15 Best Things To Do In The Mournes, Northern Ireland

15 Best Things To Do In The Mournes, Northern Ireland

By will

The Mourne Mountains are an area of outstanding natural beauty in Northern Ireland, and they are a must-see destination for anyone who wants to experience the best of the country’s scenery.

From the rugged peaks of Slieve Donard and Slieve Binnian to the tranquil shorelines of Bloody Bridge Beach, the Mournes offer a range of activities and sights that are sure to captivate.

Whether you’re looking for an adventure or a peaceful place to relax, you’ll find it in the Mournes.

In this article, I’ll share 15 of the best things to do in the Mournes and why they’re so special.

I’ll provide helpful tips so you can get the most out of your visit and make lasting memories.

So, let’s get started exploring the stunning scenery of the Mournes!

Slieve Donard Walk

The edge of Donard Forest, Mourne Mountains
Photo by Rossographer

The Slieve Donard walk is a great way to experience the wonders of the Mourne Mountains, allowing you to take in the breathtaking views and reconnect with nature.

Starting from the base of Slieve Donard, the highest peak in the range, you will ascend to the summit. Along the way, you will see picturesque views of the Irish Sea, the County Down coast, and the nearby countryside.

It’s a great opportunity to observe the region’s abundant wildlife, including deer, birds of prey, and many species of birds.

The journey to the summit is an invigorating one, with plenty of steep climbs and winding trails.

Once you reach the top, you will be rewarded with sweeping views of the mountains and the surrounding countryside. The sense of accomplishment will be palpable.

Whether you choose to take a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, you are sure to have an unforgettable experience on the Slieve Donard walk.

Silent Valley Reservoir

The Silent Valley Reservoir
Photo by Rossographer

Visiting the Silent Valley Reservoir is a must for anyone looking to explore the stunning landscape of the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland.

Tucked away in the hills of the Mourne Mountains, the Silent Valley Reservoir is a tranquil and peaceful spot.

A visit here offers visitors a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and to just take in the beauty of nature.

The reservoir is a great spot for a picnic, with plenty of seating and picnic tables available.

There are also several walking trails that wind around the reservoir, offering views of the surrounding countryside.

The reservoir is a great spot for bird watching, with many species of birds in the area, and it’s also a great spot for fishing.

Fishing is allowed with a permit, and there are several types of fish that can be caught here.

Overall, the Silent Valley Reservoir is a great spot to relax and take in the beauty of the Mourne Mountains.

Kilbroney Park

Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor
Photo by Rossographer

Experience the stunning beauty of Northern Ireland’s Mourne Mountains at Kilbroney Park! This large park located in Rostrevor is a popular destination for nature lovers and families alike.

The park is located on the shores of Carlingford Lough and offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. The park offers a great range of activities, from walking trails to an adventure playground.

The park’s many trails are perfect for leisurely strolls or more challenging hikes. There are also plenty of opportunities for wildlife spotting, as the park is home to a wide variety of birds, insects, and plants.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful, tranquil spot to relax or an exciting adventure, Kilbroney Park is the perfect destination. With its stunning scenery and array of activities, it’s easy to see why this park is so popular with visitors to the Mourne Mountains.

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Castlewellan Forest Park

The Dolly's Brae Gate at Castlewellan Forest Park
Photo by Eric Jones

Nestled in the foothills of the Mournes, Castlewellan Forest Park is a tranquil oasis for those seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

With more than 1,000 acres of lush greenery, the park is a haven for nature-lovers looking to explore the flora and fauna of Northern Ireland.

From the stunning lake and towering trees to the picturesque walking trails, there’s plenty to discover in Castlewellan Forest Park.

The park is also home to a variety of outdoor activities, including archery, mountain biking, orienteering, and geocaching.

Visitors can also explore the historic Castlewellan Castle, an 18th-century estate that offers breathtaking views of the park and surrounding countryside.

For those looking for a more relaxed experience, there’s plenty of picnic spots and benches perfect for relaxing and taking in the beauty of the Mournes.

Ben Crom Reservoir

Just a short drive from Castlewellan Forest Park lies the Ben Crom Reservoir. It offers stunning views of the Mournes and is a perfect spot for a peaceful afternoon. Surrounded by lush green countryside and rolling hills, the reservoir is a great place to relax and take in the beauty of the Mournes.

