Walking in the Mournes

A team of volunteers at Murlough National Nature Reserve

"Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea"- immortalised by writer Percy French, the Mournes boast a large number of walking trails from short strolls to serious hikes.

It would take years to walk all the trails that the Mournes have to offer. The network of paths and tracks that cross over this mountain range are not all for the faint-hearted, but the views of the valleys, lakes, rivers and reservoirs make it well worth the climb.

The National Trust cares for and maintains 526 hectares of the Mournes, which takes in part of Slieve Donard and Slieve Commedagh and includes Bloody Bridge.

Awarded "NI's Favourite Walking Destination" in 2017, discover all the walks that the Mournes have to offer on the Walk NI website,

Bloody Bridge

Bloody Bridge at the foot of Slieve Donard
Bloody Bridge, near Newcastle, Co. Down
Bloody Bridge at the foot of Slieve Donard

The name refers to a massacre at the site during the 1641 rebellion, when the bodies of slain prisoners were thrown over the bridge into the river turning the water red. Despite it's gory history, the area is one of the most picturesque spots for a walk in the mournes, and an excellent spot to begin an ascent of Slieve Donard. This area is particularly steep in points and should only be attempted by seasoned walkers.

Preparation

As always, please be careful when climbing in the Mournes, especially in periods of bad weather. Wear appropraite footwear, bring water and food if attempting a long hike and make sure you have researched how long your route will take, being aware of the time of the sunset. Most of all, enjoy your time in the beautful natural scenery of Northern Ireland.