Saint Patrick's Way Short Break

5 Days & 4 Nights 4.2 Read 4 reviews
  • Walk the best of the Saint Patrick’s Way in Northern Ireland, a pilgrimage trail
  • The Mourne Mountains, a filming location for Game of Thrones
  • Tollymore Forest, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Landscapes that influenced C.S. Lewis when he invented fictional Narnia
  • Slieve Donard Mountain and its hermit cave associated with Saint Patrick
Follow in the footsteps of Saint Patrick on the best of Northern Ireland’s pilgrimage walking trail. Saint Patrick is one of the world’s most beloved saints and Ireland’s most famous. Born in Roman Britain he came to Ireland as a slave, before escaping to France and England. He returned to Ireland as a missionary and left his legacy behind here, converting local hill folk in the Mourne Mountains and beyond. Enjoy the variety of landscapes; rolling farmland that sweeps down to the sea, the dramatic Mourne Mountains, breath-taking flora and fauna, golden gorse, ancient stone walls and views over Carlingford Lough. With a warm welcome from the locals and atmospheric pubs you are sure to enjoy this pilgrimage celebrating Saint Patrick’s life and legacy.
Celebrate Saint Patrick’s legacy by following his footsteps in Northern Ireland on this “best of” itinerary. Rated moderate as you will be walking into and out of the Mourne Mountains, this tour will suit those guests who love history, a mix of beautiful landscapes and the friendliness of the local people who are more than willing to engage in a chat and share their stories!

Tour Type:

Classic Routes | If you’re the active, outdoorsy type, who’s interested in taking on the great routes of the world or looking for a challenge, then our Classic Routes are for you. We’re talking the West Highland Way, Tour Du Mont Blanc and the Passau to Vienna Danube Cycle Path, to name but a few!


Inn to Inn Walking | Walk from place-to-place changing accommodations each night. Generally staying in B&B’s, inns, and guesthouses.

This trip is suitable for:

Solo Travellers

As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveler this tour would be suitable for is: 16 Years

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Short Break
  • Off the Beaten Track

Activity Level & Terrain

This itinerary is graded moderate overall and involves beautiful sections of walking in the Mourne Mountains. The daily distances vary from 17.5km (11mi) to 21km (13mi) with a maximum ascent of 465m (1525ft), and maximum descent of 715m (2345ft). Please note that the last walk to Newcastle is arguably the most challenging walk as it involves a steep uphill climb to Butter Mountain at the start. The mountains can feel featureless at times but once you have passed the mountain, the trail becomes more gentle through rolling farmland and woodland. This tour is suitable for regular walkers and it is advisable to do several longer walks of a similar distance on undulating terrain to build up your fitness before setting off. This way you can make the most of your time in the Mourne Mountains!

The terrain consists of quiet tarmac country roads (on Day 2), woodland paths, and trails through open moorland and mountains (on Days 3 and 4). Although the paths are not very high, the area can feel quite isolated and you are exposed to the elements. During rainy weather some of the trails can be muddy, boggy, and waterlogged, so be prepared to get your boots wet and wear very good quality walking and waterproof boots. Wearing gaiters is also a good option.

If you are thinking of travelling solo, please consider that mobile phone coverage may be patchy in remote areas along the trail. We also welcome small groups on the trail, ideally no bigger than 6-8 travellers due to accommodation limitations in remote areas along the route. Booking in advance is a must.


This route is well-waymarked for the most part and easy to follow. Navigation is straightforward as you can use the Macs Adventure Smartphone App which has maps, GPS tracks, and daily route information. Simply download the GPS tracks for offline use and follow the route on your phone with the assurance that navigation will be simple, and you can’t get lost. You will find more information on downloading the app in your Macs Adventure Account.

Please note that depending on the time of year and recent weather, the trail may be boggy in places which could reduce your average walking speed.


The accommodation on this tour is comfortable B&B’s and a hotel. All offer a warm welcome to walkers and traditional Irish hospitality with delicious full Irish breakfasts. It must be noted that as there is no appropriate accommodation in the Mourne Mountains, we will provide transfers to and from the walks on Day 3 and 4 and you will stay a second night in Rostrevor. We regularly use the properties below but may accommodate you elsewhere if these are not available.

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

We will be happy to accommodate your party with single rooms if requested, and a single supplement applies. This trip is also available to solo walkers, and a supplement is again payable (as some costs are not shared). Please note that singles may not be of the same standard as twins/doubles.


