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Top Tips for Adventure in the Mourne Mountains

Known as the 'Gateway to the Mournes' the seaside town of Newcastle is home to Northern Ireland's highest mountian range and is quite simply an adventurer’s paradise. This coastal resort of Newcastle has long been at the centre of this scenic area and with the seafront promenade and boasting a modern and exciting atmosphere which has firmly placed it back on the map. 

Walking Northern IrelandCoasteering Northern Ireland

The mountains themselves offer an excellent walking destination but if you’re after something more adventurous then you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Be sure to check out our extensive list of activity events and activity experiences in the Mournes.  No experience required, no specialist equipment needed, you don’t need a big group or lots of organisation.  Just make a quick call or email to the activity providers to begin your adventure.

Put on a wetsuit and prepare to take on waterfalls, rock slides and plunge pools at Bloody Bridge as you enter the world of wet bouldering. This adrenaline pumping activity involves walking, scrambling, jumping, swimming and sometimes crawling along a river. Check out our blog for a first hand account.

When it comes to mountain biking the Mournes has it all boasting two national mountain biking centres. Both offering something different the Rostrevor & Castlewellan Mountain Bike Trails powered by Chain Reaction Cycles are a must.

On the shores of Carlingford Lough, the Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails offer challenging mountain biking where efforts are rewarded with incredible panoramic views and exhilarating singletrack descents.  A mouth watering 27km red trail and a hair raising 19km black trail make Rostrevor one of the top spots for mountain biking in Ireland. When you add not just one but two purpose-built downhill trails to the mix, there’s no denying it… Rostrevor is a mountain bikers’ haven! 

Mountain Biking Northern Ireland

Only 18 miles away, on the other side of the Mournes the Castlewellan Mountain Bike Trails with one of Northern Ireland's most famous lakes, a stunning Victorian Castle, incredible panoramic views and flowing singletrack are a must-visit for mountain bikers of all ages and abilities.  The trails consist of green (4km), blue (4.5km) and red (19km) grade loops including two black options. Just minutes from the lively village of Castlewellan, you will be able to find a whole host of local hostileries offering ideal post-ride entertainment!    

You can chill out with relaxing walks around the lake as well as take part in a range of activities with Life Activity Centre who offer bike hire and electric bike hire as well as canoeing & kayaking on the lake, climbing, archery and laser clay pigeon shooting. 

If you are looking for even more fun try the Mountain Bike Skills Course at Tollymore National Outdoor Centre or test your head for heights on their impressive high ropes course.

Make a Break of it! 

With so many great outdoor activities happening in Northern Ireland it makes sense to create a short break around the fun! 

From chic, city boutique hotels to rustic rural retreats and from self-catering apartments to outdoor glamping, Northern Ireland has a wonderful variety of accommodation for all tastes & budgets!

To book a short break or to find out about Northern Ireland’s visitor attractions, accommodation and things to do, visit

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