Places to visit when staying at

Oakleigh House Bed and Breakfast

How the Mournes got their name

The Mughdoma clan from the barony of Cremourne came to this area, bringing the name with them and from this the Mournes derive their name.

From 1170 until the beginning of 17th century the area was ruled by the clan Magennis. The many ruined castles in the area bare witnes to the power of this family who kept the Anglo Norman invaders at bay.

Slieve Binnian
Mourne Mountain trekking path

12 peaks over 2000ft

The 12 peaks are unusual in that their summits are grouped together in a compact area only 15miles by 8miles. The highest peak in the range is Slieve Donard rising to a height of 2796ft.

Nearly all the names for Mourne summits are derived from Irish. Slieve means mountain.

Here are some mountain names explained

  • Slieve Donard (850m). Named after Domangard, a holy man who built a prayer cell on the mountain's summit.
  • Slieve Commedagh (767m). Mountain of watching....lookout mountain.
  • Slieve Binnian (747m). Mountain of the little horns. Binnian has a long summit ridge with rocky outcrops that look like horns.
  • Slieve Bernagh (739m). gapped or broken mountain, prbably refering to the gap between Bernagh's twin summits.
  • Slievelamagan (704m).A mountain crawled up using hands and feet, the mountain has a long steep ascent.
  • Slieve Meelbeg (704m), Slieve Meelmore (681m). Mountains of the small (beg) and large (more) animals.
  • Ben Crom (524m). The stooped peak. Ben Crom's summit has a stooped profile from some angles.
  • Slievenaglogh. Two mountains have this name (445m) at the Silent Valley and (586m) east of Hare's Gap.

The Mourne Wall

The Mourne Wall marks the extent of the water catchment area for reservoirs serving Befast and was finished in 1922 having taken 18yrs to build. It stands up to 8ft high, is on average 3ft wide and is 22miles long connecting the summits of 12 mountains. The wall was built of natural granite using traditional dry stone walling techniques.

The Mourne Walk Challenge takes in 7 of the 10 highest mountains and follows the Mourne Wall.


Silent Valley Reservoirs

Drive into the centre of the Mourne Mountains and park at the Silent Valley Reservoir, then walk up to the high lakes and Ben Crom. The Silent Valley is a mountain park surrounded by the Mourne peaks, Slieve Binnian, Slievenaglough and Ben Crom.

 Silent Valley Reservoirs

Silent Valley Reservoir

Need a room for the night

Oakleigh House B&B
30 Middle Tollymore Road
Newcastle BT330JJ

028 4372 6816