A hearty breakfast is included each morning, which usually includes choices of cereals, toast and yoghurts. A full cooked Irish breakfast is also provided. Lunch and dinner are not included, so you are free to choose from the available options. Most of your accommodations will be more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival. Alternatively you can buy lunch at local shops or stop in a café. Your route notes will have more specific information on whether you will need to take a packed lunch on a walk or whether there is a café, shop, etc en route.

You can buy dinner in all the towns you stay in as there are plenty of choices of local restaurants and pubs.

  • 4 Nights in B&B's & guest houses
  • 4 Breakfasts
  • Luggage Transfers
  • Day 3 Transfer from the end of the walk
  • Day 4 Transfer to beginning of walk
  • A detailed information pack, route notes and maps
  • Access to the GPX tracks via the Macs Smartphone App
  • 24/7 Emergency telephone support from our office
  • Travel to Newry
  • Travel from Newcastle
  • Lunches & dinners
  • Snacks & drinks
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Equipment
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage
  • Extra nights before, after or during your walk

When To Go

This walking tour is best enjoyed between April and October. You have the flexibility to start on any date, subject to availability. If you are planning on traveling between June and August, we recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment, especially when traveling in a group.

In our opinion, one of the best times to visit this region is in spring when colourful wildflowers are in bloom and the Mourne Mountains look incredible at this time of year. July and August are the busiest months and accommodations tend to fill up fast, but you can appreciate long hours of daylight. For a quieter experience, September is an ideal month and it has the advantage of the crowds beginning to thin.

Weather and Climate

Irish weather is typically unpredictable year-round so be prepared for any conditions and you will be pleasantly surprised. No matter what month you choose to travel, being in the Mourne Mountains means it can get wet and windy at any time of year. At the start and towards the end of the season the conditions may be wet and windy. There could even be some snow in early spring or late autumn and for this reason, it is important that you check the local weather forecast before setting off each day.

Getting to the Start

The closest airport is Belfast City Airport.  From here you can take a bus or a train to Belfast City Centre and then a bus or a train to Newry. The total journey takes just over 2H. You can also fly into Belfast International Airport. However, this airport is further away and it will take you 3H by bus to Newry with 2 changes, or you can take a train via Belfast City Centre which takes almost 4 hours. 

It is also possible to fly into Dublin Airport as the journey by bus is only 1H15 and there is a regular service.

To find out more information about buses and trains please visit Bus Eireann, or Translink

Getting from the End

Just as when you arrived, the best airports to fly into are Belfast City, Belfast International or Dublin. From Newcastle you can take buses to Belfast City Centre and onto either airport from there. The journey in total to the airport takes about 1H30, depending on the transfer times in Belfast.

You can also take a bus to Dublin Airport and fly out of the there. The journey takes 2H45.

Please refer to the travel links above for more information on timetables and routes.

Luggage Transfer

Daily door-to-door luggage transfers are included in the price of your trip, allowing you to set off on each walk carrying a light backpack.

At Macs Adventure we work in partnership with many luggage transfer providers who set a limit on how many bags/suitcases they will transfer per person, and also the weight of the bag/suitcase. Ninety-nine percent of the time they will only transfer one bag per person, but the allowed weight ranges from anything between 15 and 20kg per bag, depending on the tour you are taking. We do not have control over the limits that these providers set. Therefore, it is very important that you read the luggage information specific to your tour before departure. If you do not adhere to these limits there is a great possibility that you will be charged locally both for extra bags (including shopping bags or boots) and if they are too heavy. This limitation can be a challenge, especially as airlines generally have limits that are higher. However, our luggage providers have reasons for these limits (usually due to the Health and Safety of their employees) which we must respect.

On this trip, we ask you to keep your luggage to a maximum weight of 15 kilograms per item. Although most airlines have a standard baggage allowance of 23kg, we kindly ask you to distribute any excess weight over a separate bag. Please note that 2 bags per person are allowed, meaning 4 bags per couple.

General Information

The distances and descents / ascents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necesssary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking/ cycling gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.

How fit do I need to be?
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What happens if I can’t walk a stage?


Day 1 Arrive Newry and overnight Day 2 Newry to Rostrevor 12.5 miles / 18.5 km Day 3 Rostrevor to Mourne Mountains 12 miles / 17.5 km Day 4 Mourne Mountains to Newcastle 13 miles / 21 km Day 5 Onward Travel

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