Visitors can take a leisurely stroll around the scenic lake, admiring the views of the surrounding mountains and countryside. There are plenty of benches around the lake to take a break and just enjoy the scenery.

Those looking for a more active adventure can take advantage of the rowing boats available for hire. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful escape or some outdoor activity, Ben Crom Reservoir is sure to provide a memorable experience.

Castlewellan Mountain Bike Trails

For those looking for an adrenaline-filled day out, the Castlewellan Mountain Bike Trails offer exciting trails and stunning views of the Mournes.

This bike park is located in the Mourne Mountains, an area of outstanding natural beauty in Northern Ireland.

The trails here range from beginner level to expert, with incredible views of the sea, the mountains, and the surrounding countryside.

The trails have been designed to challenge the most experienced riders, but also give beginners the opportunity to hone their skills.

The trails are well maintained and offer a variety of terrain, from smooth single track to technical downhill sections.

There are also a variety of jumps and drops for more adventurous riders.

The trails are mostly natural, but there are also a few man-made features.

Visitors can also explore the nearby forest, with its lush greenery and peaceful atmosphere.

The trails are well signposted and are suitable for all levels of cycling ability.

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, the Castlewellan Mountain Bike Trails provide plenty of fun and excitement.

Carlingford Lough Cruises

Experience the beauty of Carlingford Lough on a leisurely cruise, taking in breathtaking views of the Irish and English coasts. A cruise around Carlingford Lough is one of the best things to do in the Mourne Mountains, England.

Whether you take a boat tour or a kayak tour, you can admire the stunning scenery, including the beautiful Mourne Mountains, the Cooley Mountains, and Dundrum Bay. The lough is full of wildlife, including seals, oystercatchers, and many other species of birds. Plus, you can even spot some dolphins during the summer months.

A cruise around Carlingford Lough is also a great way to learn about the local history and culture. You can hear stories about the area, including the famous Battle of the Boyne, which took place in 1690. You’ll also get the chance to visit some of the many historical sites, such as Greencastle and the ruins of Carlingford Castle. Plus, you can also learn about the local fishing industry and traditional boat-building techniques.

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Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day out or a fun adventure, cruising around Carlingford Lough is the perfect way to experience the Mourne Mountains.

Cloughmore Stone

Climb to the top of Cloughmore Stone and take in the breathtaking views of Carlingford Lough and the surrounding area.

Cloughmore Stone is a large granite boulder, located atop a hill in the Mourne Mountains.

It’s believed to have been placed by the ancient Celts and is a popular tourist attraction.

Standing at 35 feet tall, it’s a great spot to view the surrounding countryside.

The views of the lough, the sea, the mountains, and the countryside are extraordinary.

It’s a great spot to take photos and soak in the beauty of the area.

You can even spend a few hours sitting atop the stone, enjoying the peace and serenity of the Mourne Mountains.

Cloughmore Stone is a must-see when visiting the Mourne Mountains – it’s a great way to experience the area’s natural beauty.

Legananny Dolmen

Take a step back in time and explore the ancient Legananny Dolmen, a Neolithic passage tomb located in the Mourne Mountains. This magnificent monument is a great reminder of the area’s history, which dates back to 6,500 BC.

It’s a great spot for a picnic, with stunning views of the surrounding countryside, and a great opportunity to learn about the area’s past.

The dolmen is made up of a large capstone, two upright stones, and a backstone, and is surrounded by a low circular cairn. It’s believed to date back to around 3000 BC and is thought to have been used as a burial chamber and a site for rituals and ceremonies.

Visiting the dolmen is a great way to immerse yourself in the history of the Mourne Mountains.

Tollymore Forest Park

Explore Tollymore Forest Park, a stunning 630-acre area located within the Mourne Mountains, to truly appreciate the region’s raw beauty.

With its mix of trees, rivers, and mountains, it’s the perfect place for an outdoor adventure. I’ve hiked the trails here and I can tell you that it’s a truly amazing experience.

The park’s trails are lined with a variety of trees, including Scots Pine, Ash, and Yew. The rivers Shimna and Spink are a great place to take in the scenery and even take a dip. If you’re feeling brave, you can take a walk across the rope bridge that spans the Shimna River. On the other side, you will be rewarded with stunning views of the Mourne Mountains.

