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
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.
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
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
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.
From your accommodation in Newcastle, you will make your way to The Game of Thrones ‘Haunted Woods’ of Tollymore Forest along the banks of the Shimna River and through Tipperary Wood.
You will walk along the south bank of Tollymore Forest on the slopes of Slieve Commedagh to the banks of the Spinkwee River. From there, you will join the Trassey track to finish in Happy Valley between Slieve Meelmore & Slieve Meelbeg.
Distance: 15 km / 9.3 miles, Ascent: 250 m / 820 ft, Approximate walking time: 4 / 5 hours
Setting off from Happy Valley 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 Leitrim Lodge and your accommodation in Hilltown.
Distance: 14 km / 8.7 miles, Ascent: 500 m / 1640 ft, Approximate walking time: 5 / 6 hours
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
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.