Newcastle (population 7500) is a seaside resort town in County Down, Northern Ireland on the coast of the Irish Sea. It can get very busy and congested in the summer, but the promenade along the sea front is modern and well designed. The beach is not very sandy in places, but the beach at Murlough, just along the coast, is very good. There are plenty of pubs and cafes, as well as amusement arcades.
From Belfast head south on the A24 until you reach the village of Clough. From there, continue south along the A2.
The town can be very congested with traffic at holiday periods and during the summer months. There are car parks behind the main street.
There are no train services to Newcastle so the best way to get there is by bus. Ulsterbus runs a service from Belfast Europa Bus Centre to Newcastle Bus Station every 30-60 minutes and takes around 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.
There are also regular services to nearby towns such as Castlewellan, Ardglass and Downpatrick. The bus station is 2 minutes walk from the town centre.
The most convenient airport to Newcastle is Belfast City Airport, around 1 hour's drive away. Belfast International Airport is around 1 hour 20 minute's drive away and Dublin Airport is around 2 hours away by car.
The town is small enough to walk around easily.
- 1 Newcastle Harbour. At the south end of the town and an easy walk from the town centre. Facilities for toilets, waste disposal and tie-up for boats.
The Mourne Mountains, particularly Slieve Donard (at 850-metre (2,790 ft), the highest peak in Northern Ireland), overlook the town and are easily accessible through Donard Park and at Bloody Bridge (on the road towards Kilkeel).
- 1 Royal County Down Golf Club, Golf Links Road, Newcastle, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. World famous links golf course. Close by the Slieve Donard Hotel.
There are a variety of tracks in nearby the forest parks of Tollymore and Castlewellan (which has a newly completed course), as well as the Mourne Mountains which are easily accessible from Donard Park.
Newcastle is a ideal base for exploring the rock climbing and mountaineering opportunities in the Mourne Mountains
Newcastle has many different shops and stores
Newcastle has a range of restaurants, cafés and fast food outlets, particularly along the main street. Most pubs also serve food.
- 1 Cafe Creme, 139 Main Street, Newcastle, ☏ . Great little cafe. So good it's always busy.
Close to town
There are other eating places close to the town, including:
- 2 The Maghera Inn, Maghera Village (2 Miles north of Newcastle), ☏ . Food, drink, music! Welcoming atmosphere.
There is a wide range of pubs, most of which also serve food. A number also have entertainment and music sessions.
There is a range of accommodation including hotels, guest houses, bed and breakfasts and caravan sites.
- 1 Slieve Donard Hotel, Downs Road, Newcastle, ☏ , fax: . The pre-eminent hotel in Newcastle and one of the best in Northern Ireland. Includes a spa and conference centre. Close by the Royal County Down Golf Club.
- 2 Burrendale Hotel, 51 Castlewellan Road, Newcastle, ☏ , fax: . Good 4-star hotel with 68 bedrooms and spa and conference facilities. Some distance from the town centre on the road towards Castlewellan.
- 3 Avoca Hotel, 93-97 Central Promenade, Newcastle, ☏ . Family run 16-bedroom licensed hotel. Walking groups and ramblers can get special discounts.