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Tasty Treats on the Mourne Foods Cycle Trail

Posted on June 4, 2013 @ 9:48 AM in AdventureCycling

When an offer came into the office to attend the launch of a new food cycle trail in the Mournes I jumped at the chance to go after reading about all the yummy food that would be on offer throughout the day.

On the morning of the launch, after waking up I remember quickly looking out my bedroom window expecting it to be cold and wet, given the recent weather, but to my surprise and of course delight there was lots of glorious sunshine and blue sky which got me thinking…what a great day to get out of the office, get on a bike and eat lots of nice food!

On arrival to the Enniskeen Country House Hotel, where the trail starts, we met with our guide for the day and were taken in a shuttle bus up to Spelga Dam in the Mournes where we were quickly kitted out with bikes and helmets as we took in the view of the Mournes. This part of the trail can either be taken in the shuttle bus or can be cycled…it’s up hill all the way so sneakily I was glad we were able to choose the not so strenuous option!

From Spelga Dam we free wheeled all the way down to Patterson’s Farm with only one or two turns of the pedals…maybe we should have cycled up to Spelga Dam to try and burn off some calories to make room for what food was to come!

At Patterson’s Farm we met up with Desy during feeding time to talk about his Mourne Lamb and the difference in its taste depending on the grazing locations. After talking with Desy we were all eager to get to the next stop on the trail (for obvious reasons if you read on) which was back at the Enniskeen Hotel for delicious Mourne Honey themed afternoon tea. Whilst enjoying the spread that was laid out for us on the terrace of the hotel, overlooking the Mourne Mountains, we were given a short talk by bee keeper and guru, Joe Thompson, who told us all about Mourne Honey and the different types of honey that is made depending on what flora and fauna the bees thrive on.

Back on the bikes, for a short trip into Newcastle where we stopped off at Café Crème for some homemade Abernethy Fudge as well as the Cookie Jar to try their famous wheaten bread with Abernethy butter spread on top. Time to cycle onto the Down Royal Golf Club where we stopped to indulge on our Abernethy Fudge before stopping off at Murlough Farm, located beside Dundrum Bay, to collect some free range eggs, which saved me a trip to Tesco to pick up some food for dinner that evening!

The final section of the day was spent testing the tasty treats that the Mourne Sea Food Bar and the Bucks Head in Dundrum had prepared for us which included crab cakes, brill, langoustines and crab claws which was washed down with local stout from the Mourne Sea Food Bar as well as mussel soup, venison, lamb and sweet potato terrain and baked oysters from the Bucks Head.

If all this talk of food is making you hungry then why not get down to the Enniskeen Country House Hotel just outside Newcastle to try out the new trail?!

The Mourne Foods Cycle Trail is a fully self guided trail with bike hire and maps available from the Enniskeen Country House Hotel. Priced from £30 per person - includes bicycle hire, bike pannier storage compartment, trail pack and FREE shuttle bus up to Spelga Dam.

Mourne Food Cycle Gift Vouchers are also available to purchase online from OutdoorNI.com

Beverley Magowan
Beverley Magowan  Senior Marketing Officer

Beverley used to be a keen horse rider but since joining a local cycle club in 2013 she has developed a passion for 2 wheels instead of 4 hoofs! Meaning she can often be found on a bike exploring the roads across the country!

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