Things to do

Walking

The Brandy pad

The Mourne area of outstanding natural beauty is the ideal walking break destination. Whether you are a keen hill walker or just enjoy a gentle stroll, there are walks for every ability. There is a diverse landscape, which offers walks to mountains, drumlins, forests, lakes, rivers and beautiful sandy beaches.

Slieve Donard, the highest mountain in Northern Ireland, towers 844m above Newcastle, a challenge on a bad day and a stretch of the legs on a good day. The super fit can scale the summit and back in around one hour, the rest of us around 4 hours.

A more realistic time is 2 hours up and 1.25 hours down. (This is not a tough climb there is a path most of the way) there are less challenging walks available ask the owner who has been on top of most of the mountains on a regular bases and is always willing to help.

Guided upland and lowland walks are available and there are a number of pre-mapped routes with route cards available on loan from Colm. Seasonal offer

Jan 2016 the Countryman magazine voted the mountains of Mourne in County Down, Northern Ireland … “The best view in Britain”… It’s where parts of Game of Thrones were filmed and also the granite mountain range inspired author C S Lewis as he wrote his children’s book series The Chronicles of Narnia.

 

Geocaching.$T2eC16R,!ygE9s7HJE36BRvJ3Kn(Jw~~60_12

Hundreds of caches to be found in interesting places from standing stones to round towers  to the forests and the Mourne mountains. Tips from Colm an enthusiast.

 

The Heritage Trail.

Portal tomb

Newcastle and County Down is steeped in history: The Heritage Trail is well worth the time to explore, there are 12th and 13th century Anglo-Norman castles, Churches and round Towers,  Dolmens, Follies, Cashels, Souterrains, and The St Patrick’s Trail, or discover the Pre-Christian Ireland from the first settlers and early Celts stone circles, make a wish at the fairy tree or ride the last Steam train in County Down all within a 12 mile radius. Historic books and leaflets on Pre-Christian Ireland, Celts, The Heritage trail and St Patrick are available from our library.

 

Game of Thrones Trail.

images      On your visit to Newcastle County Down,    there are quite a few locations where Game  of Thrones was shot and we completely         understand why: County Down and the Mourne Mountains are just stunning! Make sure you visit the locations or join a tour.   (Colm  at Amble In B&B can help with this)

  • Tollymore Forest Park, near Newcastle: This is the home of the Wildlings (and the White Walkers…)
  • Inch Abbey, near Downpatrick backdrop for the “Twins”-Walder Frey’s Twin Castles.
  • Castle Ward, near Strangford: Welcome to Winterfell, the home of House Stark. Doesn’t look exactly like it did in the show, but you will get the feeling.

Areas of interest

Tollymore Forest Park Red Squirrel reserve, Silent Valley, Castlewellan Forest Park, Kilbroney Forest Park, Murlough bay Nature Reserve, Donard Park, Tyrella Beach, Seaforde Butterfly House, St Patrick’s Grave in Downpatrick.

Be amused, amazed!

Peace Mazs Castlewellan

Peace Maze Castlewellan

Castlewellan Forest Park’s latest attraction, the Peace Maze, is the world’s largest permanent hedge maze representing the path to a peaceful future for Northern Ireland. Planted in 2000 with community involvement, it is maturing quickly and visitors attempt to solve their way to the peace bell in the centre of the maze.

 

 

 

Cycling/Mountain biking (Bike Hire from Amble In B&B)

Cycling in County Down

The Mournes is an ideal cycling destination as it has terrain to suit all types of cyclists, from challenging mountain climbs to flat and gently rolling hills of the lowland coastal planes.

There are seven local sign posted Cycle Trails for you to follow each with varying degrees of difficulty and length.

Mountain biking in Ireland

Mountain biking in Ireland

 

 

Mountain Bikers have two new trails in Rostrevor forest and Castlewellan forest parks.

 

 

Horse Riding: Choose a Horseback Riding Style

Western style near Newcastle

Enjoy gentle treks through forest glens, a pleasant canter by the waters edge of the Irish Sea or an exhilarating gallop along the sands; We can arrange a “Western Style” day out in the Mournes or along the shore. All levels of riders are catered for, whether it’s your first time or you’re an experienced rider, there are all degrees of trekking available with horses and ponies to suit everyone.

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Fishing: Coarse, Game and Sea fishing all available locally.

For their area the Mournes boast an exceptional number of streams, now spilling and splashing in exuberance down stony cascades, now winding with deep clear stillness across peaty mountain terraces, joining with each other and then with others, gathering the waters from neighbouring hillsides as they grow to river-hood.

Crystal water and crystal rock, together shaping landscape; the streams sparkling in eternal youth as the mountains grow smooth and sage. Few places in the mountains are far from the sounds of the waters splashing down their stony courses, drumming into deep pools or gurgling unseen through the tunnels they carve through the peat. The streams are guides too; follow them up their busy ways and they can reveal some of the most exquisite secret places of the mountains, magic moss-fringed pools in many-hued rock, silver cascades in purple heather, never to be seen by the walker on the path.

The busy streams fill some ten rivers that through the valleys they themselves helped shape, drain the mountains, coiling away, twisted shining ribbons. Some like the lovely Shimna or Spence’s River, have hardly bid the hills goodbye before they enter the sea, others ramble through miles of farmland, ducking under tracks and roadways, paying their respects to the fields and homesteads that greet them on their way. The longest, the River Bann, is born on the reedy slopes of Slieve Muck and takes their peat-filtered waters more than 100 miles to Ireland’s northern coast, but most of the rain that washes Mourne returns to the ocean within sight of the hillsides on which it fell.

Water Sports

Cruises on Carlingford Lough on MV Seascapes Tel: Brendan O’ Neill 028 417 53425

Helicopter rides

These are also available throughout the year as is participation in some of the extreme sports that take place overlooking Silent Valley and Spelga dam in the heart of the Mournes.