Categories: Things To Do

If you're travelling to the Eats and Beats Food and Drink festival this September, the seaside town of Newcastle, located at the foot of the Mourne Mountains, is a great base to explore the area. Whether you’re just here for the day or you decide to stay longer there is plenty to see and do in and around Newcastle for every kind of visitor.

You can pack in a lot of giant adventures during your stay, here’s a few suggestions on how.

Come & Try Electric Biking – Bike Mourne, Newcastle

Come & Try Electric Biking and enjoy the absolute buzz of electric bikes on the stunning County Down Coast. Go further, see more & feel awesome…how biking should be!

E-bike Hire and E-bike Tours with Bike Mourne in Newcastle this weekend.  Use promo code 'GOODVIBES23' for 20% off. 

Click here to find out more.

Neary Nogs - Master Craft Chocolate Experience

Come and see Northern Ireland's first bean to bar craft chocolate makers and the oldest in Ireland. NearyNógs chocolate is small batch crafted on the Mourne Coast.  Their family friendly chocolate factory has breathtaking views of the Irish Sea. 

Click here to find out more.

Mourne Dew Spirit Experience

The Mourne Dew Distillery Spirit Experience is open in Fearons Bar, in Rostrevor. Come along and have a generous sampling of Mourne Dew's award-winning spirits and learn about the stories of Irish poitín, whiskey and of gin. Rostrevor's association with distilling and brewing goes back to time immemorial and is a story waiting to be told. Hear all about it as you sip on our most delicious spirits.

Click here to find out more. 

Eats and Beats 2023 - Mourne Dew

Cranfield Alpacas Field Walks

Take one of the gorgeous Alpacas for a walk around the paddocks and field with stunning views of the Mourne Mountains and Carlingford Lough. After working up an appetite, the Alpacas love to be hand fed. 

Click here to find out more. 

Two Stacks Whiskey - Premium Blending Experience

A unique experience for guests to fully understand the story and ethos of Two Stacks Irish Whiskey, the history of blending and bonding in Ireland, the art of blending whiskey, and how to use Two Stacks in your favourite drinks at home.

Click here to find out more. 

Sisters by the Sea

Join the Sisters by the Sea nature retreat (3-5hours) and melt away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse in a multi-sensory experience that will nourish your mind, body and soul.

Click here to find out more. 

Newcastle Artisan Market

Newcastle Artisan Market is happening during the Eats & Beats festival weekend. Wander around the artisan market on both Saturday & Sunday, trading from 11.00am to 3.00pm.

Click here to find out more. 

Mourne Eye

Take a ride in the Mourne Eye and catch the spectacular views over Newcastle and beyond.

In Search of Adventure?

Those in search of adventure and fun will find plenty in Castlewellan Forest Park. There are great walks through the forests and around the lakes and if you wish you can see it all from the comfort of the saddle by hiring a mountain bike from the Life Adventure Centre. The centre also offers canoe and kayak hire and before you go make sure you visit the impressive hedge Peace Maze - the largest of its kind in Europe.

You can try a different kind of saddle with the experienced team at Mount Pleasant Trekking CentreWhether it’s a two-hour pony trek through the forests of Castlewellan Forest Park or a half-day saunter on the strand, this is a lovely way to see the countryside or enjoy the sea.

There’d have been plenty of horseback riders around Dundrum Castle when it was built in 1177 by John De Courcy and you can imagine them keeping watch over the wooded hill north-west of Dundrum village. Today you can visit the impressive ruins and find out more about its role and influence on the whole area.

Why not take a stroll along the four-mile Murlough Beach and work up an appetite with the help of the sea air. 

Great places to eat

You’ll no doubt be hungry at this stage so it’s good to hear that in and around Newcastle there is a great range of eateries to choose from for all tastes. The Slieve Donard offers four options for drinkng and dining, including J.J. Farrall’s Restaurant, The Lighthouse Lounge for light bites, the intimate and richly decorated, Wolf Bar and The Percy French which serves pub classics, regional fare, bar snacks and a traditional Sunday roast.  

