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Sometimes just going for a day-hike isn’t enough to quench your thirst for the great outdoors. If your perfect weekend away consists of biking, hiking, walking and camping, the Mourne Coastal Route has you covered!
Located just a 1.5-hour drive from Dublin the Mourne Coastal Route is the perfect destination for an action-packed weekend away. Offering an array of incredible activities, scrumptious food and some amazing places to stay, you really couldn’t wish for more.
10 Exhilarating Activities on the Mourne Coastal Route
With everything from extremely cheap, friendly and cosy plots to pitch a tent all the way to decked-out “glamping” pods, we’ve thrown together some of our favourite camping spots along the Mourne Coastal Route.
Castlewellan Forest Park covers 450 hectares of stunning land just north of the majestic Mourne Mountains. From the shimmering waters of Castlewellan Lake to the sturdy walls of a towering Victorian Castle, this park offers incredible, panoramic views of the Mourne Mountains that can be enjoyed while participating in a plethora of fun activities.
Home to many scenic walking trails, a whopping 27km of mountain biking trails, an onsite, multi-activity centre, an equestrian centre and massive hedge maze, Castlewellan Forest Park proves to be one of the best sites in Northern Ireland for an active weekend away. Plus, with everything from cycling to horse riding and from fishing to orienteering, it would be extremely hard to get bored during your holiday in the park!
Plus, the nearby town of Castlewellan is just a 10-minute walk from the main campsite, so you can stroll into town at any point to restock at the various supermarkets. Or alternatively, you can take a night off from cooking and eat out at one of the fantastic eateries in town.
On the main site, all touring vehicle pitches are tarmac surfaced with electric hook-up points and nearby grassy areas that can support awnings. There are separate male and female showers (wheelchair accessible), toilet facilities, fresh water, a dishwashing room and a chemical toilet disposal point.
Next to the main touring-vehicle site lies an all-grass site to accommodate tents or more touring vehicles. There are no electric hookups on this site, but campers still have access to all of the same shower and toilet facilities as the main site.
Located at the foot of the Mourne Mountains, Tollymore Forest Park spans across a vast area of 630 hectares filled with rolling valleys, streams and lush forest. The entire park offers panoramic views of the Mourne Mountains and the sea at Newcastle. And if that hasn’t persuaded you to visit, there’s also an abundance of action-packed activities on your doorstep too!
The camping facilities in the park provide easy access on foot to the higher of the Mourne Mountains, including Slieve Donard and Slieve Commedagh. The forest is also home to part of the Mourne Way and the Ulster Way, giving campers access to a wide variety of scenic walking routes between Rostrevor and Newcastle. You can also enjoy breathtaking views of the Shimna River, the Stone Bridges and Cedar Avenue.
Tollymore Forest Park is open year-round for camping and touring vehicles. The town of Newcastle is only a 5-minute drive away and offers an array of supermarkets, cafés and restaurants.
Do you love the outdoors, but, at the end of a full day of hiking or mountain biking, wish to take a nice shower and crawl into a more luxurious accommodation than a tent? Well, glamping just might be the thing for you!
Based near Rostrevor, East Coast Adventure offers glamping pods at the foot of the Mourne Mountains, making this the perfect base for all of your hiking, walking and mountain biking adventures in the mountains.
There are six glamping pods on-site, and each pod sleeps four adults on the comfortable beds provided. All pods are fitted with electricity and heating. These pods are waterproof, cosy, and available year-round, making them the perfect option for a weekend away with friends.
Just below the Mourne Mountains, Kilbroney Caravan Park offers four-star caravan and camping accommodation for campers seeking the serenity of nature and downright gorgeous views to wake up to!
The site itself offers beautiful views over Carlingford Lough as well as a plethora of walking trails to the Mourne Mountains through the adjacent Rostrevor Forest (which links Kilbroney to the iconic Slieve Martin), or to the local village of Rostrevor. There is also an extensive network of challenging mountain biking trails on site too.
Facilities on-site include toilets, showers, a laundry room, a dishwashing area, tennis courts, playgrounds and BBQ areas.
Want to experience all the craic that comes with camping in Northern Ireland, but don’t want to have the hassle of pitching your own tent? Offering panoramic views of the Ring of Gullion, Bluebell Lane Glamping aims to give you both with their one-of-a-kind pods, shepherd’s hut, safari tent and teepee to accommodate all adventure lovers.
Each pod is equipped with comfy bedding that can accommodate two adults and two children. The pods also have an electric heater, electric sockets, USB charging ports, and internal and external led lighting.
With brilliant views over the Shimna River Valley towards the Mourne Mountains and Tollymore Forest Park, the Gorse Hill Farm glamping pods are the perfect scenic getaway for active, adventurous folks.
After a thrilling day of exploring the local attractions, such as Tollymore National Outdoor Centre, Castlewellan Forest Park, Rostrevor mountain bike trails, Murlough Nature Reserve, the Mourne Mountains or the Silent Valley, take a nice shower onsite and then kick your feet up at your own personal picnic table outside of your pod. Cosy up to your own fire-bowl and maybe even cook a scrumptious meal in the shared kitchen.
Picture this: you’ve just finished the first hike in the heart of the Mourne Mountains. You return to your campsite at the Meelmore Lodge, flick off your boots, crack open a beer, recline and relax, admiring the incredible view of the mountain range as the sun sets.
Sounds pretty great, right?
The Meelmore Lodge offers a fun, friendly, cosy piece of land for camping just at the base of the Mourne Mountains. Conveniently located in close proximity to a wide range of adventurous activities, this campsite offers fun for all ages.
Sling some arrows at the Mourne Archery Centre, or take the kids on a trip to Newcastle Family Fun Parks. Plus, since the campsite is located so close to the mountains, an amazing day-hike is only a hop, skip, and a jump away.
Campers have access to communal toilets, showers, and a utility room.
A perfect location for bouldering and coasteering, the Bloody Bridge campsite is located right at the intersection of the Mourne Mountains and the coast. Wake up with a hot cup of tea as you gaze over the stunning waterfalls created by the river that gushes over massive boulders, streaming down from Slieve Donard to the sea.
This location is one of the four main access points to the High Mournes, so it is also the ideal location for pitching a tent if you’re thinking about spending your days hiking. The site is directly next to the Brandy Pad and the Mourne Coastal Route – so beginning your hikes into the Mournes will be a piece of cake!
The site is only two-miles from Newcastle and a short drive to Annalong so there are plenty of eateries and shops close by.
Wake up to the luxurious peace and quiet of the Mourne Mountains at Northern Ireland’s only off-the-grid, self-catering, refurbished horse truck. Lackan Cottage Farm offers visitors the opportunity to stay in a newly transformed horse truck with a cosy interior made entirely from up-cycled materials.
Escape the stresses of daily life in this comfortable accommodation, complete with a small kitchen, hot water, a fireplace, a wood stove, an outside toilet, and a bed with an amazing view of the Mournes.
Tollymore Forest Park, Castlewellan Forest Park, Newcastle Beach and Silent Valley are all at your fingertips when staying at this cottage – so get ready to soak in the stunning landscape and breathe in heaps of fresh air during your trip.
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