There are so many things to see and do in Mourne Mountains & Ring of Gullion, that it was hard narrowing it down to just ten. We have complied a list of reasons to visit this unique and picturesque area and if it doesn't persuade you to visit Mourne, Gullion, Strangford this year, I don't know what will!

1. Beautiful Scenery

Mourne Mountains & Ring of Gullion offers impressive, majestic mountains, stunning natural landscapes with lush greenery and picturesque coastlines, you are never far away from a beautiful view in the Ring of Gullion, Mourne, and Strangford Lough & Lecale Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

2. Our Geopark

The Mourne Gullion Strangford Geopark encompasses a vast area of striking natural beauty, it has over 400 million years of geological history and features a diversity of landscape. The upland areas of Mournes Mountains are composed of igneous rocks which cooled under the Earth’s surface and have been carved out by glacial activity and erosion over millions of years. The Ring of Gullion was the first ring dyke in the world to be geologically mapped, these low-lying hills form a ring around the mystical Slieve Gullion.

The region’s iconic coastline combines hard rocky coves with boulder clay cliffs and some excellent examples of glaciogenic sediments. The area we know as Strangford Lough and Lecale once lay deep in the southern hemisphere drowned beneath the ancient Iapetus Ocean. – the presence of which again owes much to the movement of ice.

3. Heritage

Mourne Mountains & Ring of Gullion is home to a variety of amazing heritage trails and monuments which are well worth exploring and visiting from Neolithic Funeral Sites, 12th Century Church Ruins, Natural Wonders from the Ice Age and many more. The heritage trails will take you to historical monuments, travel back in time, learn the history, and explore the rich and beautiful local landscape.

4. Giant Experiences and Adventures

Whether you’re planning your next family break or your next adventure, our forests, mountains, and shores are home to some of the most unique day trips, excursions and experiences around.  We might be a small part of the world, but Mourne Mountains & Ring of Gullion has many things to keep you entertained. Throughout the year we also have plenty of festivals and celebrations to see, you will be spoilt for choice upon your visit.

Check out our Saint Patrick’s Day Festivities in Downpatrick and Newry. Things to do at St Patrick's Festival - Visit Mourne Mountains

5. Hiking

No matter what the weather is, people flock from all over the world to visit Mourne Mountains & Ring of Gullion area as hiking is one of the most popular activities in our fascinating Mountain range. There are a high variety of trails throughout the Mournes to choose from, ranging from easy walks to challenging hikes. Slieve Donard Northern Irelands highest mountain brings people from all over the word to complete the summit to the top, on any weekend the forests are filled with energetic walkers, campers and eager daredevils doing some rock climbing.

6. Delicious Food & Drink

One of the things guaranteed when visiting  Mourne Mountains & Ring of Gullion area is you can enjoy fresh delicious local produce and ingredients across the area, from cosy cafes serving great coffee and yummy traybakes, to delightful restaurants serving fresh seafood, hearty Irish dishes to modern European cuisine.

7. Outdoor Activities

In Mourne Mountains & Ring of Gullion area we have a wide variety of outdoor activities to participate in, there are plenty of fun ways to enjoy being in nature while appreciating our incredible landscape.  You can enjoy activities such as water bouldering, rock climbing, mountain walking, abseiling, kayaking, cycling, mountain biking and many more.

8. Wildlife Spotting

Mourne, Gullion & Strangford UNESCO Geopark is home to some of the most diverse and best-preserved wildlife populations in Ireland.  We have a diverse range of wildlife, including birds, mammals, and reptiles. Strangford Lough is one of the best places to observe seals, and you can also spot a variety of bird species there and at Murlough Nature Reserve or Killard Nature Reserve.

9. Relax and Retreat

If you are looking to escape the hectic lifestyle for a few days, then Mourne Mountains & Ring of Gullion area might be the place for you. We have lots of remote accommodations in tranquil parts of the area perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle, and experiences that offer the chance to connect with nature and recuperate, or a book a stay in one of our selection of fabulous spa hotels perfect for a day of relaxation.

10. Golfing

Golf tourism in Northern Ireland has experienced a remarkable surge in popularity in recent years, Mourne Mountains & Ring of Gullion has an impressive selection of golf courses throughout the region such as The Royal County Down, providing the perfect backdrop for what is arguably one of the most scenic locations on the entire island. The Amgen Irish Open will take place here in September 2024. 

Book our special Heart of Down Golf Pass and enjoy this unique opportunity to play three rounds of golf from a range of golf courses, all for £120.

In conclusion, a visit to Mourne Mountains & Ring of Gullion guarantees a wonderful time with interesting history, plenty to see and do and beautiful scenery. Explore our website for more information on our area.