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How Would You Spend One Day in County Down?

Georgia
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99 posts
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How Would You Spend One Day in County Down?

Hi! We're staying 2 nights at Slieve Donard Resort at the end of May. We have most of one day to explore the area (husband has a 15:00 tee time at Royal County Down). We're a group of four in our early 40s. Three of us like to hike, one is not as enthusiastic about hiking. Since we have such a short time, I'd like to do something unique to the area. We're following Newcastle with two nights in Portrush and will be driving the Antrim coast. I don't want to drive more than 1 hour from Newcastle (which eliminates Castle Ward, even though it looks lovely and interesting). Here are my thoughts:

1. Weather permitting, do a hike in the Mournes. Unfortunately, I don't think that we have time to ascend Slieve Donard because of the golf tee time. I've read that it take 4-5 hours. Otherwise, that would be our choice.

2. Visit Tollymore Forest Park and walk there. My husband and I are Game of Thrones fans, but not to the extent that we're planning this trip around GOT filming sites.

3. Drive to Downpatrick and see the St. Patrick sites and Inch Abbey.

I'm also very interested in Dundrum Castle, but I don't feel like it's a half day activity. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Hopefully we can fit in around whatever else we decide to do. I really wish that we had more time! Thanks in advance for any thoughts that you may have.

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Newcastle
Newcastle
County Down, UK
Portrush
Portrush
County Antrim, UK
Antrim
Antrim
County Antrim, UK
Downpatrick
Downpatrick
County Down, UK
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Comber, United...
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1. Re: How Would You Spend One Day in County Down?

Hi Luckydog57

All good ideas you have put forward. I would like to start by adding Castle Ward back into the mix as it really shouldn't take more than 40 minutes to get there so I wouldn't rule it out if there is something there of particular interest.

There are good walks at Castle Ward (flat - which may suit the non-hiker in the party) and also GoT filming locations to explore.

The Glen river trail up to The Saddle between Donard & Commedagh is roughly a 3 - 3.5 hour round trip and offers fantastic views on Newcastle and the Irish Sea. Tollymore again offers excellent walking options, as does Castlewellan Forest Park or you could drive into the Mournes and start your hike around Spelga Dam.

A walk in a forest park could easily be coupled with a visit to Dundrum Castle (which will not take a half day as you had already realised) or you could explore the area around Murlough Bay and beach instead.

It is a beautiful part of the world with lots of options and I probably haven't helped by offering up more ideas. If you need more info. just shout.

CP

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Newcastle
Newcastle
County Down, UK
Georgia
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99 posts
59 reviews
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2. Re: How Would You Spend One Day in County Down?

Thanks for the response, CP! I had gotten in my head that Castle Ward was a longer drive from Newcastle. I was also wondering how long it would take to do the Glen River hike to the saddle. That may be the winner unless the weather is just miserable. However, it's good to have options. I think we'll just see what we feel like doing that day. I'm looking forward to visiting this beautiful area

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Newcastle
Newcastle
County Down, UK
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