The park also offers a variety of activities for the whole family, including horse riding, mountain biking, and orienteering.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful stroll or an adrenaline-filled adventure, Tollymore Forest Park is the perfect place to explore the Mourne Mountains.

Ben Crom Waterfall

Be sure to take in the majestic beauty of Ben Crom Waterfall when visiting Tollymore Forest Park. This stunning waterfall is located on the Ben Crom Reservoir and is a must-see when exploring the Mourne Mountains.

It is one of the most beautiful and impressive sights in the area. The cascading waters create a picturesque setting, making it the perfect spot to take photographs. The surrounding landscape is lush and green, adding to the peaceful atmosphere of the area.

The waterfall is an ideal place to spend some time in nature, soaking in the beauty of the Mourne Mountains. Visitors can also take advantage of the many trails in the area, allowing them to explore further and discover even more breathtaking sights.

Ben Crom Waterfall is a must-visit attraction when exploring the Mourne Mountains and is sure to provide visitors with a memorable experience.

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Slieve Binnian

After taking in the stunning beauty of the Ben Crom Waterfall, it’s time to move on to the next stop on the tour of the Mourne Mountains– Slieve Binnian.

Slieve Binnian is one of the most iconic peaks in the area, and it’s easy to see why. This massive mountain stands at an impressive 3,116 feet high, and the views from the top are simply breathtaking.

The hike to the summit of Slieve Binnian is an absolute must for anyone visiting the Mourne Mountains. The path is relatively straightforward and features some incredible sights along the way, including rocky outcrops and a variety of wildlife.

Once you reach the summit, you’ll be rewarded with incredible views of the surrounding area– a truly unforgettable experience.

Brandy Pad Nature Trail

Soak in the beauty of the Mourne Mountains by taking a stroll along the Brandy Pad Nature Trail.

Winding its way through the rolling hills, the trail offers stunning views of the landscape, with the sparkling waters of the nearby Strangford Lough and glimpses of the magnificent Mourne Mountains.

This easy 1.5-mile trail is a great way to experience the natural beauty of the area.

As you make your way along the trail, you will pass through a variety of habitats, including woodlands, grasslands, and wetlands.

Along the way, stop to take in the breathtaking views and spot wildlife, such as deer, bats, and many species of birds.

For those looking for an adventure, there is the option to take a longer route, up to seven miles long, that will take you to the summit of Slieve Binnian.

Whether you decide to take the short or long route, the Brandy Pad Nature Trail is a must-do for anyone visiting the Mourne Mountains.

Slieve Bearnagh

Perched high above the Brandy Pad Nature Trail, Slieve Bearnagh is one of the most iconic peaks in the Mournes. It boasts spectacular views of the surrounding landscape and beyond. It’s a popular destination for hikers, offering a challenging climb with amazing rewards. The top of the mountain is often shrouded in mist and clouds, giving it an ethereal quality and a sense of being part of something magical.

The peak of the mountain is a great spot to enjoy some lunch and take in the stunning surroundings. From up here, you can easily spot nearby peaks, like Slieve Donard and Slieve Commedagh, as well as the Mourne Wall, which runs along the ridge of the mountain range.

With its unique and beautiful landscape, Slieve Bearnagh is one of the best things to do in the Mournes. It provides an unforgettable experience for those looking to explore the region.

Bloody Bridge Beach

The Mourne Mountains are full of activities for the whole family, and one of the best places to take it all in is Bloody Bridge Beach.

Just a short drive away from Slieve Bearnagh, this beach is a great spot for a picnic, a few beach games, or just a leisurely walk along the shore.

With the picturesque Mourne Mountains just beyond the beach, there’s plenty of breathtaking views to take in and photograph.

The beach itself is made up of fine white sand and has a number of rocks perfect for exploring.

The water is also crystal clear and perfect for a quick dip or a paddle.

Conclusion

After a full day exploring the Mournes in England, I can definitely say that this region is one of the most beautiful and diverse places to visit.

From the Slieve Donard Walk to the Bloody Bridge Beach, I’ve enjoyed every minute of my time here.

I’m so glad I took the time to explore the Mournes and all they have to offer.

I’m sure I’ll be back soon to experience more of the breathtaking views, unique wildlife, and interesting activities this region has to offer.

From now on, the Mournes will always hold a special place in my heart.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.