The Mournes in Northern Ireland have become synonymous with mountain biking. Right on the border with the Republic of Ireland, they’re ideal for trying somewhere new close to home. Hit up Rostrevor’s two iconic purpose built DH trails, or tear into the mouth-watering 27km of red XC trails. If that isn’t enough, Rostrevor also has 19km of black trail to raise the heartbeat!
When you’re finished there, visit the incredibly popular trails at Castlewellan – home to 19km of flowing red trails, incredible panoramic views, and a variety of options for all riders.
If this has enticed you to make the Mournes your next mountain bike trip, we’ve provided some useful information below like drive times, travel plan ideas and recommendations on where to eat, drink, and stay to help make the most of your trip to the Mournes. You can also download our free Mountain Bikers Guide to the Mournes which has plenty of other recommendations for your pre and post trip visits!
Check out our new video with Irish mountain bike racer Killian Callaghan and Northern Irish racer Kelan Grant mountain biking in the Mournes to see what’s waiting for you!
TIME FROM DUBLIN: 1 HOUR 20 MINS
TIME FROM GALWAY: 3 HOURS 20 MINS
TIME FROM CORK: 3 HOURS 55 MINS
TIME FROM DONEGAL: 2 HOURS 25 MINS
After the drive north, relax with some dinner and a pint of something refreshing at the award winning Kilbroney Bar and Restaurant. Then hit the hay at the popular Mountains of Mourne Cottages – Hanna’s Close, located just 10 miles from the trails at Rostrevor. Waiting on you there is free parking and WiFi, bike wash and storage facilities, as well as a laundry service. They’re also offering 3 nights for the price of 2 with the discount code “RideNorth”!
Located on the shores of the Carlingford Lough, the Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails offer some of the most exhilarating mountain biking in all of Ireland. Setting aside the stunning views on offer, you’re guaranteed 27km of perfect red XC, 19km of black and two purpose built DH trails. It also offers Northern Ireland’s only uplift service and is home to the iconic #KodakCorner.
Kilbroney Park Café is located right at the trail head, so after a good long session on the epic XC trails at Rostrevor, you can grab some delicious food to recharge – and pick up a midweek breakfast that’s 10% cheaper with the offer “RideNorth”.
The two purpose built DH trails at Rostrevor take advantage of the steep descents and amazing views. Mega Mission's lightning quick descent will push your handling skills to the limit, with big jumps and big berms. On The Pulse meanwhile is highly technical and utilises big boulder fields, drop offs and the odd gap jump.
The Castlewellan Mountain Bike trails are located right beside the vibrant town of Castlewellan. Around here are loads of great accommodation providers who love to see mountain bikers. We recommend staying at Gracey’s Barn just outside Rathfriland, currently offering a great deal of 3 nights for the price of 2 for mountain bikers using the code “RideNorth”.
Castlewellan Mountain Bike Trails provide visitors with a range of green, blue and red trails (along with some black options) and are consistently the most visited trail centre here in Northern Ireland. With a huge amount of fun activities on offer – all under the incredible backdrop of the Mourne Mountains, it’s easy to see why. Located just minutes from the lively village of Castlewellan, this welcoming trail centre will long be remembered for its iconic red loop.
The folks at Urban Coffee are big fans of mountain bikers. To express how much, they’ve kindly offered a free can or bottle of something with any dishes bought costing more than £6.95. They also have WiFi and delicious food.
Whether you’ve finished a full day of XC in Castlewellan, or tried out the purpose-built DH trails at Rostrevor, a good feed is always the perfect way to end a session on the bike. We’ve compiled a list of eateries near the mountain bike trails just for you. Better still, loads of them have great offers on specifically for mountain bikers!
Knowing where to stay as a mountain biker can be challenging. Thankfully we’ve got a list of accommodation providers who love mountain bikers! These places all tailor their accommodation experience to mountain bikers, whether it’s offering a safe spot for your bike, washing facilities or even simply passing on some local knowledge of the area.