With the trails at Rostrevor taking the much coveted “Trail Centre of the Year” award, as well as winning “Best MTB View” and “Favourite Trail Section”, the region ultimately came away with 7 of the 8 prizes.
Now in its fourth year, the awards celebrate the best of mountain biking in Northern Ireland. In addition to the various mountain bike trail accolades, there was also an award for “Most Popular Trailhead Provider.” East Coast Adventure, a specialist outdoor company who provide bike hire at Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails, as well as a variety of other activities were crowned the winner.
Local Councillor, and Chairperson of Newry Mourne and Down District Council Gillian Fitzpatrick acknowledged the importance of mountain biking for the local economy.
“We are absolutely delighted to hear that the Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails have yet again been voted as Northern Ireland’s “Favourite Trail Centre”. With annual visits continuing to grow, this flagship recreation venue in Kilbroney Forest Park is a shining example of how capital investment and private sector endeavour can successfully combine to bring a sustainable economic injection to rural economies.”
Award winners included Kilbroney Park Café, who was voted “Favourite MTB-Friendly Café” and Kilbroney Bar and Restaurant who were crowned, “Favourite Spot for an Apres-Ride Pint”. Given the high standard and sheer variety of mountain biking events which take place each year in Northern Ireland, the award for “Best MTB Event” was highly sought after. The biggest event to take place and ultimately the winner in this category, was the Red Bull Foxhunt. Attracting 400 riders to race against world champion Gee Atherton, 2016 proved another hugely successful year for the iconic event at Rostrevor.
Blessingbourne Estate, a historic family owned site with a range of luxurious accommodation and 12km of mountain bike trails was the only non-Rostrevor based winner. Situated outside Fivemiletown, Colleen Lowry – owner of Blessingbourne – was delighted at taking home “Favourite MTB-Friendly Accommodation”.
“The fact that this award was voted for by members of the mountain bike community makes the win all the more important for us. We pride ourselves at Blessingbourne for being an ideal destination for everyone and to know that mountain bikers, as well as families and couples are keen to experience the trails and stay at the state is fantastic. We would like to thank everybody who voted for Blessingbourne, and congratulate the winners in the other categories.”
If you’re interested in reading more about the awards and each of our winners, visit our blog here.