Did you know January is “Walk Your Dog Month”?…

Don’t let the winter temperatures and dark nights get you down, why not get off the sofa and get moving. Dogs need plenty of exercise throughout the year and the best way to keep them active in winter is to take them for regular walks.

Even a short walk on a cold day can make a big difference, so why not begin this year with a resolution for better health for you and your dog!

We’ve selected a few favourite trails to get you started.

Drumkeeragh Forest, Ballynahinch

Offering panoramic views of Slieve Croob, the Mourne Mountains and the rolling hills of the County Down countryside Drumkeeragh Forest offers 20km (12.4 miles) of waymarked trails exploring the forest. Choose from three unique trails of varying length and grade.

Please note: These trails are multi-use for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders so please exercise appropriate caution and respect other trail users. Dogs must be kept on a lead.

Quoile River Walk, Downpatrick

A hidden gem, this walk takes you from the busy town of Downpatrick past the historic Mound of Down to quiet trails along the banks of the Quoile River. Dogs must be kept on a lead.

Murlough National Nature Reserve

Explore the natural beauty of Murlough with the three-mile North Point trail to discover this special place. Dogs can run on the beach but must be kept on a lead to avoid disturbing wildlife or damaging whilst in the reserve.

Montalto Estate, Ballynahinch

Lots of routes and trails to explore around the lake or gardens. Tables are available where visitors with dogs are welcome to picnic, plus there are water bowls and spots where dog leads can be attached in the stable yard. There is also a dog exercise area available where dogs can exercise off the lead.

Kilbroney Forest Park

Situated in a stunning location close to the town of Rostrevor, Kilbroney provides an idyllic and relaxed environment with open parkland, woodland, and riverside walks, the perfect place to unwind. Dogs must be kept on a lead and are welcome in the café outside seating area. Entrance is free with the exception of certain events.

Tollymore Forest Park, Newcastle

Covering an area of almost 630 hectares, the park has lots of waymarked trails to choose from, no doubt you’ll sniff them out together. Dogs should be kept on a lead.

Our friends at Mourne Heritage Trust encourage all dog owners to keep their dogs on leads at all times while out in the hills. The presence and scent of dogs will disturb any wildlife in that area, particularly ground nesting birds, and the sheep are now in lamb and back out on the mountain in the usual areas.

So grab your lead during “Walk Your Dog” month and head for some of Visit Mourne’s most breath taking walks, it’s the perfect time to blend exercise with bonding time for you and your dog.  All our bins now take your dog waste so remember to scoop the poop.  Have a great walk!

Click here for more pet friendly places to eat.

If you fancy staying over to experience all these wonderful walks, click here for pet friendly accommodation  

Where’s your favourite place to walk with your dog? Share pictures of you and your pooch out on the trail on social media using #VisitMourne