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Self-Guided Cooley & Mourne Walking Holidays
This is where it all started, the Cooley & Mourne Mountains Walking Holiday was our very first self-guided walking tour we introduced and get this beautiful part of the world discovered by hiking enthusiasts worldwide.
The Cooley Peninsula & Carlingford
Our walking Holidays in Ireland’s Ancient East cover the Cooley peninsula in Ireland and the Mournes in Northern Ireland. Therefore spectacular hiking is guaranteed.
Less than an hour’s drive from Ireland’s two major cities, Dublin and Belfast, Carlingford Town on the Cooley Peninsula nestles between Slieve Foy, Carlingford Lough and the Mourne Mountains. A unique blend of natural beauty, spectacular panoramas, myths and legends combine to make Carlingford an extraordinary place. It is Ireland’s most well preserved medieval town lending it a unique feel and atmosphere. (ask about our guided tours).
The oyster capital of Ireland
Carlingford is also the Oyster capital of the country and every August the Oyster Festival draws huge crowds into this beautiful village of whitewashed cottages and ancient clustered buildings.
Myths and Legends in Ireland’s Ancient East
‘An táin Bó Cuailigne’ the national epic of Ireland is centralised on the Cooley Peninsula. Furthermore, it is here that Cuchulainn, Queen Maebh and the famous Brown Bull of Cooley met their fate. Therefore, follow their route across Ireland to the Cooley mountains. This national waymarked way is known as the táin trail.
Hiking in Ireland Mourne Mountains
The Mourne Mountains or ‘Mournes’ is a granite mountain range located in County Down in the south-east of Northern Ireland and are among the most famous mountains in the country. Furthermore, The National Trust partly owns the Mournes and see a large number of visitors and hill walkers every year. The highest peak is Slieve Donard at 849 metres (2,785 ft).
The Mourne Wall
The Mourne Wall is among the most famous features in the Mournes. Because it is a 35 kilometres long dry-stone wall that crosses fifteen summits. It was constructed to define the boundaries of the 36 sq km area of land purchased by the Belfast Water Commissioners in the late 1800s. Construction of the Mourne Wall was started in 1904 and completed in 1922.
What does Slieve mean?
Quite a few of the mountains have names beginning with ‘Slieve’, which is taken from the Irish word Sliabh and means mountain. Some examples are ‘Slieve Donard’, ‘Slieve Lamagan’ and ‘Slieve Muck’. There are also some unusual names: Pigeon Rock; Buzzard’s Roost; Brandy Pad; the Cock and Hen; Percy Bysshe; the Devil’s Coach Road; and Pollaphuca, which means “hole of the fairies or sprites.”
Ireland's Ancient East - Walking holidays in the Cooley & Mourne Mountains
Our walking Holidays on the Cooley Peninsula and in the Mourne Mountains run across the Border of Ireland and Northern Ireland in Ireland's Ancient East. We offer itineraries from 6 to 11 days as standard but please reach out to us should you wish to have a tailor-made tour made to your requirements.
6/7 Day Program:
- Day 1 Arrival in Dundalk / Blackrock.
- Day 2 Walk from the Lumpers to Carlingford. Hike 16km.
- Day 3 Various walk options from Carlingfor. Hike: 8-16 km
- Day 4 Transfer to Northern Ireland and walk part I of Mourne Way. Hike: 18 km
- Extra Day (7) Various walk options from Attical into the Mourne Mountains. Hike: 18 km
- Day 5 Part 2 of Mourne Way. Hike 19km
- Day 6 Departure from Newcastle
10/11 Day Program:
- Day 1 Arrival in Dundalk / Blackrock.
- Day 2 Ravensdale to Lumpers. Hike 12km.
- Extra Day Dundalk / Blackrock is a fantastic base to do a city tour to Dublin and/or. Belfast or the Boyne Valley with excellent train and bus connections.
- Day 3 Slieve Gullion Circular Walk. Hike 15km.
- Day 4 Walk from the Lumpers to Carlingford. Hike 16km.
