Categories: AdventurefamilyFunOutdoorsHistory

The Mourne Mountains and Ring of Gullion is home to a variety of amazing heritage trails which are well worth exploring.  The trails will take you to historical monuments and give you a chance to explore the rich and beautiful local landscape. Take time and enjoy the locations and beautiful scenery in our UNESCO Global Geopark.

Discover Lecale Way

The fascinating Lecale Way walk begins in Downpatrick County Down,  Start this excellent heritage walk by visiting the Saint Patrick’s Centre, Down County Museum or Down Cathedral. Follow the route and head out to visit the historic Audley’s Castle in Strangford.  Venture on to the fishing villages of Ardglass and Killough which are rich in history with castles, lighthouses and stories, plus there are lots of seabirds and seals to be seen! Further on in your travels on the Lecale Way route, you will pass the sandy beaches of Tyrella, Murlough and finally you will finish in the picturesque seaside resort of Newcastle.

Download the Brochure: Lecale Way

If you would prefer a guided tour of Downpatrick we have the wonderful event of the St Patrick's Way Camino Walk and Lunch.  Or maybe you would prefer the  Saint Patrick's Way, Camino and Canoe Adventure, an exciting challenge based on both the land and water. 

Conquer Killyleagh Castle

Killyleagh Heritage Trail is the perfect way to explore the history of the lovely town of Killyleagh in County Down, This trail takes you around the village and highlights the most important historical sites, taking in the beautiful Killyleagh Castle, the oldest inhabited castle in Ireland. On the route you can also visit the Killyleagh Harbour or the Sir Hans Sloane Memorial. This trail offers stunning views over Strangford Lough and is a great way to spend an afternoon.

Download the Brochure: Killyleagh Heritage Trail

Savour Strangford

Strangford's history of trade, commerce and smuggling is written in the buildings along this heritage trail. Discover the rich landscape and culture of Strangford Village. Explore the history of the Quay and research the stories of the smugglers.

Download the Brochure: Strangford Heritage Trail

Saunter around Slieve Gullion

The Slieve Gullion Heritage trail is a superb way to explore the Ring of Gullion in Northern Ireland. Slieve Gullion is steeped in history as the home of the legendary Fionn Mac Cumhail of the Fianna. There are many archaeological sites including Bronze Age cairns, Neolithic tombs and the Killeavy Castle, all surrounded by the stunning views of the countryside. Do take a stroll over to the visitor’s centre in  Slieve Gullion park and learn more about the area’s history and folklore.

Download the Brochure: Slieve Gullion Forest Park

Dander Around Dundrum Bay

Dundrum Heritage Trail in Dundrum, County Down starts at the 12th Century medieval Dundrum Castle. Learn about the Norman invasion, enjoy panoramic views of the Mourne Mountains and Dundrum Bay Nature Reserve which is also home to a variety of bird species.  Pass by the town's cherished historic buildings and the interesting site of the former Belfast & County Down Railway station.

Download the Brochure: Dundrum Heritage Trail

Newry - the Gateway to the North

If you’re planning a day out in Newry, follow the Newry Heritage Trail that features historical sites of the city.  Take the long trail around the city which features fine buildings, the lovely Newry Canal Towpath which highlights stunning views of the canal and the surrounding countryside. Learn more about Newry’s history at the informative Newry and Mourne Museum, Bagenal's Castle, on your way and after have a seat to relax while enjoying the scenery at the Albert Basin.

To learn more about Newry’s full history and heritage from an expert take part in the guided Newry Walking Tour.

Download the Brochure: Newry Heritage Trail

Our region is known for its vibrant cultural scene with festivals, events and traditions that celebrate our local heritage and traditions. The Mourne Mountains, Ring of Gullion and Strangford Lough has a rich and diverse heritage that spans thousands of years with so many ancient archaeological sites whether you’re interested in history, folklore or art and the culture. So, get exploring!!

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The Saint Patrick Centre
Visitor Centres & Museums
The Saint Patrick Centre

The Saint Patrick Centre is the only permanent exhibition in the World about Ireland’s Patron Saint. The History of Ireland starts here in Patrick’s words, which guide you through our amazing multimedia exhibition. Located 2 Hours north of Dublin and 35 minutes south of Belfast beside Saint Patrick’s Grave with a fantastic Craft Store and incredible Garden Cafe. This needs to be your first stop in Ireland.

Down County Museum
Visitor Centres & Museums
Entrance to Down County Museum, Downpatrick

Down County Museum is located in the old county Gaol of Down. It houses fascinating exhibitions on the history of Down as well as restored cells with life-size figures of prisoners and their gaolers.

Strangford Lough
Nature and Wildlife
Brent Geese flying over Strangford Lough with Mournes on horizon

Strangford Lough  is located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is almost fully enclosed by land. It is the largest sea water inlet in Ireland and the United Kingdom and an important habitat for wildlife.  A regular car ferry links the picturesque towns of Strangford and Portaferry.  Strangford Lough is a significant asset in the Aspiring UNESCO global Geopark.   The Lough was formed at the end of the last ice age. Strangford Lough is Northern Ireland's first Marine Conservation Zone and is a special area of conservation for wildlife. Strangford Lough is a key destination for winter migration for many wading and sea birds.  The lough is home to common seals, basking sharks and brent geese.

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.

Newry Cathedral of St Patrick and St Colman
Newry Cathedral of St Patrick and St Colman

This is undoubtedly the most commanding building in Newry and is arguably the most important work executed by Newry's greatest native architect, Thomas Duff. Built in 1829 of local granite at a cost of £8,000, it was the first Catholic Cathedral.

Newry Town Hall
Public Hall
Picture of Newry Town Hall with a reflection of the hall in the Clanrye River infront.

Newry Town Hall hosts theatre performances, education programmes, local amateur groups, family events, Registration, weddings to awards ceremonies for the Newry area.

Newry and Mourne Museum, Bagenal's Castle
Visitor Centres & Museums
Vistoria Bakery Newry and Mourne Museum, Newry

Bagenal’s Castle located in historic Newry is a 16th century fortified house and adjoining 19th Century warehouse, and has been sympathetically restored to house Newry & Mourne Museum and Newry Visitor Information Centre.