The Mourne Mountains

The Mourne Mountains, County Down

As you drive along the Mourne Coastal Route, the Mourne Mountains curve alongside you, rising loftily above the crystalline water

Whether you're a hiker or a biker, a lover of food or of wildlife: there's a lot more going on in the Mourne Mountains than its stunningly scenic backdrop.

The Mourne Mountains

The majesty of the Mournes

 A sweeping range of grand, granite peaks, the Mourne Mountains are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on a whole new level. It’s as you stroll along one of the region’s many weaving trails that you’ll come to realise just what makes this place such a popular spot: from up here, County Down and its treats are spread at your feet.

This is one of the most beautiful corners of Northern Ireland

Lonely Planet

Driving the stunning Mourne Coastal Route gives you some sense of the vast scale of these mountains – Northern Ireland’s highest – but the best way to see the sights is on foot or by bike. Try the Mourne Mountains Cycle Loop, which brings you over the Spelga Pass and past the 14th century ruins of Greencastle. Or if you prefer hiking, the variety of terrain between the High (Eastern) and Low (Western) Mournes will keep even the keenest walker happy.

The Mourne Wall

The Mourne Wall

Criss-crossing the rolling landscape is the closely packed, pristinely built stripe of the Mourne Wall. A dry-stone border stretching 35km (22 miles) across 15 peaks, the wall was constructed a century ago and remains one of the most striking features of the Mournes.

The beautifully built Mourne Wall…undulates gracefully through and over the Mourne Mountains like the tracks of some Stone Age rollercoaster

The Irish Times

If you’re lucky enough to have a day to spending hiking through the hills, the Silent Valley cannot be missed. Visitors here can walk the outline of the massive reservoir, explore the history of the workers who built it in the charming settlement of Watertown, or simply drink in the park’s famous silence. On a still day, it’s like a meditation master class.

But to get the real Mournes experience, you need someone who knows these mountains as well as he knows himself. On the Men of the Mournes walking tour, mountain guide Peter Rafferty shares the history and stories that make this place unique – tales of smugglers and their secret caves, of US soldiers preparing for battle in World War II, and the generations who mined the valuable Mourne granite using only handtools and determination.

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