Categories: WalkingAdventurefamilyFunActivity

There is something enchanting about nature in the winter landscape, if you’re lucky enough get some snow, then appreciate the ultimate beauty of the Mourne Gullion Strangford Geopark in the cold season, admiring glistening snow-covered trees and mountain tops whilst enjoying the crunch of snow beneath your boots.

The Mourne Mountains and Ring of Gullion has lots of options for you to explore and find the perfect Winter Trail. Don’t forget to bundle up in cosy layers and enjoy the peacefulness of the scenery.  Take a look at our favourite walking trails here!

Tollymore Forest Park, Newcastle

Tollymore Forest Park in Newcastle County Down, is beautiful at any time of year that you might visit, but if you visit during the winter it transforms into a winter wonderland during the colder months.  As you stroll along the trails, feeling crisp winter air on your face, you’ll be surrounded by the peacefulness and tranquillity of the forest. Tollymore is one of Northern Ireland's most picturesque locations.

Castle Ward, Strangford

Castle Ward belongs to the National Trust and is a beautiful place for a winter walk. It is situated on the shores of Strangford Lough. Enjoy the crisp air, hot drink in hand from the onsite café, making the perfect vibe for exploring 820 acres of woodland, miles of footpaths, and the 18th-century mansion.

Murlough Nature Reserve

Enjoy the icy breath of the sea air this winter at Murlough Nature Reserve, situated in  An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty! The shoreline walk gives you a chance to take in the outstanding views of the Newcastle coastline and the spectacular Mourne Mountains. If you are lucky enough you might get to spot the winter migratory wildlife!

Annalong Coastal Path

Wrap up in your coat and scarf and try out this short walk situated at the Annalong Harbour. This shoreline walk takes in magnificent views of the Mourne Mountains and the coast. Perfect for a leisurely stroll with your dogs, friends and families. Treat yourselves with a hearty warm meal or a cup of coffee in the town of Annalong when you are finished.

Slieve Gullion Forest Park, Ring of Gullion

A must visit trail this winter for the kids is the Fionns Giant Adventure trail at Slieve Gullion Forest Park. This trail is a truly magical and memorable place for children to come to, capturing a genuine sense of enchantment and mystery in the beautiful setting of Slieve Gullion Forest Park. 

Finnebrogue Woods, Downpatrick

On the outskirts of Downpatrick sits Fodder in the Finnebrogue Woods, a small café and shop with a unique setting and an aesthetic rustic décor. Finnebrogue woods have a short trail, featuring scenic views of the lake and forest. A perfect place for a delicious burger, hot chocolate and walk date in winter.  You might even want to come back and try your hand at bushcraft.

Castlewellan Forest Park

There are a number of routes you can take when exploring Castlewellan Forest Park this winter. Choose the beautiful circular route around the lake, walk to the top of Slievenaslat, enjoy the Moorish Tower Walk, or challenge yourself in the Peace maze! Explore the stunning Annsley Gardens, essential for a stroll around to spot the seasonal changes. If you like a range of activities the park also offers electric and mountain biking, paddle boarding,  kayaking and canoeing on the lake.

Montalto Estate, Ballynahinch

This atmospheric estate is set in the natural surroundings of Ballynahinch. The estate features captivating gardens and walks that look like a Christmas card in the colder months! Montalto makes for a fantastic day out for all the family.  There is an exciting play area available for children to explore,  a stylish café offering flavoursome and beautifully presented food and don’t forget to saunter around the shop and pick up some festive products!

Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor

Head to Kilbroney Park for a walk on the magical Narnia Trail, enter through the “wardrobe door” and see the trail come to life with The Chronicles of Narnia characters featuring along the route, just imagine how exciting it would be in the snow, there are plenty of selfie opportunities!

Delamont Country Park, Killyleagh

Delamont is a great sight in the winter, featuring expansive views of Strangford Lough! Take a visit with the family, and explore the many walking trails, whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or something more testing, there’s something perfect for you.

Rowallane Gardens, Saintfield

Described as one of Northern Irelands most beautiful gardens, you can only imagine how stunning it would be during winter time! The trails feature stunning woodland, unique plant life and sculptures. Don't forget to reward yourself with a hot drink in the café and snack on light bites or sweet treats.

Derrymore HouseCounty Armagh

Take your furry friend for a stroll around the grounds of Derrymore House. A beautiful 18th-century thatched cottage surrounded by picturesque landscape. Lovely walks can be had by those who explore the property, an off-lead area is the spot to visit for your dogs to stretch their legs.

So, whatever the season, there's plenty to do in Mourne Gullion and Strangford. When out and about in winter always take extra care and plan your perfect day out.

If this list of walking destinations doesn’t appeal to you check out more Walking Trails on our website.

You might even need to book a room to extend your stay or come back to explore more.

Tollymore Forest Park
Forest Parks
Tollymore Forest Park

Tollymore Forest Park has panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the sea at Newcastle and is open to the public all year. Tollymore Forest covers an area of almost 630 hectares at the foot of the Mourne Mountains.

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.

Murlough National Nature Reserve
The National Trust
Murlough National Nature Reserve

Murlough National Nature Reserve is a fragile 6000 year old sand dune system owned by the National Trust and managed as Ireland’s first Nature Reserve since 1967. It is an excellent area for walking and bird watching.

Annalong, County Down
Annalong Cornmill

Annalong is a picturesque seaside village in County Down, situated at the foot of the Mourne Mountains. From the Irish 'Áth na Long' or 'Ford of the ships', it was once home to a fleet of more than 30 schooners which carried Mourne Granite and potatoes to the western ports of Britain. It is the centre of the granite industry, which was a major economic importance to the Mournes. Today it is better known as a fishing and holiday centre.

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.

Finnebrogue Woods Gourmet Wild Food and Foraging
Craft Workshops and courses
Bushman Rob making fire.

On your foraging walk through the woods with our resident expert Bushman Rob, you will be safely guided through identifying and collecting seasonal wild edibles of greens, herbs, vegetables, fungi and berries. With Rob's expert eye you will explore, taste and nibble your way through the woods.

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.

Montalto Estate
Historic Sites, Houses, Castles & Buildings
Picture of Montalto House, Montalto Lake and Boathouse all within Montalto Estate in Ballynahinch.

Montalto Estate in Ballynahinch is a mystical and enchanting estate, set in magnificent natural surroundings. Visitor experience includes access to the estate's beautiful gardens; historic walks and trails and an exciting play area where children can engage, explore and learn.

Kilbroney Park
Forest Parks
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.

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.

Rowallane Garden
The National Trust
Rowallane Garden

This unique garden has grown from the 19th century beginnings of the Reverend John Moore and his nephew Hugh Armytage Moore. Their vision created a place where you can leave the world behind and immerse yourself in nature's beauty.

Derrymore House
The National Trust
Derrymore House

A National Trust Property, Derrymore House is an elegant thatched cottage that stands amid a picturesque landscape estate less than 2 miles from Newry.