Places to explore
Tollymore forest park
Only 2 mins walk from the house is Tollymore Forest Park. It covers an area of almost 630 hectares at the foot of the Mourne mountains offering stunning views of sea at nearby Newcastle.
The park is a fantastic area for many outdoor activities including walking, horse riding and orienteering and has a fantastic Nature Play Space for the kids.
‘Big Deer’ designed for four to eleven year olds can be found beside the lower car park in Tollymore Forest Park. This impressive and beautiful wooden play space is sure to keep the kids entertained featuring a giant timber Fallow Deer, castle turret, folly tower and hollow tree all connected through a series of rope-bridges, tunnels, spider webs, basket swings and slides. Parents can sit back, admire the views and enjoy a picnic at the Deer tables as the kids play in this great outdoor location.
Elsewhere, the park provides wonderful walking experiences for all abilities and a change for an immersion in nature whatever the season. Particular highlights include the meandering walks along the Shimna River, the spectacular displays of bluebells in spring, the autumn colours, the panoramas from the Drinns and the wealth of follies and ornate bridges dotted around the park.
Game of thrones
You can do a walking tour of Game of Thrones® film locations in Tollymore Forest Park.
Walking through this forest you can just imagine being part of the Stark family making your way to the North towards Winterfell.
The park was used for four main filming locations:
The Haunted Forest North of the Wall
The Wolfswood near Winterfell
The Kingsroad near Castle Black
A forest near the Dreadfort.
Castlewellan Forest Park
Located in a dramatic setting of mountains and sea, this is one of the most outstanding tree and shrub collections in Europe. The beauty, vigour and perfect shape of the trees in the National Arboretum attract tree enthusiasts from around the world. However, Castlewellan has numerous features that draw wider attention. The garden is a mixture of informal and formal design with terraces, fountains, ornamental gates and flower borders. To walk around the forest park's mile-long lake, encountering some intriguing modern sculptures on the way, is to enjoy a great experience of eighteenth-century landscaping.
The Mourne Mountains
The Mourne Mountains are the highest and most dramatic mountain range in Northern Ireland, its summits crowned by granite tors. The mountains themselves are crisscrossed by an unrivalled network of paths and tracks, providing enthusiastic walkers with incredible opportunities for exploration.
In the centre of the Mournes is Northern Ireland’s highest mountain peak, Slieve Donard which rises to an impressive height of 848 metres. Discovering the Mourne Mountains by foot is a must. Dominated by a compact ring of 12 mountains rising above 2000ft or 600m, there are walks to suit everyone.
The landscape lends itself perfectly to outdoor adventures, the combination of sea and mountains means you can choose from full-on adventure or a more laid-back approach to the outdoors.
Alternatively, visitors can enjoy the Mourne Way Walk, a 26 mile off-road walk traversing the foothills from Newcastle to Rostrevor. The route provides a magnificent display of amazing views of the impressive Mournes.
Murlough Beach is a Blue Flag beach which comprises a wide flat sandy beach with a 2 m wide pebble ridge above high water mark.
Murlough Beach is backed by an ancient sand dune system throughout its 6 km length. A large area of the dunes is designated as a National Nature Reserve. The Nature Reserve is a fragile 6,000 year old sand dune system. It is an excellent area for walking and bird watching due to its spectacular location at the edge of Dundrum Bay and the Mourne Mountains.
The dune fields at Murlough are the best and most extensive example of dune heath within Ireland with over 600 species of butterflies and moths, one of which, the Marsh Fritillary butterfly, is of European importance. The site is internationally important for wintering wildfowl and waders.
The entire area of Murlough Beach lies within the Mournes and Slieve Croob Area of Outstanding Beauty and the Murlough Special Area for Conservation. It includes woodland and heath with an array of butterflies and wild flowers and is internationally important for wintering wildfowl and waders. It is also a haul-out site for Common and Grey seals.
Excellent water quality.
RNLI Lifeguard Service in Bathing Season as well as Life Saving equipment on Murlough Beach.