The Mourne Mountains situated in County Down Northern Ireland features the highest peaks in the country; the granite tors are a popular destination for climbers, hikers and casual walkers. Over the years I have managed to climb each of the key mountains, some many times over.
For easier, casual walks Doan remains a firm favourite. Doan sits in a central position offering 360 degree views of Slieve Binnian, Slieve Bearnagh, Slieve Comedagh, Slieve Lamagan and Slieve Donard.
The Mourne Mountains
The View to the Mourne Mountains
The surrounding beaches make capturing photographs of the Mourne Mountains easy. The most popular has to be Murlough beach and nature reserve but Tyrella beach , further along the coast is also worth the extra drive. The mountain view can almost change depending on the weather and the air density. See The Mournes from Murlough Beach.
A golden hour walk along Murlough beach can be stunning as the sun begins to set behind the mountains. The images of the horses were captured on both Tyrella and Murlough beaches.
Also at the foot of the Mournes reside Tollymore Forest Park. The forest offers a number of stunning walks should you be put off by the rougher mountain routes. Foley bridge (in the image above) sits over the Shimna river within the forest.
The Mourne Mountains, County Down
The Mournes offer a different experience with each passing month. The early sunsets of winter offer stunning light shows looking out toward the Irish Sea. The first in the post was captured at the top of Slieve Doan one late November afternoon. Click here to see a larger view. The image was captured with a pre-production Fujifilm X-Pro2 camera and was subsequently displayed at launch in Japan.
Doan mountain is our annual new year hike. We have always been fortunate with the weather and the late winter sun offers amazing views across to Kilkeel. See New Year on Doan and Winter Sun on Doan Mountain. Stranger still, a Doan image was used to launch of a new beer by the Mourne Mountain Brewery. The beer, aptly titled ‘Ways of Escape’ is available now in most good stockists.
Although Doan would be my general, go-to mountain Slieve Bearnagh remains my firm favourite. Generally, people opt for the challenge of Slieve Donard (as it’s the highest) but the views are nothing like those offered by Bearnagh. Check out the separate posts : The summit of Slieve Bearnagh and the view from Slieve Bearnagh.
The Mourne Wall
The Mourne Wall is a key feature of the mountains and in 2022 celebrated a 100 year birthday. The stone wall was originally built to protect the Silent Valley water supply from farm animals. In harsher weather the wall can offer a reassuring guide out of the mountains.
Most of the images featured in this post also appear on the FlixelPix Instagram Feed.
The Seven Sevens
For fans of the Mourne wall, an annual challenge takes place known as the Seven Sevens. It is a challenge in the truest sense of the word. The Seven Sevens follows a set route starting with Slieve Donard, followed by Slieve Commedagh, Slieve Bearnagh, Slieve Meelmore, Slieve Meelbeg, Slieve Binnian, and finally Slieve Lamagan. From Slieve Lamagan you make your walk back down to the starting point (Donard car park in Newcastle). It’s quite a challenge.
These images were captured with a range of different cameras, from the Fujifilm X100, to the Fujifilm X-T and X-Pro series cameras. I always tend to set the exposure compensation dial to -2 when shooting in the mountains. This technique can be useful when shooting toward direct sunlight or where contrast is key.
The Mournes Photo Gallery
Video of the Mournes
100 Photographs Captured with the X100
How to take better photos