Places to see

County Down

Tollymore Forest Park

Barbican Gate

Oakleigh House Bed and Breakfast accommodation is situated 800yds from the entrance gates to Tollymore Forest Park which is approximately 2miles from Newcastle centre.

Tollymore was owned by Robert Jocelyn, 8th Earl of Roden, but was sold to the Department of Agriculture in 1930 and 1941. In 1955 it became the first state forest in Northern Ireland and was called a forest park. Situated at the foot of the Mourne Mountains it offers spectacular views of the mountains and the coast at Newcastle and within the park there are numerous walks through mature woodland with stone bridges over the river, grottos, stepping stones and caves. For visitors wishing to stay a few days there are caravanning and camping sites close to the main car park.

Foley's Bridge

Stone Bridges

The Shimna river flows through the centre of the park draining rain water from the Mournes to the sea at Newcastle. Stone bridges were constructed over 200yrs ago by various owners of the estate and several were built in remembrance of relatives. Clonachullion, Horn, Parnell's, Maria's, Altavady, Hore's, Ivy and Foley's bridge cross the tree lined river with its deep rock pools and waterfalls.

The Hermitage

The hermitage is made of stones put together to form a room 12ft by 8ft, with an opening along the river path at both ends, and openings over the river.

Tollymore cedars

Cedar Avenue

The Cedar Avenue is found beyond the Barbican Gate entrance to the park. These magnificent Himalayan cedars ( Cedrus deodara ) have wide spreading branches and blue/green foliage.

Clanbrassil Barn

Constructed in about 1757 the building was used as stables and stores for the mansion which once stood in what is now the car park. The ground floor has been converted into a small lecture theatre, while the upper floor has been developed as an interpretive centre.

Tollymore National Outdoor Centre

Situated in Tollymore Park on the lower slopes of the Mourne Mountains is the national centre for mountaineering, rock climbing and canoeing activities, providing courses for beginners and more experienced groups.

Way Marked Trails

Way marked trails through Tollymore Forest
  • Arboretum and Forest Plots Trail (1mile). Close access to a wide variety of tree species from around the world
  • Lake and Ponds Trail (1.25miles ) via the Azalea Walk to the Shimna River, Old Bridge to lake, millponds and back by Foley's Bridge.
  • Rivers Trail ( 3miles) Via the Azalea Walk to Shimna River. Past hermitage and across Parnell's Bridge right up the side of the Spinkwee river to the Cascade falls.
  • Long Haul Trail ( 8miles ) Remote areas of the park with panoramic views of the Mourne mountains, Newcastle and Isle of Mann in the far distance.