Warren McConnaughieAran SheridanMark Taylor
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Discover More of the Mournes

Posted on May 14, 2015 @ 11:53 AM in Walking

It’s not long to go until the Mourne International Walking Festival happening on 26th-28th June.  An ideal time to discover the delights of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, sample some of the excellent local cuisine and accommodation, enjoy traditional music and most importantly participate in some wonderful walking.

This year the festival base is in the pretty seaside resort of Warrenpoint situated on the shores of Carlingford Lough.  A relaxed and friendly town with quaint shops, bars and restaurants there is plenty to see and do after you've walked to the impressive summits.

Warrenpoint

Relax, Eat & Drink

Located 50 miles to the south of Belfast and approximately 1 1/2 hours from Dublin, Warrenpoint is a great base for walkers wanting some fantastic walking as well as a wide choice of cafés, restaurants and pubs on their doorstep.  Here are some top tips from the locals for places to relax with a coffee or have a bite to eat:

Café – Fulla Beans Coffee & Food Bar
This family run café offers an extensive menu with everything from delicious breakfast baps to healthy soups, bagels and wraps not to mention gourmet burgers.

Restaurant - Fusion
Husband and wife team, Mark and Patrice O’Kane run this gem of a restaurant on Duke Street in Warrenpoint. With a relaxed wine bar feel, fabulous food and welcoming staff, Fusion is the perfect setting for an evening meal with friends or family.

Bar & Grill - Bennett's Seafood Bar & Grill
Established in 1854 as a coaching inn, Bennett’s has remained a hub of activity in Warrenpoint. Nestled in the heart of Warrenpoint, between the Mourne and Cooley Mountains on Carlingford Lough, they specialise in fresh, local seafood, and prime quality steaks with all their seafood caught from Kilkeel Harbour, every morning.  

Hotel – The Whistledown Hotel
Located on the seafront, this independently run hotel boasts two popular restaurants and two lively bars with full cocktail menus. It is also the venue for the social highlight of the festival – the Blister Ball on the Saturday night where you can kick off your boots and socialise with other walkers. This is a casual event with a hot supper and dancing into the small hours.

For more places to refuel check out www.visitmournemountains.co.uk or phone the Visitor Information Centre in Warrenpoint T: +44 (0)28 4175 2256 

What else is there to do in the Mournes?

Whilst walking may be the main focus of your trip to the Mournes we know that most of you will probably also want to explore a little during your stay. Check out some of our ideas for other things to do in the Mourne Mountains all within a 30 min drive.

Things to do Mourne Mountains

Mourne Seafood Cookery School, Kilkeel

The harbour town of Kilkeel is famed for its fabulous seafood and the Mourne Seafood Cookery School, located in the Nautilus Centre, is the place to learn the art of seafood cuisine from highly skilled professional chefs. Find out all about how fish are caught, filleted, handled and cooked, then serve up and enjoy your own meal on one of their popular culinary courses.

Whitewater Brewery Tour, Kilkeel  

All fans of real ale and locally brewed lagers should not miss a trip to Whitewater, one of Northern Ireland’s most loved microbreweries. Also located in Kilkeel, Whitewater produce handcrafted beers from the finest ingredients with no additives and a tour of the brewery will teach you the various processes each bottle goes through before ending up in pubs and bars across Northern Ireland.

Mourne Food Cycle Tour, Newcastle

With the Mourne Mountains as its backdrop, the Mourne Foods Cycle Trail pairs up gentle cycling, stunning scenery and simply delicious food! Devised by the Enniskeen Country House Hotel the trail showcases the wonderful artisan food in this area of Northern Ireland. You will get the chance to stop off with local producers, hear their stories and buy directly from the farmer, before storing your provisions in the specially provided bike panniers adding to this unique and memorable experience.

Soak Seaweed Baths, Newcastle

This multi award winning alternative seaweed bath house and spa is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day in the hills. Located on the seafront in Newcastle, Soak offers a place to be spoiled in silky hot seaweed baths or enjoy rejuvenating spa treatments.

mourne mountains things to do

Outdoor Action

If you fancy a bit of variety from just hillwalking, there are a whole host of other outdoor activities available in the area. Everything from the Kilkeel Cycle Route, a 28 mile (45km) circular route around the foothills of the Mournes, to mountain biking around purpose built trails at Castlewellan Castlewellan (also home to a fantastic scenic walk trail network) or Rostrevor Forest Park to rock climbing or sea kayaking along the South East Coast Sea Kayak Trail. You can be rest assured that on your trip to the Mournes there will be plenty to keep you busy. Visit OutdoorNI.com for a whole host of other activity ideas to try out during your stay in the Mourne Mountains. 

Golf

The Royal County Down Golf Club is located in one of the world's most naturally beautiful links settings in the Murlough Nature Reserve. Located on the edge of Newcastle, it is one of the oldest courses in Ireland and is widely regarded as one of the best in the United Kindgom.  Against the magnificent backdrop of the Mountains of Mourne, the links stretches along the shores of Dundrum Bay, zigzagging back and forth to provide a different vista from virtually every hole. 

Enjoy your time exploring the Mourne Mountains! 

Sarah Nelson
Sarah Nelson  Marketing Officer

Sarah joined the marketing team of Outdoor Recreation NI in 2011. A firm believer in giving anything a go at least once (unless it involves jumping out of a plane at 6,000ft!) she is always looking for new adventures in the outdoors and can often be found wandering the Mournes or Glens of Antrim attempting not to get lost!

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