Tobar Mhuire Heritage Trail

Walking Route
Tobar Mhuire is a retreat centre in the heart of Crossgar, set in 55 acres of woodland.  Visitors can enjoy a relaxing stroll through the grounds exploring some of the unique heritage including Mary's Well (a holy well), Victorian walled garden and a spectacular view of the Mourne Mountains and Co Down landscape.


1.9 miles

Start Point:

J459 519

Finish Point:

J459 519

Point of interest:

Monastery, St Mary's Well (Holy Well), views of the Mournes, Victorian walled garden

Nearest town:


Getting to the start by car:

Access to the official starting point for this trail, i.e. via the former Ulster Wildlife Trust entrance, is currently closed. Until a new electronic gate is installed access is via the main entrance off the A7 Downpatrick Road.

OS map:



Compacted gravel paths


Access to the official starting point for this trail, i.e. via the former Ulster Wildlife Trust entrance, is currently closed.  Until a new electronic gate is installed an alternative trailhead is provided temporarily. 

Access to the walking trail is now via the main entrance, off the main A7 Downpatrick Road. 

After parking in the main car park visitors should turn left and walk down the rear driveway.  Look out for the foundations of a military outlook post used when British and American troops occupied the grounds in WWII. 

Follow the path to the left through an area of dense rhododendron with the option of taking the shorter route directly to ‘Mary’s Well’ (a holy well) translated into Irish means ‘Tobar Mhuire’.  From here continue along the path, crossing the main driveway to either proceed up the hill or take a short detour left for a view of the original Crossgar House.  Please note: this is the point at which visitors accessing the grounds on foot will join the trail. 

The trail then winds its way up the hill to the seated viewpoint area affording visitors a spectacular view of the Mournes (on a clear day!).  The trail then proceeds through the wooded area where there is plenty of opportunities to explore and play, after which the trail descends down the hill and through a wooded area to the rear of St Colmcilles High School and the Walled Garden, before proceeding back to the main car park. 

Visitors are welcome to visit the Walled Garden to enjoy the newly restored pond and look upon the impressive glasshouse - permission via Retreat Centre.


Car parking at the start of the walk. Toilets provided in Tobar Mhuire Retreat Centre. Refreshments and shops in Crossgar.

The nearest Tourist Information Centre is:

Downpatrick Visitor Information Centre
  • Free (parking charges may apply)
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