Murlough National Nature Reserve, Newcastle

(4.6/5 based on 180+ reviews on the web)
Murlough Nature Reserve lies on the coast of County Down in Northern Ireland, situated close to Newcastle. It offers spectacular views of Slieve Donard, the highest peak in the Mourne Mountains and Dundrum Bay. Its 6,000-year-old sand dune system has been managed by the National Trust since 1967, when it became Ireland's first nature reserve. Grid ref: J414351.FeaturesAt 697 acres, it is the best and most extensive example of dune heath within Ireland, with a network of paths and boardwalks through the dunes. Breeding birds include meadow pipit, skylark, cuckoo, stonechat, linnet and reed bunting. Shorehauling grey seal and common seals are also common in the area. Between 50 and 130 common and grey seals regularly use the area for moulting, resting and feeding. Rare plants local to the site are pyramidal orchid and carline thistle.It also has access to one of the finest beaches in County Down.Murlough makes up one fifth of all dune heathland in the British Isles, but remains under threat from the encroachment of scrub vegetation such as bracken and gorse and non-native species such as Sea Buckthorn. In 1999 the National Trust established the South Down Heathland project, a five-year programme to protect the habitat. It has been designated an Area of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation.
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TripAdvisor
  • Beautiful place for a walk. Well looked after, but spoiled by stupid dog owners who insist in leaving their plastic dog poop bags to decorate the bushes. Great for a picnic.  more »
  • Had a great walk on a beautifull morning under the view of the Slieve Donard Mountain the paths at Murlogh are very well kept and you can cover quite a distance by path as well as a walk on the great ...  more »
  • Best kept secret in northern Ireland. Mountain meets beach next to cute small seaside resort. Clean beaches. Usually well mannered people and dogs. Safe and quiet. Toilets and cafe are seasonal so for...  more »