Europe, Hikes, Travelling

Tollymore Forest Park – Northern Ireland

Do you know these kind of places you see in movies and they are so beautiful it makes you think it is in another planet? Well, Tollymore Forest Park is one of this kind! But, luckily, it is located here in this world, in Northern Ireland!

I still can’t believe I saw this place with my own eyes, that I was there in this fairy tale scenario. I wanted to visit Tollymore a long time ago, but there was always something in the way. So, last November, on my Birthday, I decided to plan a hiking trip there, to enjoy these jaw-dropping landscapes.

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Tollymore Forest Park is located near Newcastle town, on the foot of the majestic Mourne Mountains. From Dublin, the trip by car takes more or less 2 hours. If you go by public transport the journey is longer, you have to take a bus from Dublin to a town called Newry and, from there, take another bus to Newcastle.

Tollymore was the first designated forest park in Northern Ireland, and it is a very special and unique place. There you can find a variety of trees, caves,  arches in a gothic style, and the River Shimna. This river floes through the park, passing by 16 bridges, the oldest of which dates from 1726. It’s amazing!

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Inside the park there are 4 options of walks (click here to find more details), from easy to more challenging ones.  We chose our walk when we got there. Unfortunately, it was raining a lot that day and, because of the conditions, the River Trail was our choice. It is a circular 5.2km walk. I still want to go back there and hike the longer, more challenging Mountain Trail.

I have no words to explain the River Trail, it was certainly one of the most beautiful walks I have done in this island (and my first one in Northern Ireland). I truly felt as if I was inside a movie; it is so beautiful that you can’t believe the place is real.

The trail goes alongside the River Shimna, passing by all the bridges. Every step was a moment to savour.

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It was about a two-hour walk through this magical place. This was also the wettest hike I’ve ever done, it rained constantly for 2 hours. But, this didn’t discourage us! If anything. the rain just added a special touch to its atmosphere.

We were wearing waterproof clothes, and I was dry for the most part of the time. But, my leggings started to get really wet around my knees by the time we were finishing. The problem was that I didn’t bring any spare clothes, and I was very stupid to keep wearing my wet leggings all the way back home. As a result I got sick the next day. But, I was happy; I really loved my birthday hiking-trip.

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Because of the rain I didn’t take pictures with my camera, I used my phone instead. Although, I believe you guys can get an idea how stunning this place is through these images.

No wonder Tollymore Forest Park is part of the tv show Game of Thrones. Do you guys remember in the first season, when the Starks found the direwolves in a forest? Yes, this forest is Tollymore! It was really cool to be there and recall the Game of Thrones scenes.

I highly recommend this trip whether you are a Game of Thrones fan or not. It is unreal, so beautiful that you feel like crying!

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Have you guys celebrated your birthdays with a hiking-trip? Would you like to visit Northern Ireland as well? Share in the comments.

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//12 Comments

  1. Elisa martinez

    January 18, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Wow. It even remind me of Barbados, dark and foresty. Interesting location.

  2. Mandy Carter

    January 18, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Oh my goodness this does look like it came right out of a fairytale book! Ireland is on my bucket list to experience with my kids in their teens. I will have to be sure this gets included on the list. Just beautiful!

  3. Felicia Broccolo

    January 18, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    holy moly this place is gorgeous! I’ve never even heard of it but I’ll have to add it to my list now! Thanks for sharing this gem 🙂

  4. Caroline @ The Travelling Sloth

    January 18, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    That scenery is so beautiful! Especially the brown and golden leaves. I did something similar for my birthday! Visited a friend in Ilfracombe and we went on a couple of walks 🙂 best way to spend a birthday, i reckon!

  5. 33andfree

    January 18, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    What a picture perfect place! Love the bridges and the stone work. Hope to get here some day. It’s now on my list!

  6. Carly Heyward

    January 19, 2017 at 1:09 am

    These are gorgeous and I love Game of Thrones, but I can’t stop laughing that that bridge looks like a face lolol

  7. Justine

    January 19, 2017 at 1:58 am

    Wet leggings! Gaah that’s the worse! Anyways, I know it looks very beautiful but did you ever feel creeped out?

  8. Elisabeth Bunch

    January 19, 2017 at 3:47 am

    Wow, Ireland in general has always grabbed my attention, but this park is darling! It’s like a fairytale 🙂

  9. annette richmond

    January 19, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    First of all, that place is stunning. Second, I’m OBSESSED with GOT and want to find my Direwolf in Tollymore! Definitely adding this to my wanderlust list! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Leslie

    January 19, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    These are amazing photographs! I’m jealous you got to see all this fairytale beauty of the park in the autumn season, it probably made the trees look incredible! Definitely adding my bucket list, thanks for sharing!

  11. Birthe (from Wandering the World)

    February 16, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Did you make these photos with your phone?! Wouldn’t have guessed it, they’re really nice! 🙂 The Tollymore Forest Park indeed looks magical, even more so in the autumn colours. You must have really loved the place if you didn’t even mind getting sick the next day! 😀 We’re going to Ireland (for TBEX) in October this year, so pinned it for future reference. 😉 Thanks!

  12. Joana

    March 31, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Que lindo, parece saído de um conto de fadas!

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