Murlough Nature Reserve North Point Trail

Walking trail

Discover the beauty of Murlough with a walk through the National Nature Reserve. With the majestic Mourne Mountains as a backdrop, Murlough is home to 22 butterfly species including the Marsh Fritillary which is of European importance. Follow this self-guided trail to discover the history, biology and conservation of this special place. Please follow these guidelines to avoid disturbing wildlife or damaging the reserve. This 2 ½ mile (4 km) walk takes you through the full range of scenery and habitats in this part of the Reserve, and provides views in all directions, as well as an opportunity to see a wide variety of wildlife. If you're looking for a slightly shorter walk, there are two points (4 and 9) where you can easily cut back to the start.

View to the Mourne Mountains from Murlough National Nature Reserve, County Down, Northern Ireland


Route map for North trail at Murlough NNR


Keel Point, concrete standing, grid ref: 410351


Follow the avenue from the concrete standing towards Murlough House. Turn right onto the boardwalk which is clearly marked by the ‘To Beach’ sign.


As you follow the boardwalk path down the woodland area, be sure to stop at the gate, where you will be treated to your first glimpse of the sea.


Carry on until you reach the beach. Take a moment to enjoy the wide expense of shingle storm beach that stretches 4 miles (6.4 km) across the bay. Turn left and walk along the beach until you reach the green marker post.


Turn left and take the path that climbs up steeply into marram grass and sea buckthorn and then into a sycamore wood. Turn right before reaching the garden of Murlough House.


Follow straight along the path into the area of woodland, ignore the turn to the left and continue on the path down the slope to emerge on the beach next to the boathouse.

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From the boathouse, turn left and walk along the beach until you reach the green post. Take the path to the left up the bank and back into the hazel path.


At the junction with the main track, turn right and follow the path along the edge (ignoring a turning to the left). Follow the path as it descends into high gorse scrub and turns right onto the beach of the inner bay.


Turn left and walk along the beach until you reach a narrow set of steps up the bank. Go up these steps and follow the path back into the Reserve.

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As you follow the path, you will come to a point where five paths meet. Take the first left and walk through open heathland and through a squeeze stile to join a main track.

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Turn left and take the next path to the right. This path rises to one of the highest points in this area which provides great views in all directions. From this point continue along the track downhill and to the right which will take you in the general direction of the Mournes Mountains. When you reach the avenue turn left and follow the road back to the starting point.


Follow the road back to the starting point.


Keel Point, concrete standing, grid ref: 410351

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Murlough Nature Reserve North Point Trail


Some areas of the walk may involve uneven ground and care should be taken. Please be advised that only parts of this walk are disabled access, so it may not be suitable for disabled persons.
Dogs should be kept on leads at all times whilst in the Reserve. When possible, please keep to the marked pathways and boardwalks in order to avoid disturbance to wildlife. 
Murlough Nature Reserve North Point Trail

Contact us

Telephone: 028 4375 1467


Murlough Nature Reserve North Point Trail

How to get here

Murlough National Nature Reserve, Keel Point, Dundrum, BT33 0NQ
By road

Follow signs on A24, 2 miles (3.2 km) south of Dundrum.

Murlough Nature Reserve North Point Trail

Facilities and access

  • No immediate local public toilets
  • Nearest shops and public houses situated in Dundrum
  • National Trust car park (free to members)