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Cycle NI - Your definitive guide to cycling in Northern Ireland
Newcastle Cycle Route
Route Location

Newcastle Cycle Route

The Mourne mountains are always in view and the sea is never far away on this relatively flat 12 mile route. This route passes Tollymore Forest Park, Maghera Old Church, Slidderyford Dolmen, Dundrum and Murlough Nature Reserve and finishes on the eastern end of the promenade with its many new art pieces.

Newcastle Beach and Murlough Beach are very popular attractions all year round.

CountyDownDistance12 miles
Nearest TownNewcastleOS MapSheet 29
Route TypeCoastal, Forest, Mountain, UrbanRoute ShapeCircular
AONBMournesGrid Ref (Start)J376306
Public RoadsOn Public RoadGrid Ref (End)J376306


Mainly flat terrain.

Point of Interest

Tollymore Forest Park
Maghera Old Church
Murlough Nature reserve

Route Description

The Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea close to the start and finish point of this short 12 mile loop from Newcastle. The mountains are always in view as you wind your way along this almost flat route with the sea never far away. Leaving Newcastle by Donard Park your route takes you towards Tollymore Forest Park where you can leave your bike and take a stroll through the arboretum before continuing along the Barbican Road. You continue past Maghera Old Church, with buildings dating back to the 10th century, to Maghera and shortly you pass by a huge standing stone by the roadside just a short distance from the Slidderyford Dolmen (no public access) in a field on the left. The route continues to Dundrum, with its castle overlooking the bay, then turns towards Newcastle, past Murlough Nature Reserve and onto a shared use footway into the town, before turning left towards the eastern end of the promenade with its many new art pieces.

Getting to the Start

From Newry take the A25 to Castlewellan then A50 to Newcastle.
From Belfast take the A24 to Clough then the A2 to Dundrum and Newcastle.
From Downpatrick take the A25 to Clough and A2 to Dundrum and Newcastle.


Traffic can be moderately heavy on parts of this route.


Ample carparking, toilet and refreshment facilities available in Newcastle. Dundrum and Maghera have toilet, refreshment and carparking facilities. Tollymore Forest Park has toilet & refreshment facilities.

Information for People with a Disability

This route has accessible toilet facilities.

Mostly flat route but traffic can be reasonably heavy on sections of the route.

Available Publication

Armagh & Down Cycling Guide

Tourisy Information Offices in Downpatrick and Newcastle.


Cycle Hire

Iron Donkey Bicycle Touring
Iron Donkey Bicycle Touring, 15 Ballyknockan Rd, Saintfield
Phone: 028 9081 3200

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Maps and Downloads

The following downloads are available for Newcastle Cycle Route:

PDF Document
2.4 MB

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