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When the stresses of daily life catch up to you, one of the most healing activities can be a brisk walk by the sea. Luckily, the Mourne Coastal Route has no shortage of gorgeous coastal walks. 

We’ve rounded up seven of the best coastal walks along the Mourne Coastal Route that are sure to make you leave your worries at the door.

1. Murlough Nature Trail

Duration: 2.5 miles

 

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The Murlough National Nature Reserve comprises of a 6,000-year-old sand dune system that is home to a multitude of unique habitats. You will walk along boardwalks with the incredible Mourne Mountains as a backdrop. The vibrant blues, purples, yellows, and greens of the dune’s flowers will greet you along the path, and you may even be able to catch a glimpse of the endangered marsh fritillary butterfly!

During this walk, you will look over the mighty Slieve Donard and Slieve Commedagh. You will even be able to have amazing views of the ancient Dundrum Castle, overlooking a shimmering sea. And, keep your eyes peeled, because you might see a seal or two come out to play!

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2. Granite Trail, Newcastle

Duration: 3 miles

 

 

 

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The Granite Trail offers visitors three different components, giving you a wide range of possibilities to explore this bit of Newcastle coast. Even though there are differing routes along this path (the Bogie Line, the Drinneevar Loop and the Donard Loop), each one is expertly waymarked, so there is no worry of getting lost.

Lush forests and dense woodland greet you on the Bogie Line as you travel towards the old Millstone Quarry, where you can see artefacts from Newcastle’s once thriving granite industry. Then, at the top of Donard Wood, you will begin the Drinneevar Loop, where you will greet open mountainside (so be sure to remain on the trail at all times). Mountain streams and babbling rivers are abundant through this entire coastal walk.

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3. Bloody Bridge Coastal Route

Duration: 1 mile (one way)

 

 

 

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The Bloody Bridge Coastal Route gives visitors unfettered access to an otherwise inaccessible coastline. In the 1800s, this path was used by smugglers who wished to sneak past customs officers banning certain goods. Smugglers would use this path to get from their ships on the coastline into the heart of the Mourne Mountains to escape with their contraband.

The sheer cliffs around the Bloody Bridge are home to wild rock formations, exotic plants, and, for avid birdwatchers, fulmars, black guillemots and herring gulls. For history buffs, the ruins of St. Mary’s Church (one of the first Christian Churches in Northern Ireland) can be found along the route. Plus, on a clear day, amazing views of Dundrum Bay and the Isle of Man can be seen.

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4. Annalong Coastal Path

Duration: 1.5 miles

 

 

 

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The beginning of this walk is situated on the beautiful Annalong Harbour, giving you magnificent views of the Mourne Mountains. Follow a natural rocky cove down to the shore. The path will soon reach the bays of Arthur’s Port and Springwell Port, where, if you’re lucky, you will see some playful seals popping up their heads in the bay.

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5. Castle Ward Shore Trail

Duration: 0.7 miles (one way)

 

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What this trail lacks in distance it surely makes up for in incredible scenery and historical significance. Following shore of the Strangford Lough, this trail is wide, linear, and multi-use, so expect to see some cyclists and horse riders alongside you! This path is also wheelchair and buggy accessible. From the shimmering lake to the historic Castle Ward, there’s no shortage of incredible sights on this walk.

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6. Cloughmore Trail via Fiddler’s Green

Duration: 2.5 miles

 

 

 

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Lying in the shadow of Slieve Martin, the Cloughmroe Trail winds along a scenic route where the sea and the valley meet. Along this path, you will witness the historic Chloch Mhór (Big Stone), which, according to ancient, local folklore, was thrown across Carlingford Lough by Finn McCool during a fight with an enemy. Here, you will be gifted with stunning views of the lough and the surrounding landscape.

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7. Dundrum Coastal Path

Duration: 1.6 miles (one way)

 

 

 

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The Dundrum Coastal Path forms part of the Lecale Way along the Dundrum Inner Bay, and is an extremely popular spot for avid birdwatchers and walkers. The silhouettes of the Mourne Mountains will surround you as you walk through rich grassland and woodland. The medieval ruins of Dundrum Castle can also be seen from this path.

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Find out more about all of the things to do along the Mourne Coastal Route

 

By Outsider

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