Mourne Mountains – 8-Day Self-Guided Northern Ireland Walking Holidays

8 Day Self-Guided Walking Tour Mourne Mountains

Walking in the Mourne Mountains

On this self-guided walking holiday, you’ll explore Northern Ireland’s most dramatic mountain range: the Mournes. The 12 peaks of the Mourne Mountains are designed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and are protected by the National Trust. Come see this beauty for yourself in the best way possible…slowly and on foot.

During this 8-day self-guided walking tour, you’ll journey along the foothills of the Mourne Mountains from the market town of Castlewellan to the shores of Dundrum Bay and through the seaside town of Newcastle. You will walk along forest trails and mountain paths, by the banks of the Kilbroney River to ‘Enchanting’ Rostrevor and stunning Carlingford Lough.

If you’re still deciding where to go on your walking holiday, you may want to take a look at our other self-guided walking tours of Ireland. Or consider joining one of our small-group guided walking tours of Ireland instead!

If you have any questions at all, feel free to get in touch. We’re always delighted to chat and help you choose the right route or destination for you!

Prices / Dates

Price: £719  per person sharing

Single Supplement: +£350

Solo Traveller Supplement: +£120

Tour Dates: 1 April to 31 October

Tour Grade: Easy to Moderate

Accommodation: Guesthouse & B&Bs

Included / Excluded

Day 1 - Castlewellan

You will arrive in the small County Down market town of Castlewellan, famed for its market square, wide chestnut tree-lined streets, and adjoining castle and forest park.

Day 2 - Castlewellan to Dundrum village

You will begin your self-guided walk today in the 350 acres of Castlewellan Forest Park. With Castlewellan Lake at its heart and the 19th-century Scottish baron-influenced castle, Castlewellan Forest Park also boasts one of the world’s largest peace mazes.

In the afternoon, you will meander along country roads and farm tracks to the peaceful and charming village of Maghera, arriving at your overnight accommodation in Dundrum Village.

Distance: 17 km / 10.5 miles, Ascent: 270 m / 885 ft, Approximate walking time: 4 / 5 hours

Day 3 - Dundrum to Newcastle

Today you will continue your walking holiday in Northern Ireland in the seaside village of Dundrum with its 13th-Century Norman castle. You will enjoy majestic views of Dundrum Bay and the Mourne Mountains.

Through the village, you will stroll to the shores of Dundrum Bay and continue walking to the Murlough National Nature Reserve with its 6000-year-old sand dune system. Your walking trail will take you along the beaches of Dundrum Bay to the seaside town of Newcastle where you will stay overnight.

You may choose a 12km or 19.84km route for this day, depending on your own preferences.

Distance: 12 km / 7.45 miles, Ascent: 100 m / 328 ft, Approximate walking time: 4 / 5 hours

Distance: 19.84 Km / 12.4 miles; Ascent: 588 m / 1764 ft; Descent: 655 m / 1965; Approximate walking time: 6 to 7 hours

Day 4 - Rest Day in Newcastle

Newcastle is a seaside town in the shadows of Slieve Donard, Northern Ireland's highest peak. It is home to the world-famous Royal County Down Golf Course and its granite promenade stretches the full length of the town.

Here you can spend the day relaxing by the sea in one of the UK's last remaining natural rock pools. Enjoy the glory of the surroundings or — if the weather is right — you can attempt to climb Slieve Donard, rising 850 metres up from the sea.

Day 5 - Meelmore Lodge to Newcastle

From your accommodation in Newcastle a morning transfer to Meelmore Lodge from where you will journey through Tollymore Forest and along the Shimna River and over steppingstones in the forest before climbing along the hillside and spectacular views of Newcastle and the Irish Sea.

Distance: 15 km / 9.3 miles, Ascent: 250 m / 820 ft, Approximate walking time: 4 / 5 hours

Day 6 - Meelmore Lodge to Hilltown

Setting off from Meelmore Lodge today, you will continue around the North-West base of Slieve Meelbeg past Fofanny Reservoir. Your walking trail will then take you through Spelga Pass and over Butter Mountain, the highest point on the walking trail at 500 metres.

Following the Rowan Tree River & Rocky River, you will descend to your accommodation in Hilltown.

Distance: 14 km / 8.7 miles, Ascent: 500 m / 1640 ft, Approximate walking time: 5 / 6 hours

Day 7 - Hilltown to Rostrevor

On your final day of walking in the Mourne Mountains, you will follow a mixture of country and forest tracks.

Firstly, you will walk along the base of Altaggart Mountain. After a brief climb on the slopes of Tievedockaragh, you will descend into Rostrevor Forest and into the Kilbroney River Valley, passing the 6th Century convent of St. Bronagh.

Finally, you’ll walk to the shores of Carlingford Lough and into Rostrevor, where you will stay overnight.

Distance: 11 km / 6.8 miles, Ascent: 200 m / 656 ft, Approximate walking time: 4 / 5 hours

Day 8 - Departure

After a hearty breakfast, the tour comes to an end and it's time to depart for home or your next destination. We will supply you with all the travel details required for your onward journey.

A few words from our customers...

Thank you Footfalls Walking Holidays for a fantastic 6 days walking the Causeway Coast and in the Mourne Mountains. My guide Philip was excellent as was the variety and length of the walks, accommodation and food. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the walks particularly the section from Carrick-a-rede rope bridge to the Giants Causeway. I appreciate all of the thought and work that went into preparing my week of walking.
Just returned from a wonderful weeks walking in the Mourne Mountains. The scenery was pure magic, something I will never forget. We loved the atmosphere of the small villages and towns. If we were to fault anything it would be the half day of gentle rain that we had. Would definitely recommend Footfalls and we will be back!!
Arthur & Wilma