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The Mourne Mountains

 This small but striking mountain range is a central part of the culture of unspoiled outdoor beauty that exists in County Down. Clustered in the southeast part of Northern Ireland, the Mourne mountain area is filled with lakes, streams, hiking trails, pristine woodlands and spectacular views of the ocean below. The tallest of the Mourne peaks is Slieve Donard, which rises to 2796 feet and offers a brilliant view of Strangford Lough and the Isle of Man off the coast.

At the foot of the mountains sits the village of Newcastle, a popular resort area frequented by natives of Belfast. A picturesque mountain backdrop enhances its beach and seaside promenade. In fact, the Mourne Mountains sweep down to the sea at this spot, as voiced in the famous song by Percy French.

There are many walking trails that lead up into the mountains, including Ulster Way, which winds through the hills for a spectacular 560 miles. The walk circles around Northern Ireland, intersecting with several other popular paths. A less strenuous walk is the North Down Coastal Path, concentrated in the County Down Area.

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