Official tourism website for Mourne Mountains and Ring of Gullion

Electric Brae “Magic hill”

Kilkeel Road, Hilltown, Newry, County Down, BT34 5XL
Spelga Dam beside Electric Brae

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The Electric Brae is a hill at which Newton's discovery, the law of gravity, is defied.  A parked car, with its handbrake off, appears to run backwards uphill. The Term ‘Electric Brae’ comes from a hill in Scotland, near Ayr, where the same phenomena is observed, Brae is a Scottish word for hill and Electric because the effect was initially thought to be an electric or magnetic attraction or repulsion from the surrounding hill or, in the case of the site near Spelga Dam, a large reservoir. Just visualise how two magnets repel each other. The location is at Spelga Dam in the Mournes, if you have an Ordnance Survey Map the grid reference is 265 275.


Establishment Features

  • Accommodation nearby

Provider Preferences

  • Unique venue

Add Electric Brae “Magic hill” to your Itinerary

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Call direct on:

Tel 033 0137 4046

Map & Directions

What's Nearby

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Map & Directions

Road Directions

Directions: Take the main road from Byransford to Hiltown (B180) and, leaving Bryansford take the second road on the left, the Slievenaman Road. Travel approx 4 miles along this road, climbing all the way. You will see Fofanny Dam on the left and in front of it the new underground water treatment plant which should only be visible by looking backwards, just past the entrance. On the right, just opposite the dam wall, you will see the massive land slip on the slope of Butter Mountain that occurred on the day of the heavy rain in August 2008. The road will level out and down to the right you will see Spelga Dam and a road that swings down to Hiltown. Take this road down past the dam, on your left will be some car parking space and on the right a toilet block. Drive past the dam wall and start to descend what is known as the Spelga Hill Climb, just beyond what must have been a dam workers house there is a little road into the left leading straight towards the dam itself. At the end of this little road are two gates into the grounds in front of the dam. Park in front of the gates and put your car out of gear and the hand brake off and see what happens. Hopefully, your car will appear to run back up the slope of this little private road. It can be appreciated why some people think this phenomenon is caused by a magnetic effect coming from the large body of water behind the dam wall. Contributed: David Maginn – Tory Bush Cottages/Dundrum Bay Holiday Homes

Public Transport Directions

Book the Mourne Shuttle Service  

Kevin: 073 6852 9714

Peter: 075 1641 2076


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