Brunel’s in Newcastle is an award-winning restaurant that uses local ingredients to create stunning food. Set on the Newcastle seafront, walking into Villa Vinci, feels like stepping into the Mediterranean. With a strong focus on locally sourced seafood, also offers a range of pizzas, pastas and small plates. 

The Avoca Hotel has live music on Saturday and Sunday and will also be serving food all day from 8.00am to 9.00pm.

The Burrendale Hotel, Country Club and Spa, has consistently held the Taste of Ulster Award for almost a decade. Their signature dishes include their seafood chowder, Portavogie hake and locally reared dry aged steaks. 

Based on the shores of the Irish Sea, the Mourne Seafood Bar in Dundrum has been praised by top international food critics, including winning the Observer’s Food Monthly Award. 

Back in Dundrum, The Bucks Head Inn is renowned for its warm welcome and imaginative menus which change with the seasons and the seasonal availability of food. When the sun comes out you can eat in their walled garden and on colder days sit by the cosy fire and enjoy their fine multi award-winning seafood.

The renowned Slieve Donard Resort and Spa offers a wide range of dining options. From fine dining in the Oak Restaurant, to a more casual gastropub experience in the Percy French, the one constant here is the quality and provenance of the Slieve Donard food. 

The Cuan restaurant is open for lunch and dinner from 12.30pm. And whether you choose to eat in the dining room, relax at a table by the fire in the bistro, or have a snack at the bar, you will have an excellent choice of quality food with something to suit all palates. 

For even more foodie inspiration, click here

Drink in the atmosphere 

Finish off your evening with some live music at the many local pubs nearby who host regular music sessions and even if you don’t come across an impromptu session there are still plenty of lovely intimate places to have a bite to eat or drink. 

Music lovers will love Newcastle’s Macken’s Bar. Throughout the week, some of the top players flock to Macken’s for jam sessions, open mic nights, live performances and Irish traditional sessions. 

Or why not check out Quinns Bar, Newcastle for its Eats & Beats Pre Party on Friday 1 September. The Harbour House Inn has live music on Saturday night and The Mariner Bar and Restaurant is serving food from noon until 9.00pm.  

A bar has stood on the site of Denvir’s Coaching Inn since at least 1642. Today, it’s wooden bar is built from timbers retrieved from a ship wrecked in the nearby Irish Sea. A lot has changed in the last three hundred years, but Denvir’s still offers the same welcoming atmosphere to weary travellers. 

Two for Tea

The Mourne Mountains & Ring of Gullion’s cafes and coffee shops offer comfortable settings to catch up with friends and family, or relax and refuel after a hard day in the mountains. Whether you’re looking for a traditional afternoon tea, or an ultra modern flat white, you’ll find the perfect spot amongst the Mourne Mountains. 

Set in a traditional cottage at the foot of the Mournes, the Carrick Cottage Cafe offers a traditional tearoom and cafe, with favourites including scones, tray bakes, fried breakfasts, as well as hot cups of tea and coffee. 

Step back into nature at the Fodder Farm Shop and Cafe in Finnebrogue. The menu showcases the farm’s Dexter beef, while also offering a range of modern vegan and vegetarian dishes. 

The Montalto Estate Cafe prioritises simple dishes using the best local ingredients. With an onsite vegetable garden, home cooked bread, and their own flock of hens, Montalto offers a back to basics dining experience with a focus on sustainability. 

Make a Stay of It

Why not extend your stay even further and spend the night at Slieve Donard Resort & Spa. Enjoy a range of dining options at the hotels, relax after a treatment in the resort spa or take a paddle in the pool.

Want a luxe spa experience with a country club feel? Head to the Burrendale Hotel, Country Club and Spa to experience extravagant rooms and splendid surroundings. Residents have complimentary use of all the club facilities throughout their stay, unwind and enjoy the Sauna, Steam Room & Jacuzzi poolside. 

