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.

Distance:

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:

Crossgar

Getting to the start by car:

From the roundabout in Crossgar take the exit for B7 Killyleagh Road to St Colmcilles School on the right. The lane leading to the car park/starting point is immediately after the school wall, and directly opposite a car garage. 200 metres down the lane the car park for the trails is accessed to the right.

OS map:

21

Terrain:

Compacted gravel paths

Route:

Starting in the car park behind the walled garden the trail is travelled in an anticlockwise direction following the waymarkers.  The trail begins through a wooded area  to the rear of St Colmcilles high School. (At weekends car parking and trail access are available from the main car park, accessed off the Downpatrick Road) 

Upon reaching the driveway, cross over and look out for a foundation which was the military outlook post when British and American troops occupied the grounds in WWII.  Follow the path 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 section of the trail is linear and visitors will need to retrace their steps to continue the trail up the hill. 

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 back to the car park.

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

Facilities:

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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