A room with the best view in the world

Sluggerites often make reference to the Mournes, so I thought that this might be of interest, either to residents here or anyone intending to visit.

Queen’s University will today reopen its Mourne Cottage to the public, after an extensive £100,000 refurbishment programme, funded by the University itself, Queen’s Alumni Fund, Mourne Heritage Trust and the Donal Deery Fund. Located in Ballymartin, half a mile from Silent Valley and one hours drive from Belfast, the cottage has always been a popular base for outdoor activities amongst many clubs and societies from the University. Now, thanks to an extensive refurbishment programme, it will be available to members of the public, schools, clubs and community groups for as little as £6 per person per night.

I have been privileged to live near the Mournes for the past 15 years, and I honestly think that its one of the most special places in the world. I drive once a week to Newcastle, and I meet a man out walking his reindeer. (Rudolph, of course). If you haven’t been, you’re depriving yourself of some spectacular scenery and a sense of peace and serenity hard to find in other parts of NI.

  • Rory

    Keep singing those songs of praise for lovely County Down, Miss Fitz. No matter to what levels of hyperbole you ascend you will be in no fear of being accused of over-praise for the reality of its beauty and magic charm is much greater than any puny words of man can begin to describe.

    Nice job QUB have done with the cottage and what good purpose they are putting it to. They are to be applauded for this good public spirited endeavour.

  • Crataegus

    On the subject of getting out and enjoying ourselves, there are good coastal foot paths along the Gaint’s Causeway Coast. Park your car, get a bus along the coast and walk back.

    Only point to watch is if you intend to include White Park Bay make sure to time your walk to coincide with the tides. Both ends of the Bay are closed by the ocean at high tide. Make the most of the weather.

  • Rory

    Good man, Crataegus. Let’s hear it for Antrim too. It has delights, while different, well able to vie with any that Down has to offer, albeit different. But it’s not a competition. Let us all enjoy both -although certain towns in both counties are best avoided until they can be brought back to civilised behaviour.

  • Brenda


    I too ‘would much rather be where the mountains of mourne sweep down to the sea’

    Much nicer than Belfast

  • Rapunsel

    I stayed in the QUB cottage — 1988 I think. My needs were minimal in those days but it was basic! I recall no bathroom and not even bunk beds, rather two platforms one up and one down on which you rolled out your sleeping bag in what space there was. Cooking facilities were prety basic too. Good to see a facility such as this in the Mournes and what looks like good rates too. If my information is up to date there are other reasonable facilities in the Mournes too. There is a hostel at Cnoc na Feola which is a community owned initiative , I’ve never stayed myself but heard good reports. Hope it is still going. Tollymore Mountain centre isn’t bad but probably only available for those doing a course and there are also the Mourne Cottages, tourist office in Newcastle or the Mourne Heritage Trust are probably the best source of info. Driving down to Castlewellan this afternoon I found myself planning my next routes up the Mournes — perhaps a short walk with the family and a picnic in the Annalong valley or the usual longer excursion — where to next? On Sundays when I’m not up in the mountains for a walk we’re usually at the foot of them somwhere — Tollymore or Castlewellan and I’ll say ” good day for the mountains that” as if there ever really is a bad one!

  • ben

    The cottage is looking very well with water, power and a telephone line for the first time. We were up at the offical opening on friday afternoon and I’m pleased to have the Students’ Union associated with the cottage by contributing to the build.