"Northern Ireland" Newry and Mourne by TygerLyn
Newry and Mourne Travel Guide: 10 reviews and 72 photos
I took some people from my social group for a walking holiday in the Mountains of Mourne. We stayed at The Hut, which was interesting accomodation. It was an old shooting lodge, quite quaint and charming that was very damp but in a beautiful setting with a pretty stream running through the garden. Once again, I had very good weather with only one day being damp and that was not eneough to put us off from going out.
The Hut was situated about a mile and half from Annalong. Apart from a small shop in a garage forecourt about a mile away there isn't any shopping so you need to stock up before you go. The owner very kindly gave P and I a lift from the airport and took us to a supermarket so we survived a week without having to do another major shop.
Annalong is a delightful little place with a watermill and a really good restaurant down at the small and pretty harbour. We walked part of the way on the beach althugh the beach is very stony. Annalong also has a "hostel" which M,who stayed on for another week, tells me was considerably upmarket compared to The Hut. Although very small, Annalong is a nice place to spend a few hours just pottering around looking at the sea, watching fishing boats and walking the coastal path.
Kilkeel is much bigger although you won't find a high street with major stores! It does have a supermarket though. A working port with many shipwrights, foundries etc, M and I spent a happy hour watching the seals coming into the port on the incoming tide. P and J were not the walking type and preferred to sit in a jetty cafe. This was our worst day so perhaps theyw ere wise to stay in the steamy cafe but M and I had already worked out that their idea of a walk was a gentle two mile stroll on terra firma, not climbing mountins, rocks or jumping streams. Each to his own.
This is a very very lovely spot. The day was warm and the Silent Valley was between the Hut and Annalong. A National Park surrounded by the Mourne Mountains, we enjoyed a picnic lunch at Sally Lake,watching a duck and her tiny offspring scrabbling around at the waters edge.
P&J. not wanting to walk anywhere, settled down in a small park area and M & I decided to walk the 3 miles along the Silent Valley to the loch at the end, (Ben Crom Reservoir) 6 miles in total. The sun came out and we started to shed clothing. The walk was steadily uphill but not taxing. We could see the Mourne wall running across the moutains to our right and we were going to follow that when we did our climb the next day.
The view from the bridge at the top was quite spectacular. On one side we had the loch and on the other, way down below us, the Silent Valley with waterfalls plunging down the moutains into the valley below. We broke the rules, ignored the signs, crossed the bridge and clambered down the rocks the other side and crossed the small bridge that traversed the pipes taking the overflow from the loch into Silent Valley. We sat down on the side of the road leading back down into the valley and ate the rest of our lunch. The wardens appeared in their truck. We silently munched on pretending that we had neither seen them or heard them. They slowed up and looked at us and, deciding that we were two people of well advanced middle age and were wearing sensible walking boots and had rucksacks with water proofs and food in them , left us without saying a word.
A walk worth doing, nice a gentle, the most strenuous bit being the climb up the steps to get to the damn and the loch. I can recommend it, certainly on a nice day. But because it is sheltered it might be a bit gloomy on a wet dark day or oppressive in the other way if it was too hot. Certainly we found it hot enough trapped between the moutain range.
- Pros:Fantastic in good weather
- Cons:Wouldn't be quite so wonderful in bad.
- In a nutshell:Beautiful!
Here are some more of the Mourne Mountains. And one of Ben Crom. We didn't see another soul on the walk to Ben Crom! more travel advice
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