NEWCASTLE AND SURROUNDING AREAS
Newcastle is a small seaside resort in County Down in Northern Ireland with a resident population of 7500 people. It is often referred to as the Jewel in Northern Irelands crown and is famous for being the setting of the Percy French song “Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea”. It has a wonderful seaside promenade and the town sits in the shadow of Northern Irelands highest mountain peak Slieve Donard (2796 ft.)
The harbour is full of sailing boats and the Shimna river full of salmon and trout. Enjoy the walk from one end of the town to the other along its magnificent promenade, passing the Percy French memorial fountain (author of the famous “Mountains of Mourne” song), and enjoy the smell of the sea and the beauty that surrounds you.
From the living room and kitchen windows of Snooze Apartments you can see St John’s point lighthouse and on a clear day you can make out the Ilse of Man and Cumbria across the Irish Sea.
Snooze Apartments is a stone’s throw away from Donard Park (0.4 miles according to Google), which is a public park next to the Glen river and at the foot of the Slieve Donard Mountain, part of the Mourne Mountains. This beautiful park features football, hockey pitches and picnic facilities and is a renowned tourist attraction in Northern Ireland.
There are two beautiful forest parks nearby including the enchanting Tollymore Forest park wich is one of the stunning Northern Ireland filming locations for the popular “Game of Thrones” series. Tours are available here (link- http://www.gameofthronestours.com/tollymore/). Tollymore forest park is less than a mile from Snooze Apartments and offers stunning walks, waterfalls and a great children’s playpark. Castlewellan forest park is located about 5 miles from Snooze Apartments and offers the fabulous peace maze, mountain biking trails, children’s play park and outstanding beauty.
No visit to the area is complete without experiencing the glorious Murlough Beach, which is backed by a 6000 year old fragile sand dune system, 6 kilometres in length. It is an excellent area of walking and bird watching due to its spectacular location at the edge of Dundrum Bay and the Mourne Mountains.
Newcastle is home to the famous Royal County Down golf course https://www.royalcountydown.org/ as well as the Mourne Golf Club https://www.mournegolfclub.co.uk/
There is an abundance of things to do in Newcastle and its surrounding areas, too many to mention. We hope this page will get you started. Here are a few links for more ideas on other things to do whilst visiting this area.
No visit to the area is complete without experiencing the glorious Murlough Beach, which is backed by a 6000 year old fragile sand dune system, 6 kilometres in length. It is an excellent area of walking and bird watching due to its spectacular location at the edge of Dundrum Bay and the Mourne Mountains
Tollymore Forest Park: Tollymore forest park is less than a mile from Snooze Apartments and offers stunning walks, waterfalls and a great woodland children’s playpark.
Castlewellan Forest Park: Castlewellan forest park is located about 5 miles from Snooze Apartments and offers the fabulous peace maze, mountain biking trails, children’s play park and outstanding beauty.
Murlough beach: No visit to the area is complete without experiencing the glorious Murlough Beach. There is a wooden walkway all the way to the beach with sand dunes on either side. Great for the kids to run up and explore.
Newcastle Beach: Just across the road from Snooze Apartments we have a lovely beach where some serious rock pooling can be done!!. The main Newcastle beach is just a few minutes away and can be walked to when the tide is out from this beach.
Coco’s Adventure playground: This indoor adventure playground is open 7 days a week and has activities for all ages of children, from babies to fourteen year olds, with slides, ball pools and play areas where children can enjoy exciting active playtime and exploration inside a safe, secure environment.
Tropicana: This is a heated outdoor swimming pool open July and August only.
Rock Pool: This is an unheated outdoor seawater pool open July and August only. Located across the road from Snooze Apartments.
FOR THE FOODIE
Well where do I start? Apart from all the usual large and small supermarkets Newcastle has a truly delicious offering of eateries.
Some of them offer a discount as part of our “Snooze Business card” initiative. This is a card you will be issued as a guest of Snooze for the duration of your stay and which many local businesses offer discounts through.
Here are some of the best:
An award-winning 70 seater restaurant in the heart of Newcastle, County Down providing fresh, local, seasonal cuisine. “good food from the heart.” Our verdict: Pricey but worth it. Ideal for a special occasion and for those who appreciate fine food.
Vanilla Wines and Tapas:
Vanilla restaurant (mentioned above) has expanded and opened up their upstairs to offer a casual but delicious wine and tapas bar. Great for friends to get together. Our verdict: Great quality food and a chance to try a few different things. A fun night out. Booking essential
Great Jones Craft and Kitchen:
Great Jones brings a fresh and exciting spin to the restaurant scene in the town, delivering a casual dining experience with a focus on quality and style. A carefully crafted menu has been designed to deliver the best in modern Irish cuisine with an innovative twist on classic dishes. A fantastic collection of craft beers from around Ireland, Britain and both sides of Lake Atlantic with New York flair put on a cocktail menu designed with everyone’s tastes in mind. Mid to high range pricing. Good food in a chic but casual surrounding.
Overlooking Newcastle’s picturesque sea front, offers new flavours & old favourites. Serves all day breakfast and lunch menu as well as a weekend Bistro operating a B.Y.O policy. Small and cosy with a lovely coastal feel. Great food and views.
Located in the Harbour end of the town (two minutes walk from Snooze Apartments) with fantastic sea views. They offer a fantastic range of homemade pies, quiches, sandwiches etc as well as an array of traybakes and sweet treats. Breakfast, lunch, brunch, afternoon tea, twilight tea and occasional bistro nights. Gluten free and vegan options usually available. Our verdict: Great food and coffee. Atmosphere lovely with a definite quirky edge. Kids well catered for on the menu and also some seats and a bookcase with books kids and adults alike can help themselves to. If your wondering what the hot water bottle pile by the door is for…. it’s for the sea swimmers who swim EVERY DAY of the year!!! A must visit.
A stones through from Snooze Apartments the Harbour Inn is a cosy bar packed with personality which serves great food. It is a family run establishment which has been serving food for 30 years. It offers a bistro menu in the bar and also has a 70 seater restaurant next door (Stone Boat Restaurant). They specialise in fresh fish and shell fish. Our Verdict: Great food, caters well for kids, and as it’s build on the sea wall overlooking the Harbour it has fantastic views. Lovely spot on a summer evening to sit on the outside deck to dine.
Railway Street Cafe and Brew Bar:
Railway Street Cafe is located opposite the pretigious Slieve Donard hotel. They serve breakfast and lunch as well as great coffee and traybakes. They have a healthy slant with smoothies made freshly and things on the menu like sweet potato hash. Our Verdict: Mid range pricing. No children’s menu. Nicely decorated and a good size. Lovely for a casual lunch.
Villa Vinci is an established restaurant with a reputation for sumptuous food and exceptional service. Their menu is inspired by Mediterranean origins and offers something for everyone. Our verdict: Mid range pricing. Good food and caters well for children. Large premises so ideal for big groups. The pizzas are legendary in the local area.
The Savoy cafe is a family run restaurant offering very reasonably priced, high quality food. It serves breakfast and lunch. Our verdict: Really good quality food, perhaps the best coffee in town!! Very busy wee spot and centrally located in the town.
Doc’s fish and chips:
Doc’s is a sit in or take away fish and chips restaurant. This is great for families, couples, friends or anyone who likes fish and chips. Gluten free fish and chips available and BYO an option. Our verdict: Hard to pass for an affordable, tasty option. Offers more than you would expect from a chippie. Grab a bottle of organic wine from the nearby Donard wines and make a night of it.