Murlough National Nature Reserve

County Down

At the Murlough National Nature Reserve, footpaths and boardwalks meander among the grassy dunes leading to a wide sandy beach with great views back towards the Mournes. It's a haul-out site for common and grey seals.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby County Down attractions

1. Dundrum Castle


Founded in 1177 by John de Courcy of Carrickfergus, this Norman fortress overlooks Dundrum Bay. Enter the castle for wonderful views across to the Mourne…

2. Tollymore Forest Park

3.05 MILES

This scenic forest park, 3km west of Newcastle, offers lovely walks and bike rides along the River Shimna and across the Mournes' northern slopes…

3. Castlewellan Forest Park

4.08 MILES

Castlewellan Forest Park offers gentle walks around the castle grounds, one of the world's largest hedge mazes, the Peace Maze (entry free), and, from…

4. Mourne Wall

4.53 MILES

The spectacular drystone Mourne Wall marches across the summits of 15 surrounding peaks, including the highest, Slieve Donard (853m). You can walk the 2m…

6. Downpatrick & County Down Railway

8.33 MILES

From mid-June to mid-September, plus December, St Patrick’s Day, Easter, May Day and Halloween, this working railway museum runs steam-hauled trains over…

7. Down Cathedral

8.45 MILES

According to legend, St Patrick died in Saul, where angels told his followers to place his body on a cart drawn by two untamed oxen, and to bury the saint…

8. St Patrick Centre

8.51 MILES

This magnificent glass-and-timber heritage centre houses a multimedia exhibition called 'Ego Patricius', charting the life and legacy of Ireland's patron…