The Mourne Coastal Route hosts some of Ireland’s most spectacular scenery especially along the stretch where the famed “Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea” on the shores of Carlingford Lough.
Depart from the main route to experience the Blue Flag Cranfield beach, reputed to have the warmest waters in Northern Ireland. Enjoy stunning views, across to the Cooley Mountains and the 19th century Haulbowline Lighthouse, signalling the entrance to Carlingford Lough.
Nearby Green Castle was one of two fortifications built in the 13th century to guard the Lough. Cross the water on the new Greencastle to Greenore ferry, and visit its ‘twin’, King John’s Castle, in picturesque medieval Carlingford.
Back on the northern shore — perhaps via the Omeath to Warrenpoint ferry (if you’re walking or cycling) — charming coastal towns offer warm hospitality.
Rostrevor, below Slieve Martin, offers delightful forest park walks while the Fairy Glen leads visitors along the Kilbroney River. A demanding climb to the huge Cloughmore Stone, 300 metres above the village, affords magnificent views of Rostrevor, the Lough and Cooley Peninsula. Near Warrenpoint, the 16th century Narrow Water tower-house, built on the site of a 13th century keep, deserves to be visited.
Follow the 18th century ship canal to the end of the route in Newry where a Heritage Trail, starting from Bagenal’s Castle, highlights the city’s landmarks.