The region encompassing the Mourne Mountains, the Ring of Gullion and Strangford Lough is essentially an expansive outdoor adventure playground. Few destinations rival the sheer enjoyment of outdoor activities, making it an ideal spot for family fun that your children are bound to adore.  And better still you can enjoy it on a budget!

A vast and affordable adventure park, perfect for every family.

It's common knowledge that the Mourne Mountains & Ring of Gullion area is essentially a massive adventure park. There are undoubtedly few places on Earth that rival it for outdoor enjoyment, making it a perfect destination that your kids will undoubtedly adore.

Follow Fionn in Slieve Gullion

Begin your journey into the realm of playfulness at Fionn's Giant Adventure in Slieve Gullion Forest Park. It's akin to stepping into a magical, living storybook where elves and fairies of all ages can immerse themselves in captivating story trails and expend their energy in an expansive play park, complete with a specially crafted area for toddlers. For those with a daring spirit, there are ample opportunities to lead your family on thrilling bear hunts through the woods.

Enter the Enchantment of Narnia

Drawing inspiration from the local luminary C.S. Lewis and his legendary tale, the Narnia Trail at Kilbroney Forest Park invites the whole family into the enchanting realm of Aslan and the Pevensies. This leisurely trail is just the right length for little feet and brimming with vibrant hues to captivate young minds every step of the way.

Tread the Stepping Stones in Tollymore

Next, make your way to the base of the Mourne Mountains, where Tollymore Forest Park offers an array of outdoor activities guaranteed to keep the kids active and engaged. Whether it's hopping across the renowned stepping stones, traversing ancient bridges, or allowing them to explore the giant deer, castle turrets, and folly towers in the Big Deer play area, there's no shortage of excitement.

Construct Castles on Newcastle Beach 

In the delightful coastal town of Newcastle, you can stroll along the Promenade or skim stones on the beach before indulging in a delightful dinner at one of the many budget-friendly bars or restaurants. Some local establishments even offer free meals for kids, making it an excellent choice for an evening meal. If you're craving more beach and sea vibes, the elevated walkways of the Murlough National Nature Reserve guide you through the sand dunes, leading to the stunning Murlough Beach. With a length of less than two miles, it's the ideal spot to let the kids play with buckets and spades and then take a brisk walk along the shore, breathing in the fresh air.

Navigate Castlewellan Forest Park

Situated within Castlewellan Forest Park, the Peace Maze stands as one of the world's largest permanent hedge mazes. Planted in 2000 with active community involvement, it invites visitors to navigate their way to the maze's center, marking their accomplishment with a triumphant cheer. Adjacent to the maze, the Animal Wood play area caters to children aged four to eleven, offering a plethora of delights to keep them entertained. From a climbing wall to a fireman’s pole and a rope-bridge leading to a hollow tree stump slide, there's an array of exciting activities to enjoy. Watch your little ones frolic freely as you relax with a coffee from the nearby coffee trailer.

Enjoy a Delightful Day Out in Delamont

Located near Downpatrick, Delamont Country Park, home to the tallest megalith in Ireland, has evolved significantly since the early days of settlement in this area. The contemporary adventure playground, a far cry from what families experienced back then, is sure to capture the delight of today's young visitors. While the notion of a miniature railway might have astonished the children of the past, it's now an enjoyable experience for today's kids as they traverse the park. However, the timeless appeal of the woods remains, and exploring them with the whole family is a rewarding endeavor after the train ride and playground adventures have concluded.

The Mourne Mountains, Ring of Gullion and Strangford Lough area could easily be the ultimate family destination, and the best part is that having a great time here doesn't have to break the bank.

Slieve Gullion Forest Park, Adventure Playpark and Fionn's Giant Adventure
Forest Parks
Children playing around a giant book in Slieve Gullion Forest Park

Slieve Gullion is Ireland's Mountain of Mystery. Slieve Gullion Forest Park offers walking trails, a scenic drive, an Adventure Playpark, Fionn's Giant Adventure children's story trail and a Courtyard with coffee shop.

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.

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.

Newcastle Beach
Beach
Newcastle Beach

Newcastle Beach is a popular seaside resort and tourist destination located on the South Down coast of Northern Ireland. Newcastle Beach comprises of sand, pebbles and larger stones and is approximately 2.5 km in length. The major part of Newcastle Beach is backed by a promenade and the seaside town of Newcastle, which has lots of shops, cafes, restaurants, amusements and other attractions. The beach has a very gentle slope with the Mountains of Mourne in the background. The beach is popular for swimming and sunbathing and there is life saving equipment available with signage on the Promenade.  The beach can be accessed via steps or the slipway.

Murlough Beach
Beach
Murlough Beach

This 5 mile stretch of golden sands is still the essence of the resort and is hugely popular for swimming, sunbathing and other forms of recreation.

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.