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Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland

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The Mourne Mountains, also called the Mournes or Mountains of Mourne, are a granite mountain range in County Down in the south-east of Northern Ireland. It includes the highest mountains in Northern Ireland and the province of Ulster. The highest of these is Slieve Donard at 850m. The Mournes is an area of outstanding natural beauty and has been proposed as the first national park in Northern Ireland. The area is partly owned by the National Trust and sees a large number of visitors every year. The name Mourne is derived from the name of a Gaelic clann or sept called the Múghdhorna.The mountainsThe Mournes are visited by many tourists, hillwalkers, cyclists and rock climbers. Following a fundraising drive in 1993, the National Trust purchased nearly 1300acre of land in the Mournes. This included a part of Slieve Donard and nearby Slieve Commedagh, at 767m the second-highest mountain in the area.The Mourne Wall is among the more famous features in the Mournes. It is a 35km dry-stone wall that crosses fifteen summits, constructed to define the boundaries of the 36km2 area of land purchased by the Belfast Water Commissioners in the late 1800s. This followed a number of Acts of Parliament allowing the sale, and the establishment of a water supply from the Mournes to the growing industrial city of Belfast. Construction of the Mourne Wall was started in 1904 and was completed in 1922.
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  • Newcastle mournemountains slievebernagh We intended to do slievebernagh then slievecommedagh and maybe slievedonard but when we reached harescap at the brandypad I was defeated. There's perfect parkin...  more »
  • With thanks to Irish poet William Butler Yeats for the quote from The Lake Isle of Innisfree. On a recent sunny Sunday we took a drive "down into Down", possibly our favourite county. Its scenery remi...  more »
  • What a beautiful area. Despite the weather, slieve donard or any of the peaks around here make for a spectacular hike. Well worth the hard work!