Last updated on November 24, 2023
Your planned holiday in Ireland or Northern Ireland is threatening to become boring? Why not go mountain biking in Northern Ireland?
If you’re holidaying in Ireland, Northern Ireland is only a stone’s throw away and if you’ve booked a flight to Belfast anyway, you’ve already got several exciting mountain bike parks close by.
Below I have summarised where you can ride in Northern Ireland, and I have only included parks with bike hire:
Page Contents (click line to jump the text)
Ireland has a mountain range that is home to many outdoor sports operators – the Mourne Mountains, south of Belfast, near the border with Ireland.
Near the town of Rostrevor, you’ll find the Rostrevor Trail Centre and its bike hire shop: www.bikemourne.com. For example, a standard MTB costs 59 pounds for the day, helmet included. There is also an uplift service if you don’t want to ride up the hill under your own power.
You’ll find a top trail system here with plenty of options from small beginner rides to terrain where top international riders train.
And on top of that, or rather at the top of the mountain, you have an incredible view of Carlingford Lough, a very beautiful long stretched sea bay.
The landscape invites a visit of several days and the MTB centre also offers plenty of variety for several days.
#2 Castlewellan Forest Park
Castlewellan is a bit north of Rostrevor, also on the east coast of Northern Ireland.
In Castlewellan you will also find the MTB rental: www.onegreatadventure.com. It seems to be a sister company of www.bikemourne.com, because on both sites you will find the same offers in the same presentation.
The trailhead, i.e. the entrance, is at Castlewellan Lake, which also makes for beautiful scenery. There are several easier and intermediate descents.
#3 Davagh Forest Trails
In the heart of Northern Ireland, not far from Cookstown, lies Davagh Forest. It offers about 25km of mountain bike trails of easy and moderate difficulty.
There is a hire company at the trailhead, Sperrin Bike Hire. They don’t seem to have a website, but you can send an email to: email@example.com. You can rent a standard MTB for 25 pounds.
#4 Gortin Glen Forest Park
This park is located north of Omagh, not far from the village of Gortin. The trailhead is accessible from the B48.
You will find a mixture of easy and intermediate trails.
The park is not huge, but offers a good mix of easy and more difficult trails.
At the trailhead you will also find a rental shop: www.campbaseadventures.com. You can rent a standard MTB there for 30-45 pounds. The rental company also offers an uplift service.
Northern Ireland is worth a trip anyway. And it only takes about 2-3 hours to get from Dublin to Belfast. In Northern Ireland, as in Ireland, there are more and more mountain bike parks with trails of varying difficulty.
By the way, we live in Ireland (second home) and run our motorbike rental business here in the summer months (www.easycruiser.tours). We also have nice guest rooms (www.the-view-accommodation.ie). We have travelled the island multiple times over the many years and therefore know it very well.
Probably the most exciting and versatile mountain bike park in Northern Ireland is Rostrevor, near the border with Ireland. But the other parks are also worth a visit.
You can also combine your Northern Ireland tour with mountain bike parks in Ireland and near Dublin. Have a look at my other articles on mountain biking (see below).
Have fun in Northern Ireland!