Newcastle Surroundings

With so much to see and do in Newcastle, County Down Northern Ireland, it would not be possible to list all of them, but here are just a few of them.

Tollymore Forest Park

Tollymore Forest ParkOn 2nd June 2005 Tollymore Forest Park celebrated its 50th anniversary. In 1955 it became the first state forest in Northern Ireland to be designated as a Forest Park.

Tollymore was previously owned by Robert Jocelyn, 8th Earl of Roden and purchased by the Department of Agriculture in 1930 and 1941. Covering an area of almost 630 hectares at the foot of the Mourne mountains, the forest park offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the sea at nearby Newcastle, while within its own boundaries are many splendid vistas of woodland and rivers. Tollymore was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 British picnic sites for 2000.

Tollymore is one of three forests across Northern Ireland piloting the "in-touch" information kiosk. The kiosk contains lots of information on the forest and its surrounding area including useful tourist information. The kiosk is located at the bottom corner of the upper car park.

Opening Hours: The Forest is open every day of the year from 10:00 am until sunset.

Admission Fees from 1 February 2006:

  • Car £4.00
  • Motorbike £2.00
  • Minibus £10.00
  • Coach £25.00
  • Pedestrian Access: Adult £2.00 Child £0.50

 

Castlewellan Forest Park

Castlewellan Forest ParkCastlewellan Forest Park covers 460 hectares of natural beauty enhanced by diverse woodland and a variety of attractive man made features, all of which are accessible to the visitor on foot.

The beautiful land was leased from the Annesley family in 1967 and became a Forest Park in 1969.

The Peace Maze, original concept and maze design by Beverley Lear, Lear Associates, which is the largest and longest permanent hedge maze in the world, was officially opened by Mrs Brid Rodgers, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, on Wednesday 12th September 2001.

Read the latest update from the National Arboretum

The forest is open every day of the year from 10:00am until sunset.

Admission Fees from 1 February 2006:

  • Car £4.00
  • Motorbike £2.00
  • Minibus £10.00
  • Coach £25.00
  • Pedestrian Access: Adult £2.00 Child £0.50

 

Castle Ward

Castle Ward18th-century mansion, famed for its mixture of architectural styles

One Classical and one Gothic façade
Dramatic setting overlooking Strangford Lough
Children can dress up and play with period toys in the Victorian Past Times centre Take a ride in a tractor trailer and visit our farm animals Woodland, lakeside and parkland walks with stunning viewpoints

 

Mourne Golf Club

Royal County DownThe arrival of Mourne Golf Club on the Irish Golfing scene is recorded in the Golfing Union of Ireland centenary book with half a line - "1946 Mourne, A 1946.". Expanded into a sentence, this reads "Mourne Golf Club was founded in 1946 and affiliated to Golfing Union of Ireland in 1946.".

The centenary book of Royal County Down Golf Club is a bit more generous and gives the event the following:

"There was, however, one very significant move which took place in the closing years of the war. Gerald Annesley, grandson of the first president and now landlord, took a positive step forward on behalf of the townspeople of Newcastle. He wrote to the Council of Royal County Down reminding them that the town had become a substantial seaside resort and was no longer the fishing village of 1889. He proposed the establishment of a club for the residents of the Newcastle area, under the auspices of Royal County Down, and with separate premises. Council's characteristic reaction was to appoint a sub-committee. This did not betoken reluctance but they wished to be sure of the implications for all parties. For example, on handicapping and other issues, the Golfing Union of Ireland had to be consulted. Two years later details were finalised, but in the meantime Mourne Golf Club, as it had been named was seeking accommodation and the huts which had been used by the Civil Defence Authorities between the Clubhouse and Slieve Donard Hotel were found suitable. A lease was arranged as soon as the government sold them. Hours were set during which the members should play and financial relations, membership control and overview of their rules were agreed. Mourne would fix it's own subscriptions and handicaps and be afflicted to the Golfing Union of Ireland.