Get on your bike and go

The great outdoors of Mourne, Gullion and Strangford are possibly the greatest in the world. The climbs and dips of the peaks and valleys offer those who like to get on their bikes and explore a chance to do just that in a place of giant wonder. There are, of course, different... ‘spokes’... for different folks and we have something to offer every family. Whether you and yours enjoy pedaling at your own gentle pace or prefer pumping down the side of a mountain, we have it all. So get on your bike and join us.

Top of the trails

Castlewellan Forest Park is a must-visit for mountain bikers of all ages and abilities.

For families the best bets are the two-and-a-half-mile Green Trail or the slightly longer Blue Trail. Both routes take you around Castlewellan Lake in under an hour and offer stunning views of the Mournes. The fifteen-mile Red Trail is definitely one for families with older and very fit kids. This one is not for the faint-hearted and involves a fair bit of climbing. The views are stunning, however, and you’ll have quite the achievement to discuss around the dinner table that evening. If you’re not too keen on lugging your bikes all the way from home, you can rent some here.

It’s a similar story at Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails. These routes on the shores of Carlingford Lough are for families who have plenty of experience of the sport and are considered among the most challenging but most rewarding on these islands. Enjoy incredible coastal views and some exhilarating single-track descents.

It is worth noting that you save yourself the hassle of setting up your roof rack by hiring bikes, e-bikes and even trikes from Bike Mourne at both Castlewellan Forest Park and Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails as well as Newcastle, County Down. You can even take the bikes further afield and explore the surrounding area while you’re at it.

For families who like their cycling a little gentler, the Newry Canal Way is ideal. It is not short mind you. At twenty miles, it will take a little something out of those legs. But with an easy gradient and plenty of places to stop and explore along the way, you can take it handy and enjoy the scenery.

From Newry itself, cyclists can access the wonderful Ring of Gullion via National Cycle Network Route 9. Cycling fans will remember that the Giro d’Italia passed through this scenic area in 2014 and while we don't expect you to pedal through these majestic hills and mountains as their speed, there are all sorts of routes on offer for cyclists of all levels.

A gentle ride on the lough side

Up the road near Downpatrick, families can saddle up and pedal around the Castle Ward Shore Trail. This wide and flat trail follows the shore of Strangford Lough from the farmyard at Castle Ward to Audley's Quay. A gentle route, it’s less than a mile long and is accessible to everyone. It offers a smooth consistent surface with no physical barriers and so is perfect for the smaller members of your peloton.

Those who might be interested in a biking package should check out the guys at nearby Clearsky Adventure Centre. Not only can you hire bikes there, but they also offer their great Family Camping Pod Adventure which allows you to spend a night in one of their fantastic family camping pods at Castle Ward and explore the beautiful estate on their top quality bikes. They also throw in a choice of either archery or canoeing. Quite a busy but wonderful way to spend a night away from home.

There’s no doubt that for families who like to spend time in the saddle, the Mourne Mountains, Ring of Gullion and Strangford Lough rule the roost.

Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails
Mountain Biking Trails
Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trail

Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails in Kilbroney Park and Rostrevor Forest offer challenging climbs with some serious descents and Ireland's first two official downhill trails and other trails suitable for families to use. Make time to stop off at Kodak Corner to take in the view over Carlingford Lough and beyond.

Clearsky Adventure Centre
Activity Centre
Clearsky Adventure Centre

Newcastle and Castlewellan Bike Hire We have a wide range of bikes available for hire. Mountain bikes, electric e-bikes, tandem bicycles, kids bicycles. You name it, we should have it. Free delivery and shuttle bus service.

Ring of Gullion Way
Walking & Hiking
Ring of Gullion Way

A circular walk through and ancient volcanic landscape of the Ring of Gullion Way