Categories: Family FunEventsThings To Do

This May we are so lucky to have three bank holidays to take some time off to be with our friends and family, so let us show you how to enjoy every moment, even on a budget!

The Mourne Mountains, Ring of Gullion and Strangford Lough areas are home to expansive woodlands and dedicated parks. Whether you want to escape to the forest, head up into the mountains, spend a fun family day out in one of our many adventure play parks or enjoy an event, you’ll be well catered for in Counties Down and Armagh.

Montalto Estate's BBQ & Local Talent

Monday 1 May

Castlewellan May Fair 

Monday 1 May 

Have a wander around Castlewellan Fair and grab yourself a bargain from one of the many stalls.  From colourful clothing to tinkering tools, hair curlers for girls and toys for boys, there’s something for everyone.  The smell of flavoursome food vans will have you drooling and you can enjoy a bite to eat on a nearby bench as you take in the buzz of this beautiful market town.

Castle Ward Music in the Yard

Monday 1 May 

Ballynahinch Vintage Classic & Retro Vehicle Display

Monday 8 May 

Get on your bike throughout May with Bike Mourne

Mourne Shuttle Service

Remember if you are heading to the mountains check out the Mourne Shuttle Service.  You won't have to worry about your car parking, life is easier when you can jump on the shuttle bus and get more time up in the hills.

Bealtaine Festival and Medieval Market 

Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 April

Evening Races at Downpatrick Racecourse  

Friday 5 May 

Forests & Parks

Slieve Gullion Forest Park 

Step into a world of magic and wonder at Slieve Gullion Forest Park. This is Ireland's Mountain of Mystery. Set in the beautiful grounds of Slieve Gullion Forest Park, the perfect start to any family trip to the Forest begins with a stop off at our action-packed Adventure Playpark.

Castlewellan Forest Park 

Located against the backdrop of the dramatic slopes of the Mourne Mountains, Castlewellan Forest Park is one of the area’s most exciting outdoor spaces. The park itself is home to one of the widest varieties of trees and shrubs in Europe, as well as Northern Ireland’s National Arboretum. 

Delamont Country Park 

Situated on the shores of Strangford Lough, just outside Killyleagh, Delamont Country Park is full of surprises. The park is the home of the Strangford Stone, which at ten metres high is the tallest monolith in Ireland.  

For kids, there’s the Outdoor Adventure Playground, while the whole family will love the Steamers Cafe and Miniature Railway. 

Kilbroney Park

Kilbroney Park offers some of the most scenic views around the area. Located overlooking the village of Rostrevor, Kilbroney’s scenic forest drive culminates in unparalleled views over Carlingford Lough below. 

Intrepid walkers can scale Cloughmore, known to locals as the ‘Big Stone’. Legend has it that this thirty tonne erratic was thrown here by Finn McCool during a battle with a rival Scottish giant. 

Don't forget Féile na Bealtaine runs from Saturday 29 April – Saturday 6 May

Keep up to date with What's On in the area.

Enjoy the bank holidays and remember to plan ahead.  Regardless of the weather, everyone will want to join in the fun.

Follow us across our social channels @VisitMourne. 

Montalto Estate Trails & Gardens and Playpark
Montalto Estate Trails and Gardens

Open Wed - Sun 9.30am-4pm (Last admission 3pm) | Tickets valid all day A visit to Montalto Estate is the perfect way to reconnect with nature, in a natural, historical, and truly relaxing setting.

Castlewellan, County Down
Castlewellan, County Down

Castlewellan (Caislean Uidhiln meaning "Uidhilin's castle") is a town located  in County Down near the shores of Castlewellan Lake at the foot of Slievenaslat mountain. Castlewellan has a wide main street which runs through two main squares (Upper and Lower Square) lined with chestnut trees. The town was planned by William Annesley in the 1750s and is unique within Ireland due to its tree lined squares both in the old town (upper square) and new town (lower square) as well as its very wide main street. Castlewellan Forest Park is located in a dramatic setting and is home to one of the most notable tree and shrub collections in Europe.  It features a walled garden and the Peace Maze.