- Day 5 Various walk options from Carlingford. Hike: 8-16 km
- Day 6 Transfer to Northern Ireland and walk part I of Mourne Way. Hike: 18 km
- Day 7 Various options for local walks in Mournes from Attical. Hike 10-16km
- Day 8 Various options for local walks in Mournes from Attical. Hike 10-16km
- Day 9 Part 2 of Mourne Way. Hike 19km
- Day 10 Departure from Newcastle
Below is our most popular 8 Day itinerary:
Arrive in IrelandArrive at your first accommodation in Dundalk in County Louth. We recommend flying into Dublin or Belfast airports. There is a regular bus service every hour from the airport to Dundalk. Overnight Dundalk.
Ravensdale – Lumpers (Cooley)Private transfer to the start of the first walk in Ravensdale forest. A steep climb brings you to Black Mountain & Clairmont Cairn from where you have a fantastic view over the Slieve Gullion and Slieve Foye above Carlingford as well as the Mourne mountains to the Northeast. You will continue to the Lumpers Pub where you will be picked up for a transfer back to your B&B. Overnight Dundalk.Walk: 12 km / 4 hours / Forest roads and tracks, Heather and Moore (can be wet underfoot) and quiet country roads
Lumpers to CarlingfordTransfer to start of the hike at the Lumpers Pub. Today’s walk brings you across the Cooley Peninsula into the central valley before climbing over the crest of Barnavave and Maeve’s Gap to find Carlingford Village and Carlingford Lough at your feet. Overnight in Carlingford where your baggage awaits.Walk: 16 km / 5 hours / Forest roads and tracks, Heather and Moore (can be wet underfoot) and quiet country roads.
Explore CarlingfordFrom your B&B accommodation in Carlingford we give you a variety of walking options to enjoy. These vary in Length and difficulty and all start and end in the historic medieval village with its many shops, restaurants and cosy pubs. Make sure to sample the famous Carlingford Oysters!Walk: Various lengths and grades.
Rostrevor – DeerparkPrivate transfer to the start of the hike in Rostrevor on the other side of Carlingford Lough. You will now make your way into the Mournes following the waymarked Mourne Way. At the end of the walk, you will be collected and brought to the Mourne Hostel in Attical. This hostel was set up and built as a village project to create a source of income to the area and is run by volunteers. Overnight in Atticall.Walk: 17 km / 5 hours / Forest roads and tracks, Heather and Moore (can be wet underfoot)
Explore Mourne MountainsUsing your accommodation in Attical as a base choose one of the many fantastic walks in the area and explore the beautiful Mourne Mountains. During the Summer Months, a circular Rambler bus allows you to explore all corners of this magnificent area. Overnight in Atticall.Walk: Various lengths and grades
Deerpark – NewcastlePrivate transfer close to the previous day end point, and from here you will walk across the Mournes and through the beautiful Tollymore forest park and into Newcastle where you will spend the final night before departure. This is hill-walking at its best, and this trek will inspire you to come back for more! Overnight in Newcastle.Walk: 18 km / 5.5 hours / Forest roads and tracks, Heather and Moore (can be wet underfoot)
Departure from NewcastleUnfortunately, this is the end of your holiday and it is time to return home.
Our walking Holiday inncludes:
- Carefully selected B&B accommodation
- Baggage transfers on walking days
- 24/7 local emergency contact
- Local advice on places to visit and where to eat
- Full pre-departure info to allow you to prepare for your walking holiday
- Extra night(s) accommodation booked on request
- Travel & Baggage insurance
- Evening Meals
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- Pricing Name: 6 day walking tourStart:Min Group Size: No size limitMax Group Size: No size limitprice:
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- Pricing Name: 8 day walking tourStart:Min Group Size: No size limitMax Group Size: No size limitprice:
- Pricing Name: 9 day walking tourStart:Min Group Size: No size limitMax Group Size: No size limitprice: /Person
- Pricing Name: 10 day walking tourStart:Min Group Size: No size limitMax Group Size: No size limitprice: /Person