With 20 cosy, modern rooms and their emphasis on guest experience, Hillyard House Hotel, The Yard Restaurant and Mrs Coleman's Bar have everything to make your stay cosy, culinary and great craic.

Immerse yourself in history with a visit to the Killeavy Castle Estate at the eastern base of Slieve Gullion. Admire this Grade A, listed building from your room while experiencing the sensational views of the dense woodlands in the Ring of Gullion.  

The bustling city of Newry nearby offers luxury accommodation in the Canal Court Hotel and Spa. Inhale the gentle buzz of the city, while enjoying the decadent surroundings.  

Explore more

With everything close by, the Mourne Mountains & Ring of Gullion is plentiful in quaint towns, incredible scenery, ancient forests, and stately homes. Explore the vastness of our landscapes and receive a giant welcome from all you encounter here.  

Come & Try Electric Biking – Bike Mourne, Newcastle
Electric Biking Mourne Coastal Route

Come & Try Electric Biking… and enjoy the absolute buzz of electric bikes on the stunning County Down Coast… go further, see more & feel awesome… how biking should be!

Master Craft Chocolate Experience
Food Tour
subscription box

Northern Ireland's first bean to bar craft chocolate makers and the oldest in Ireland. NearyNógs chocolate is small batch crafted on the Mourne Coast. Our family friendly chocolate factory has breath taking views of the Irish Sea, Carlingford Lough & the Mourne Mountains. We take great pride in our chocolate making. Every process is meticulously controlled so that every cacao beans' origin, of fine flavour, shines through.

Mourne Dew Spirit Experience
Food & Drink
Mourne Dew Experience

Come along and have a generous sampling of Mourne Dew's award-winning spirits and learn about the stories of Irish poitín, whiskey and gin.

Two Stacks Whiskey - Premium Blending Experience
The Art of the blend

Whiskey Blending Experience

Newcastle Artisan Market
Markets / Fairs
Artisan Market Stalls on Central Promenade, Newcastle, County Down

This outdoor market, showcases the best of local, hand made products (both foods and crafts). Come along and support small businesses from your local area. Perfect place to pick up a quality, hand crafted gift or something delicious to tempt your taste buds ! Live music to keep you entertained while you browse.

Sisters by the Sea
Sporting Event
Sisters by the Sea

Magical Multi-sensory wellness experience

Cranfield Alpacas Field Walks
Cranfield Alpacas Field Walk

Enjoy a leisurely stroll around our paddocks and take in the panoramic views of the Mourne Mountains and Carlingford. Meet the gang and feed our cute and cuddly alpacas - lots of fun! £25 for 2 guests and 1 alpaca ** Awarded Tourism Northern Ireland's Best Visitor Experience 2022**

Slieve Donard Resort and Spa
Grand lobby of Slieve Donard with dark wooden floors, lots of greenery and a large chandelier.

A beloved destination for families, golfers, and holiday travellers, Slieve Donard is a local landmark that’s equal parts homey and breath-taking. The resort sits at the foot of the Mourne Mountains, on the edge of Royal County Down Golf Club, ranked no. 1 in the world by Golf Digest.

Burrendale Hotel, Country Club and Spa
View of the front exterior of the Burrendale Hotel, Country Club and Spa, Newcastle, County Down, Northern Ireland.

The Burrendale Hotel, Country Club & Spa is a leading four-star Hotel in Newcastle, County Down, Northern Ireland, nestled beneath the Mountains of Mourne. Located just 45 minutes from Belfast or Newry, The Burrendale Hotel, Country Club & Spa is the ideal location to relax and unwind. Perfect for a Spa Break, Family Retreat, Romantic Getaway or Business Trip.

Hillyard House Hotel
Hillyard House Hotel

With 20 cosy, modern rooms and our emphasis on guest experience, Hillyard House, The Yard Restaurant and Mrs Coleman's Bar have everything to make your stay cosy, culinary and great craic.

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.

Mackens Bar
Live Music
Mackens Bar

A traditional cosy pub, good music, good craic, everyone welcome!