Day 1 Armagh – Down
Start your Northern Ireland tour in the Cathedral town of Armagh in the county of Armagh, where you’ll pay a visit to the Cathedrals’ of St. Patrick.
Saint Patrick’s Cathedral (Catholic) is a twin-spired, imposing cathedral, on an elevated site. Building was started on the site in 1840, but was suspended during the Irish Famine of 1845-48. Work recommenced in 1854 and the building was opened in 1873.
On the adjoining hill, less than half a mile away sits Saint Patrick’s (Church of Ireland) Cathedral. Saint Patrick founded his first stone church in Ireland here on the Hill of Armagh in 445AD. There has been a Christian church on the site ever since.
Following your cathedral tour make your way down the hill to delve into over 500 years of books at the Armagh Library.
One of the oldest libraries in Ireland, Armagh Public Library was established in 1771 by Archbishop Robinson. In addition to the Archbishop’s personal library of books from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, there is a first edition of Gulliver’s Travels, dated 28 October 1726.
Lunch will be served in neighboring County Down at the beautiful Slieve Croob Inn, Castlewellan.
After some hearty eating it’s back on the road again heading towards Downpatrick where you’ll visit Down Cathedral & St Patrick’s Grave. A cathedral guide will explain the history of the cathedral and the patron saints grave.
Discover the history of St. Patrick at the Down County Museum where there’s an exhibition exploring the Saints influence on the early Irish Christian Church. The old jail section of museum has interesting original cells, where prisoners were held during the 18th century transportation period.
Visit the Saint Patrick Centre which tells the story of Ireland’s Patron Saint. The exhibition Ego Patricius explores the legacy of St Patrick - ancient and modern - and recalls the saint’s story in his own words using state of the art multi-media displays.
The Hastings Slieve Donard Resort & Spa will welcome you for your overnight stay and evening meal. Nestling at the foot of the Mourne Mountains this superbly maintained Victorian hotel is now home to one of Europe’s finest resort Spas.
The Oak Restaurant will serve up some culinary delights for dinner, using only the finest local Irish produce.
After dinner unwind in the The Lighthouse Lounge, with magnificent views over the bay towards the Mountains of Mourne.
Day 2 The Mountains of Mourne
After breakfast travel to Tollymore Mountain Centre in the Mourne’s, Northern Ireland´s national Centre for mountaineering and canoeing activities. Take part in one of their many activities, you could try out their climbing wall or take to the water in a canoe.
If you still have some energy left explore Tollymore Forest Park by foot on the Shimna River path.
Lunch and recharge the batteries in Mourne Café where you’ll have the choice of the finest seafood plucked straight from Dundrum Bay and the Irish Sea.
Spend the afternoon exploring the Majestic Mountains of Mourne visiting the areas below:
The Silent Valley Mountain Park is an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Nestled between the granite peaks of Slieve Binnian and Slievenagloghy, Silent Valley has served as the principal water source for Belfast since the completion of its reservoir in 1933.
Kilborney Park features riverside walks and an arboretum. There is a two-mile forest drive to panoramic views over Carlingford Lough. Climb to Cloughmore Stone for stunning views of Mourne Mountains and Carlingford Lough.