the centre of one of the world’s largest permanent hedge mazes, tehn ring the bell to announce your achievement. Incredible views, one of Northern Ireland’s most famous lakes, stunning castle and forest park, nature play and multi-activity centre – there’s everything here for the finest of days out.

Microlight the Mournes

For the thrill of a lifetime, soar like an eagle over the Mournes in a Microlight Flight and marvel at the mind-blowing scenery below. Several local operators can have you airborne in no time.

Walk Slieve Gullion’s slopes

Reconnect with nature, history and mythology on the many walking routes south west of the Mournes in the beautiful volcanic landscape of the Ring of Gullion. With the dome of Slieve Gullion at its heart, there is terrain to suit all-comers. On the short red squirrel safari walk, two hides let you watch for the elusive species at monitored feeding stations.