The Mourne roads are narrow and often bordered by 1.7m-high (5 1/2-ft.) dry-stone walls. The foothills of the Mournes around Castlewellan are ideal for cycling, with panoramic vistas and very little traffic. In these parts, the perfect year-round outfitter is Ross Cycles, 44 Clarkhill Rd. ([tel] 028/4377-8029), signposted from the Clough-Castlewellan Road, 1/2 mile (.8km) out of Castlewellan. The shop carries mountain bikes for the whole family, including children’s seats. You can park and ride, or request local delivery. Daily rates start at around £10, with family and weekly rates available.
The best time to fish for trout and salmon is August to October. Some sizable sea trout can be seen on the Whitewater River in the Mournes, and not all of them get away. The Burrendale Hotel in Newcastle (tel. 028/4372-2599) and the Kilmorey Arms Hotel in Kilkeel (tel. 028/4176-2220) offer special holiday breaks for game anglers. For further information, as well as tackle, bait, and outfitting needs, try Four Seasons, 47 Main St., Newcastle (tel. 028/4372-5078).
Royal County Down, Newcastle, County Down (www.royalcountydown.org; [tel] 028/4372-3314), is nestled in huge sand dunes with the Mountains of Mourne in the background. This 18-hole, par-71 championship course was created in 1889 and is still considered to be among the best. Greens fees are £200 to £220, depending on the day and time of year. (In winter and early spring, prices drop to £85–£125). Not too far away, the Kilkeel Golf Club, Mourne Park, Ballyardle, Kilkeel (www.kilkeelgolfclub.org; [tel] 028/4176-5095), is a beautiful parkland course on the historic Kilmorey Estate. Green fees are around £25 to £40, less on Mondays and Wednesdays.
The Mount Pleasant Trekking and Horse Riding Centre, Bannonstown Rd., Castlewellan (www.mountpleasantcentre.com; [tel] 028/4377-8651), offers group trekking tours into Castlewellan Forest Park. For riding in Tollymore Forest Park or on local trails, contact the Mourne Trail Riding Centre, 96 Castlewellan Rd., Newcastle, County Down (www.mournetrailridingcentre.co.uk; [tel] 028/4372-9107). It has quality horses and offers beach rides for skilled riders. Expect to pay around £25 per hour.
For canoeing, rock climbing, bushcraft, watersports, and a variety of other intrepid activities in the Mourne Mountains, contact One Great Adventure, The Grange Yard, Castlewellan Forest Park, Castlewellan (www.onegreatadventure.com; [tel] 028/4377-0714).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.