Escape to Northern Ireland for an Adventure!
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Come and explore this corner of Northern Ireland with us. THIS EVENT IS FIVE NIGHTS over the early May bank holiday weekend.
Voted the ‘Best Walking Destination’ in Northern Ireland lies the atmospheric Mourne Mountains. The Mourne Mountains are the highest and most dramatic mountain range in Northern Ireland and it’s summits are crowned by granite Tors. Any newcomer to the Mournes will be amazed by the many routes to explore, and the variety of landscapes that can be reached within this relatively confined geographical area.
The Mountains have a rich history from being known as ‘Smuggler’s Haven’ in the 18th and 19th centuries due to the illegal cargo ships full of booze, tobacco and silk that used to dock at the foot of the Mountains in Newcastle. The old smugglers track still exists today and is known as ‘The Brandy Pad’ – so this might be a fun route to explore with your camera!
Nestled in the heart of Mourne Mountains lies our accommodation, and we are staying for five days so there will be ample time to explore the beautiful local walks whilst kicking back and relaxing in the evenings. Our guest house, which we have to ourselves, has a well equipped kitchen and the Gap Bistro on site which will give us some great food options after walking in the mountains.
As we will be there for five days we have plenty of time to discover the area, from walking in the atmospheric Mourne Mountains to exploring historic areas.
Transport: You'll need to make your own arrangements to Northern Ireland. The options are a ferry or by air, both to Belfast. Ferries go from Liverpool Birkenhead to Belfast several times as day. There are also ferries from Cairnryan in Scotland to Belfast, and also a route from Douglas on the Isle of Man.
You can also fly to Belfast from several UK airports. The Ireland.com website has some good information on routes available for both ferries and flights.
We will have a minibus available for the group to use whilst we are there, and we'll arrange a meeting point(s) in Belfast on the first day and use the minibus to transport people back to our accommodation - probably two pick-ups, due to numbers.
We'll be able to use the minibus throughout our stay to explore the area and to take us to the starting point of some of our walks, and the cost of it is included in the price of this event.
Dogs: This event is not suitable for dogs.
All photographs taken from the Mourne Lodge Website and Facebook page.
What to bring
For the accommodation, you'll need:
Wash kit: remember to include a towel, shower gel and shampoo
Flip Flops: or something similar to wear in the, usually wet, communal shower room
Earplugs: for the shared sleeping arrangements
For our walks and activities:
Water: bring at least two litres in a water bottle, or better still, a hydration bladder
Medicines: if you have hay fever, diabetes, minor ailments etc.
Day Rucksack: typically 20-30 litres, they are comfortable to wear and allow you to use your arms freely
Waterproof bags: keep spare clothing, electronics and anything else dry even when your rucksack leaks by using Ziploc type food bags or, better still, outdoor activity waterproof bags
Boots: waterproof and breathable hiking boots with good ankle support
Gaiters: recommended for wet weather or boggy conditions
Socks: proper walking socks will keep your feet dry and help prevent blisters, and carry a spare, dry pair
Walking Poles: always optional, love them or hate them, but give them a try and decide for yourself
Layered clothing: lets you quickly adapt to changes in the weather and body temperature. Go for a base layer (vest or t-shirt) and a mid layer (a micro fleece or shirt) and in cooler weather add an outer layer (a windproof jacket or thick fleece)
Trousers: no jeans as they become heavy and cold in the rain, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry and on warm days shorts are OK
Waterproof jacket: essential when hiking in all but the calmest of weather, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry.
Gloves: Windproof, or better still, waterproof gloves are the best choice, bring a spare pair if expecting rain.
Hat or cap: stay warm in winter and shaded in summer
Sunglasses: for any sunny day, even in winter
Sun cream: can be useful even on cloudy and winter days
Snacks: bring biscuits, energy bars, gels, bananas, chocolate or dried fruit for example and put them somewhere easy to get hold of
Lunch: bring a packed lunch unless otherwise stated
Emergency equipment: the walk leader will bring any emergency equipment required for the group, but you are welcome to bring any that you have, such as additional high energy food, a survival bag, a whistle, a medical kit, a torch and something to make fire (either storm proof matches or a firelighter
Map and compass: the walk leader will have these, but if you like map reading or want to develop your skills, bring yours along
Mobile Phone: keep it in a waterproof bag for use in emergencies, and a spare battery/charger is a good idea
Food & drink
Please bring something for the buffet on the first night. Breakfasts and evening meals on the other days are included, but you'll need to bring / buy your own lunches and any drinks you want other than tea, coffee and water.