From the town of Castlewellan follow the A25 towards Clough. Take the first road on the left onto the Drumbuck Road. This road takes you along the edge of Castlewellan Forest Park. Continue along the Drumbuck Road for approximately 1¼ miles until you come to a T-junction, where you turn left onto the Clarkhill Road. Continue downhill, passing Ross’s Cycles on your left. At the next crossroads continue straight ahead onto the Ribadoo Road. After approximately ½ mile, turn right onto Clonvaraghan Road. After, turn left into Slievenisky Road and continue along this road until the T-junction, where you turn left into the Ballywillwill Road. Slieve Croob is visible on your left. At the next T-junction, turn left onto the Drumnaquoile Road, keeping Slieve Croob on your left. Continue along the road where you will pass the entrance to Drumkeeragh Forest on your right. Turn right onto the Drumboy Road. At the end of the Drumboy Road, turn right onto Drumkeeragh Road. After approximately 4 miles, turn right onto Cauleys Pipe Road. Continue along this road and straight ahead at the next crossroads with Drumnaquoile Road. At the next T-junction turn left onto Ballywillwill Road and then right onto Ballylough Road. Take the second road to the left onto Aughlisnafin Road. Follow this road to the end where it joins the main A25 Castlewellan to Clough Road. Caution is advised at this point. Turn right on to the Castlewellan Road, then immediately left onto Kilmegan Road. Continue to the end of the Kilmegan Road, passing the Kilmegan historic Church on your right. Towards the bottom of Kilmegan Road, turn right onto Old Road. Continue along this road with Dundrum Inner Bay on your left. The route continues to the right onto Flush Road. However, you may wish to continue a short distance to visit Murlough National Nature Reserve before continuing. On joining Flush Road, spectacular views of the Mourne Mountains open up. You pass Slidderyford Standing Stone adjacent to the road on your right. At the end of this road turn left towards the small village of Maghera. Follow the road through the village towards Bryansford, passing Newcastle Riding Centre. Turn right at the next crossroads onto Dundrinne Road, back to Castlewellan, finishing not far from where you started. This is a steep uphill section and you may wish to consider dismounting at this point.
Public roads: On Public Road
Getting to the start: Perched on a hillside, nestled between the northern foothills of the Mourne Mountains, Castlewellan is a market town on the main Downpatrick to Dublin road. It is uniquely laid out, with 2 main squares and a broad main street designed by a French architect in the style of a French market town. There is a main bus service that operates from Belfast Europa station to Newcastle and onto Castlewellan library, in Castlewellan for timetables visit www.translink.co.uk By car from Belfast take the A24 South bound towards Newcastle. After 24 miles turn Right in Clough towards Castlewellan. .
Traffic: Normal traffic to be expected on the roads in this route, although may be slightly busier in summer months.
Terrain:Route with a medium gradient but steep in some places.
Point of interest:Castlewellan Forest Park: Includes a mile long lake, an Arboretum, Castle, camping and caravan park, way-marked trails and fishing.
Slieve Croob: Presiding over the Dromara Hills, it offers magnificent views of the higher Mournes to the south. The best viewpoint is found at the Windy Gap.
Maghera: Maghera is a hamlet lying 2.5 miles to the north of Newcastle and is a site of great antiquity.
Facilities:Large variety of facilities available at Castlewellan Forest Park including toilets and a cafe with lots of refreshments.
Accessibility information:As this is a long cycle with steep sections it may be difficult for those with a disability.
Accessible toilet facilities:Yes
Publication:Mourne Hertiage Trust Map
Publication availability:Available on Mourne Hertiage Trust Website