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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.



Nearest Town


Route Type




Grid Ref (Start)



12 miles

OS Map

Sheet 29

Route Shape


On/Off Road

On Public road

Grid Ref (End)



Mainly flat terrain.

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

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

available publications

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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tollymore forest park is superb for cycling ages 10yrs up. beautiful scenery everywhere, newcastle promenade is very good although probably more ideal for younger cyclists. all in all, it is excellent.

m rafferty
Funders Outdoor Recreation NI Leave No Trace NIEA DoE HPA
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