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8 ways to blow the cobwebs off with a short break in Co Down

Freshen up after festive celebrations and the annual indulgence in Christmas calories with a short break to Co Down.

You can rejuvenate yourself with a trek up the Mournes, a stroll along Murlough Beach and a deep sleep at the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa all in the space of a few days.

Here are eight ways to blow the cobwebs off as we welcome the New Year:

1. Stay in pure luxury at the foot of the Mournes in the 4* Slieve Donard Resort and Spa. The hotel stands on six acres of private grounds and is known for providing top hospitality for over 100 years.

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Slieve Donard

Treat your eyes to stunning panoramic views across the Irish Sea and the world-famous Royal County Down Golf Club from your luxurious room. Pack your swimsuit and make use of the hotel’s stunning swimming pool and undergo replenishing treatments in the spa.

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The pool at the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa in County Down.

2. After dropping your bags off, it’s time to get outdoors and get moving! The best way is a trek up Northern Ireland’s highest and most dramatic mountains: the Mournes.

There are walking routes up each of the mountains and you don’t have to climb the highest peaks to experience their majestic beauty. Breathe in the fresh air as you take in spectacular scenery including forest parks, coastal views and impressive gardens.

3. For more of a coastal adventure, head to the beach at Murlough Nature Reserve where you will find five miles of golden sands to stroll along.

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Murlough Bay

4. After exploring County Down’s beautiful scenery, sample its fine food. Taste the freshest, locally caught seafood at the Mourne Seafood Bar, 10 minutes from the Slieve Donard.

Relax in the informal setting and tuck into delicious food served up in area known for its rich heritage of fishing and culinary wonders.

5. After your short break jam-packed full of outdoor exercise, it’s time to unwind in the Soak Seaweed Baths located on the South Promenade in Newcastle.

With Soak Seaweed Baths being the only authentic bath house of its kind in the UK, it’s the ideal place to experience an activity which has enriched the lives of people on this island for more than a century.

6. Take a walk along the Shimna River at Tollymore Forest Park and view many curiosities along the way including rocky outcrops, bridges, grottos and caves.

Tree lovers can examine exotic trees such as monkey puzzle and eucalyptus or admire the tall giant redwoods and Monterrey pines.

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7. The Gothic and Classic collide at Castle Ward is famous for its views over the tranquil waters of Strangford Lough. Move along the Lough Trail and spot a host of wildlife and rare plants along the way. Warm up after your walk with a cuppa and a freshly baked scone provided in the tearoom.

8. Explore one of the most outstanding tree and shrub collections in Europe located in a dramatic setting of Castlewellan Forest Park.

Dander through the garden and see informal and formal design with terraces, fountains, ornamental gates and flower borders dotted throughout. For those looking to burn off the Christmas calories, take a walk around the forest park’s mile-long lake.

  • To book your short break visit

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