Nature and wildlife


Silent Valley

Silent Valley Mountain Park, Head Road, tel (028) 9035 4716

The Silent Valley Reservoir was built to gather water from the Mourne Mountains and is the main water supply source for most of County Down and a large part of Belfast. Ringed by mountains, ‘The Valley’, located within the Mourne Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, houses beautiful parkland, lakes and a pond. It attracts around 50,000 visitors per year most of whom come to enjoy the peace and solitude of this mountain area with its unique landscapes and varied wildlife. Northern Ireland Water has provided a number of visitor facilities at the site including a restaurant, information centre, conference centre and education centre – all housed in two old colonial style bungalows and enjoying delightful views over the parkland.

Opening times: The reservoir grounds are open daily from 10.00am-6.30pm (summer) and 10.00am-4.00pm (October-April)

Admission Fees: payable on entrance. Car £4.50 , on foot £1.50, Minibus £11, Coach £27

Directions: vehicle access is possible only through the main gates located on Head Road. Drivers are required to obey the one-way traffic system which leads to a single large car park at the south end of the reservoir grounds. A shuttlebus also operates during peak season.

Spelga Dam

Once the grazing ground for Irish red deer, part of Deer’s Meadow was flooded to create Spelga Dam, completed in 1957, to maintain a supply of water for the many mills along the River Bann. Deer’s Meadow delimits the geological divide between the Eastern or High Mournes (which drain into the Irish Sea) and the Western or Low Mournes (which drain into Carlingford Lough). In the past cattle would have been taken here to graze pastures in the summer months and then brought down again at the end of September, a practice known as transhumance or ‘booleying’ locally.

Seascope NI Lobster Hatchery

Northern Ireland’s first Lobster Hatchery Visitor Experience and Marine Research Centre. Come and see our one of a kind experience, be only inches away from hundreds of baby lobsters and monster mothers. Let Lucy the Lobster take you on an adventure from tiny lobster eggs through the dangerous journey of reaching adulthood. Our interactive educational experience offers fun learning opportunities for all ages as well as kids crafts and interactive treasure hunts. Get up close to each stage of lobster life through our viewing tanks as well as seeing other fascinating sea creatures.

Opening Times:
We are open all year round from 10am-5pm, Monday-Saturday.

For more information about specific holiday times, please check our website: for further details.

Adults £2.40
Children £2.00
Student and Seniors £1.80
Family (2 Adults, 2 Children) £7.00