Castle Ward
The National Trust
Castle Ward

Discover a place of contrasts and creativity at Castle Ward, an eccentric 18th century mansion and estate looking out over the tranquil waters of Strangford Lough in County Down where visitors can explore cultivated gardens, sheltered woodland and the shoreline.

Ballynahinch, County Down
Entrance to Montalto Estate, Ballynahinch.

Ballynahinch was traditionally a market town and the market still takes place in the town every Thursday. Ballynahinch lies on the main A24 Belfast to Newcastle Road, 15 miles south of Belfast. Facilities in the town include a community centre. Ballynahinch, from the Irish meaning town of the holm (island) is twinned with Lamorlaye, France. The town was popular in the 19th Century as a spa destination among fashionable aristocratic travellers who came to `take the waters' at medicinal spa wells two miles outside the town.

Bike Mourne
Cycling and Mountain Biking
Cyclists on bikes from Bike Mourne, Newcastle admiring the Mourne Mountains from the Promenade, Newcastle, County Down

Experience the Mournes by bike on road, track and trail with the guided and self-guided bike and electric bike tours or do it yourself with bike and electric bike hire. Explore the majestic mountains, dramatic coasts, stunning landscapes, enchanting forests, award winning mountain bike trails and endless year-round cycle adventures.

Mourne Shuttle Bus Service
Walking Tour
Mourne Shuttle Bus Service

Have you ever gone to plan your next walking route in the Mournes only to be restricted by where you park your car? The Mournes Shuttle Bus Service provides a shuttle service to walkers in the Mourne Area to help get you to your destination.

Fionn's Giant Adventure at Slieve Gullion Forest Park
A family reading a sign at the entrance to Fionn's Giant Adventure  at Slieve Gullion Forest Park.

Follow Fionn's Giant Adventure (previously known as the Giant's Lair) at Slieve Gullion Forest Park. Follow the trail, there's so much to explore. Seek out fairies, spells, music and more.  Help is at hand as you'll have fairies and warriors to help you follow the trail.

Castlewellan Forest Park
Forest Parks
View of the Annesley Walk in Castlewellan Forest Park

Located on Forest Park View, Castlewellan, County Down, in a dramatic setting of mountains and sea, Castlewellan Forest Park has one of the most outstanding tree and shrub collections in Europe. The beauty, vigour and perfect shape of the trees in the National Arboretum attract tree enthusiasts from around the world.

Delamont Country Park
Public Park
Child climbing and another on a slide in the play park, at Delamont Country Park.

Situated on the shores of Strangford Lough in an area of outstanding natural beauty, Delamont Country Park, Killyleagh offers peace, beauty and tranquillity. The stunning views across Strangford Lough and the relaxing atmosphere make Delamont Country Park a place to enjoy that 'away from it all feeling'. It is home of the Strangford Stone - the tallest megalith in Ireland. This beautiful 200-acre Country Park offers a great day out for visitors of all ages. Whether you are a keen walker, a nature lover or simply looking for a great day out for all the family you will find plenty to entertain you in Delamont Country Park.

Kilbroney Park
Forest Parks
Children being photographed in Kilbroney Park

Kilbroney Park features riverside walks and an arboretum. There is a two-mile forest drive which showcases panoramic views over Carlingford Lough. There is also a Play Park with children's play area and tennis courts, an Information area and a café all on site.

Downpatrick Racecourse
Horses approaching the finish line at Downpatrick Race Course with spectators in the grand stand.

Downpatrick Racecourse is the oldest racecourse in Ireland, dating back to 1685. Today, we host 10 fixtures each year with our feature being the Randox Ulster National which this year takes place on Sunday 2nd April. The Racecourse is a hub of local life and attracts visitors from far and wide