Bloody Bridge

During the 18th Century the coast from Newcastle south to Greencastle was notorious for smuggling. Brandy, wine, tobacco, tea and silk entered via the Isle of Man and were conveyed over the Mournes to Hilltown along a path which became known as the Brandy Pad. Nowadays a popular walking route, the Brandy Pad still crosses the Mournes from east to west and extends from the coast at Bloody Bridge to the pass of Hare’s Gap on the mountains’ northern rim. This walk follows the start of the Brandy Pad from the Bloody Bridge to the Bog of Donard. Here it turns and follows the Mourne Wall steeply uphill to the summit of Slieve Donard. If preferred the Brandy Pad can be followed 1km further west to reach The Castles (dramatic rock pillars on the southern slopes of Slieve Commedagh) and a spectacular view southwards along the Annalong Valley.

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