Royal County Down is situated to the north of the coastal resort of Newcastle, in the foothills of the Mountains of Mourne. The words and music ‘Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea’ written by Percy French in 1896 have made the Mournes the best known mountains in Ireland. An area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Mourne Mountains are the most picturesque in Ireland and were the inspiration for C S Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. In this compact range, 15 miles long and 8 miles wide, only a dozen of the sixty summits rise above 2,000ft., Slieve Donard, at 2,796 feet, being the highest peak in Ulster.
Newcastle enjoys a ‘micro climate’ being much drier than is typical in Ireland.
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Newcastle is 30 miles south of Belfast via the A24 (approx 1 hour); 90 miles north of Dublin via the M1/N1/A1 to Newry and then via the A25 (approx 2 hours).
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