Official tourism website for Mourne Mountains and Ring of Gullion

High Mournes Scenic Loop

Central Promenade, Central Promenade, Newcastle, County Down, BT33 0AA
Silent Valley Reservoir

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The High Mournes Scenic Loop delves into the very heart of the famous Mourne Mountains offering iconic views of Slieve Commedagh, Bernagh, Meelmore, Meelbeg and beyond. Below the summits, the charming village of Bryansford and Tollymore Forest Park are well worth a stop for walks along the Shimna River and among the wonderfully ornate and quirky stone bridges, gates, and follies of this planted demesne. If you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a Red Squirrel or two.  

Where forest gives way to open heathland, Trassey Track leading to Hare’s Gap is one of the main walking access routes to the high Mournes. At Spelga Dam, at the ‘junction’ of the Eastern and Western Mournes where people brought cattle for the summer grazing on the high pastures of the Deer’s Meadow, living in the turf built ‘booley huts’ for those months. The River Bann sets off from here on its journey to Lough Neagh and beyond. 

The Silent Valley Mountain Park is home to a reservoir set against a stunning backdrop and offering amenities and a wealth of history to explore. Among the many feats of early engineering and human endeavour, look out for the cut granite Mourne Wall as it winds its way over the twelve highest peaks, seeming at times to defy gravity. Where this loop meets the Mourne Plain, Carrick Little provides access to the beautiful Annalong Valley and is also a perfect vantage point to see the ‘patchwork quilt’ effect of the small fields bounded by dry stone walls, built as the hardy locals cleared the rocky ground to make their farms. Look also to the horizon where, in clear conditions, you can see the twin mountain peaks of the Isle of Man and on occasion, the hills of Cumbria beyond. 



  • Picnic Area

Establishment Features

  • Accommodation nearby

Leisure Facilities

  • Outdoor activities

Parking & Transport

  • Car parking

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Map & Directions

What's Nearby

  1. The Mourne Coastal Route has a few start off points from the County Down coastline,…

    0 miles away
  2. Newcastle's Parks consist of outdoor facilities at the Castle and Island parks. Castle…

    0.01 miles away
  3. The Shimna River is a river in County Down, Northern Ireland. It rises on the slopes of…

    0.08 miles away
  1. The Mourne Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is located in the south-east corner of…

    0.09 miles away
  2. The Mourne Wall is 22 miles long and consists of natural granite stone which was…

    0.28 miles away
  3. Donard park is a beautiful park located in the lovely town of Newcastle County Down, next…

    0.32 miles away
  4. Newcastle Beach is a popular seaside resort and tourist destination located on the South…

    0.36 miles away
  5. Newcastle is a small drying harbour with fixed fore/aft moorings and consists of two…

    0.48 miles away
  6. Maghera Church and Round Tower is of major historical importance and is among many…

    1.98 miles away
  7. This 5 mile stretch of golden sands is still the essence of the resort and is hugely…

    2.04 miles away
  8. Tollymore Forest Park has panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the sea at…

    2.23 miles away
  9. Murlough National Nature Reserve is a fragile 6000 year old sand dune system owned by the…

    2.54 miles away
  10. The Maize Maze is the only one of its kind in Northern Ireland. A massive 6 acre field of…

    3.17 miles away
  11. Set in spectacular surroundings overlooking Dundrum inner Bay these fine Georgian…

    3.62 miles away
  12. A small car park for visitors is located off the Drumnaquoile Road and an extensive…

    3.93 miles away
  13. Believed to have been built in or around 1177, Dundrum Castle was built by John De Courcy…

    4.11 miles away
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Map & Directions

Road Directions

Start your journey from Newcastle County Down, follow the one-way system up the Bryansford road turn left, past Tollymore Forest Park, and continue on the (B180) until you approach the Slievenaman Road, pass Spelga Dam, enjoy the scenic views of the Mountains until you approach the Head Road follow the route and end on the Quarter Road just outside Annalong and follow the Mourne Coastal Route back to the town of  Newcastle. 

Public Transport Directions

Mourne Shuttle Bus Service

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