Castlewellan Forest Park

Castlewellan Forest Park covers 450 hectares of land lying north of the Mourne Mountains.

 

 

About the forest

The extensive area of woodland in this forest park is managed as a commercial forest together with other plantations in the area.

The variety of tree species is one of the most attractive features of the woodlands at Castlewellan.

Tree disease

There is an outbreak of the larch tree disease, Phytophthora ramorum. About 100 hectares of affected trees will be removed to help prevent the spread of the disease.

Much of the necessary tree felling has been completed and the forest remains open to the public. There is some restricted access to certain areas and paths within the forest to allow for safe access by timber haulage lorries. Visitors must pay attention to all health and safety signs and other signs displayed in the forest.

Before visiting, you should be familiar with biosecurity guidelines which help prevent spreading this disease. Find out more at the following nidirect page.

Activities

Castlewellan Forest Park caters for many outdoor activities including walking, cycling, caravanning and camping and orienteering.

Special events can be arranged by permit. Guided walks are also available on application. Such activities may include sporting events or educational visits. To arrange a special event or activity, contact the recreation manager at Castlewellan Forest Park.

Camping and caravanning

The main stay site offers extensive facilities on tarmac and grass pitches for caravanning or camping. There are toilets and showers (some of which are wheelchair accessible), fresh water, a chemical toilet disposal point and electricity hook-up for caravans.

Charges and bookings

For caravanning and camping charges, visit the following page:

For bookings, contact the forest ranger at Castlewellan Forest Park.

Before you make a booking, understand the camping and caravanning terms and conditions as they set out the agreement between you and Forest Service to use their services.  To view the terms, follow the link below:  

Horse-riding trails

There are way-marked horse riding trails within Castlewellan Forest Park under the management of  Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.  There is no charge for individual users; however, vehicle access charges will apply for the Forest Park. For those wishing to organise horse riding events or coaching and guiding within the forest, please contact the Forest Trails Ranger:

Horse riding trails managed by Forest Service are also available in Tollymore Forest Park.

Trails

There are a number of scenic walking trails in Castlewellan Forest Park. These are managed by Newry, Mourne & Down District Council. For further information contact the Forest Trails Ranger:

Phone: 077 1809 8029

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Castlewellan Arboretum and Annesley Garden

The walled Annesley Garden, dating from 1740, provides a central focal point for the National Arboretum. This magnificent collection of trees and shrubs, set in beautiful surroundings, also incorporates fountains, ponds, ornamental greenhouses and broad sweeping vistas.

In terms of size, age and condition of the trees, this collection ranks among the top three arboretum the British Isles and the finest in Ireland. It includes:

  • 20 oldest existing specimens in the British Isles
  • 42 ‘champion’ trees of the British Isles
  • 50 ‘champion’ trees of Ireland

Access is via Castlewellan Forest Park (forest recreation charges) and it is open every day from 10.00am to sunset.

How to get there

From Castlewellan, the forest park is signposted from Main Street.

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