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Murlough National Nature Reserve

Located a short 10 minute drive from the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa Hotel is Murlough, Ireland’s first Nature Reserve. This fragile 6000 year old sand dune system owned by the National Trust has beem managed as Ireland’s first Nature Reserve since 1967. It is an excellent area for walking and bird watching due to its spectacular location at the edge of Dundrum Bay and the Mourne Mountains.

  • The best and most extensive example of dune heath within Ireland
  • Network of paths and boardwalks through the dunes
  • Woodland and heath with an array of butterflies and wild flowers
  • One of 22 butterfly species, the Marsh Fritillary, is of European importance
  • Internationally important for wintering wildfowl and waders
  • A haul-out site for Common and Grey seals
  • Evidence of human habitation from Neolithic times, through the Bronze Age to the present day
  • Access to one of the finest beaches in Co. Down
  • Stunning panorama of the Mountains of Mourne sweeping down to the sea
  • Self-guided nature walk, additional guided walks and volunteer events throughout the year

Visitor Facilities

Nature reserve: Coast: Country walk: Access for visitors with disabilities: Suitable for picnics: Learning: Dogs welcome on leads.

Stay at the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa when you visit Murlough. Click here for our best available bed and breakfast rates.