Roadtrip of County Down

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Roadtrip of County Down

Stroll around Castle Ward

Castle Ward is a 18th-century National Trust property located near the village of Strangford, most famously home to the famous Winterfell Castle movie set from Game of Thrones.

As well as the incredible medieval architecture, the gardens and grounds at Castle Ward are beautiful, there’s many trails you can follow through the gardens.

You can visit the castle and go on a Game of Thrones tour, seeing the medieval walls, castle tower gate, beautiful landscapes and never-ending views out across the lough. The tour brings you to see over 20 key Game of Thrones filming locations, including the Winterfell Castle, the tower window Bran Stark ‘fell’ from, the Winterfell Crypt and the courtyard where the Stark family greeted King Robert.

Hike the Mourne Mountains

The Mourne Mountains is the tallest mountain range in Northern Ireland. Slieve Donard is the highest, stretching to 850m tall. For beginners wanting to hike, there are many routes you can take through the peaks. If you’re looking for an easy hike with great views, you can park at Carrick Little and walk along the easy trail to Ben Crom and back. This 3 hour route takes you right through the middle of the mountains without having to exert yourself too much.

If you’re not familiar with the mountains, the hike up to Slieve Donard or Commedagh are the easiest to follow, with a marked path the entire route. The terrain is easy to walk on and you have less chance of getting lost.

For more advanced hikes, peaks like Bearnagh or Binnian are great if you like a challenge! The paths are a little more rough and harder to find your way. But with plenty of research on trails and a good group around you, you’ll have a great time!

 

Explore Tollymore Forest Park

Tollymore Forest Park is 630 hectares of forest at the foot of the Mourne mountains. It boasts panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and over to the sea. It’s the perfect spot to have a stroll along the river, have a picnic or get lost for hours in the trees! As well as being right beside the picturesque town of Newscastle, Tollymore has amazing facilities, with a coffee truck and camping sites available.

Soak up Nature at Strangford Lough

 Strangford Lough is a unique spot to visit at any time of the year with a wide variety of wildlife! There are many little islands just off the coast of the mainland that you can explore, some via road and some via boat.

If you go exploring down to the shore at low tide you can see the amazing diversity of life lurking within the rock pools.There are over 2,000 different types of marine creatures living within the Lough. This can be found all along the edge of the lough, but the best shorelines to explore are Ballyhenry Island and Kearney Village.

 

Go for a dip at Helen’s Bay

Located just outside of Belfast, Helen’s Bay is a stunning beach popular for cold water swimming and paddle boarding. The backdrop looks onto Crawfordsburn Country Park where there are many trails through the beautiful woodland. From Helen’s Bay you can walk for miles along the coast. In one direction you can go along to Bangor passing Smelt Mill Bay and Carnalea Beach Bay, then the other way take you to Hollywood via Grey Point Fort and Seapark Bay Beach.

 

We hope you get to enjoy a beautiful roadtrip around County Down! For more tips such as this, sign up to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss a thing!

 

 

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