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Thread: Wild Camping in the Mournes

  1. #1
    Mini Goon kyle bingham's Avatar
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    Anyone out there familiar with the the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland who could perhaps email me some grid references for good spots to camp. Much appreciated

  2. #2
    Ultra King Dave Mycroft's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    It all depends on the weather - but places where people regularly pitch a tent include the head of Ben Crom Reservoir and beside Lough Shannagh. Not saying that you're allowed in either of those places - only saying that people do pitch tents there. Also - some of the grassy gaps between the mountains along the course of the Mourne Wall. What side of the wall you choose depends on what way the wind is blowing. Inside the wall is all Water Service land. Outside the wall is in all kinds of ownership - National Trust around Donard, estate, common or private ownership elsewhere. The usual 'rule' seems to be that if no-one spots you and no-one ever knew you were there, then no-one is likely to complain. But some people leave far too much evidence of their overnights.

  4. #4
    Mini Goon kyle bingham's Avatar
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    Thanks Paddy. After a 15 year abscence from the Mournes, which used to be a regular haunt of mine, I cant believe the amount of rubbish people now leave behind. I never remembered it being that bad before

  5. #5
    Mini Goon Dan E's Avatar
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    I wouldnt be too worried about wild camping in the mournes, people seem to be okay with the idea....just try and make sure you're not mistaken for the not-so-unusual sight of 10 binge drinking teenagers..

    But ya, leave no trace, and you shouldnt have any problems at all.

  6. #6
    Widdler
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    On Monday my boyfriend and I set off in the Newcastle direction. As neither of us have much experience of walking we thought we would start off small. We walked the 8mile walk in Tollymore Forest Park. We camped well off the path and woke up to a beutiful morning. This gave us a wonderful view of the mourne mountain. I was wondering as neither of us have much experience of walking how difficult is walking through the mournes and where is a normal starting point? Also does one require any specialist equipment?

  7. #7
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    Victoria - the beauty of the Mournes is that it's a very compact range. You could walk across the whole range in a day, but you could also spend weeks exploring. There are plenty of recognised access tracks, including the Glen River, Trassey Track, Ott Track, Banns Road, Carrick Little Track, Silent Valley, etc. Any of these will get you from a roadside car park to the Mourne Wall, and the Mourne Wall can be followed over one, two or more summits before you have to pick another way down. Start with the clear and obvious access routes, and at some later stage you can pick out some of the less obvious ones.

  8. #8
    Mini Goon
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    Donard wood has some great places to set camp for the night a makes an ideal base camp as there is plenty of shelter and plenty of water to be found

  9. #9
    Widdler
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    I've heard theres a good camping spot in a wooded area off the trassey track, but i don't know exactly where. Has anyone camped in this area before? Does anyone know of any good spots?

  10. #10
    Mini Goon
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    Hey - Trev, Diidy and Rocky must be asleep = welcome to OM MC and RW !!

  11. #11
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    Hi, depends what part of Mournes you are going to, people here 'class' them as "high" Mournes or "low" Mournes, depending on which side of Spelga Dam you are. I could give you a few camp sites to look at, if you let me know where you will be, I will have used them at some stage, so have a good idea how they might be now. (Some I will "keep" to my-self!), have to keep some of the more obscure - (hidden) - ones for my own use!!!! h

  12. #12
    Widdler
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    Cheers for that Simon, yeah i know, its not exactly getting out there, but am taking a few mates that are new to the outdoors so wanted something easily accessible.

  13. #13
    Widdler
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    Hi Simon,

    What's the campsite you are talking about? I've an eleven year old who wants to go camping with me. I'm looking at a campsite for his first time and be able to go up Donard next morning. I'm happy enough wild camping but he's more used to home comforts like toilets and soft paper, so I'll take it easy on him for a night.

    Many thanks Jimmy

  14. #14
    Goon Jonno2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim mcD View Post
    Hi Simon, What's the campsite you are talking about? I've an eleven year old who wants to go camping with me. I'm looking at a campsite for his first time and be able to go up Donard next morning. I'm happy enough wild camping but he's more used to home comforts like toilets and soft paper, so I'll take it easy on him for a night. Many thanks Jimmy

    I'm in the same boat. I want to take my 10 year for some outdoors experience at Easter so need somewhere suitable but I'm also looking for somewhere to wild camp myself a little more off the beaten track.

    I'm thinking of here for Easter with the boy:
    http://www.meelmorelodge.co.uk/

    It has secure parking and you can camp cheaply. Seems like a good spot for the first time out and as a base for exploring.

    Finding spots in the Mournes isn't easy as it doesn't get discussed much so I'll be watching this thread eagerly.

    (I also didn't realise you were allowed to camp in Tollymore Forest outside of the official campsite.

  15. #15
    Ultra King
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    The real wild camping sites in Mournes are few, local knowledge of the best spots is priceless!! Donard wood has/had some good sites, but on weekends can get the "teenagers", getting drunk/ stoned and just being 'numptys'. Silent Valley area has some good sites at end both SV and Ben Crom. Lough Shannagh has some good sites, as does Annalong Valley. In 'low' Mournes good sites can be found around Hen and Cock Mtns. Also Rowen Tree River area, can't really be more specific as depends on conditions when you are there. Sometimes, in a dry spell loads of places, but other times can be the boggiest place I've been, sinking up to mid thigh level or above!!! That's one of the reasons I like the Mournes, can change from minute to minute!! HTMH. h

  16. #16
    I'm off up the mournes for a wee camp with my other half this weekend. I know the southeast side of the mournes pretty well having walked it since I was big enough. I haven't a clue about decent spots with shelter on the west and north side of the mournes, any summits worth heading for with potential camp spots in the vicinity?

  17. #17
    Goon Jonno2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren B 4 View Post
    I'm off up the mournes for a wee camp with my other half this weekend. I know the southeast side of the mournes pretty well having walked it since I was big enough. I haven't a clue about decent spots with shelter on the west and north side of the mournes, any summits worth heading for with potential camp spots in the vicinity?

    Did you find anywhere decent?

  18. #18
    Widdler
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    Hello,

    I have listed somedecent Mournes campsitesat my blog -

    http://www.mourne-mountains.com/search/label/Campsites

    All are grid referenced, andtried and tested by myself!

  19. #19
    Widdler
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    nice one, done a fair bit of wild camping mtself in the mournes, a few new ones now to try out

  20. #20
    Widdler
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    hi, i was wondering wher would be the best place to go wild camping in a bivy in the mournes at this time of year? I went a few months ago to the shelter stone at the top of the resevoir which was ok for a first go.

    any suggestions welcome,

    AJ

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