The Mourne Mountains have provided a much needed escape for many during 2020 and all the challenges of a global pandemic and local lock downs. Indeed people have been escaping to them for generations, exploring the majestic peaks, admiring the blooming heather and allowing the space and beauty to restore their souls. Good Craic is all about celebrating the Mourne area. For those who love the Mournes or need a gift for friends or family who do here are my top 10 Mourne related gift ideas with a few bonus ideas thrown in for good measure.
1. "The Mournes are calling and I must go" keyring Handmade wooden keyring screen printed by Once Upon a Dandelion in Newcastle. £4.50. Available here
2. Calendar of the Mournes 2021 - compiled by Good Craic Gifts from local professional and amateur photographers. Contains 12 gorgeous pics of the area plus information on some of the best places to stay and great things to do in the area. £5.00. Available here
3. Canvas Print of the Mournes. Cloughmore Stone, Castlewellan Peace Maze, the stone walls- just a few of the iconic Mourne scenes available in these canvas prints. Each print is 19.5cm squared. £12 and available here. Larger canvas prints of Cloughmor available in Good Craic Gifts, 13 Church St Rostrevor. Ph 079 369 77029.
4. Aerial Map of the Mourne Mountains. This laminated map is A2 size (594 x 420mm).
The original image was hand painted by cartographic artist Richard Chandler using Ordinance Survey Northern Ireland Mapping. The 3 dimensional image is very easy to read and gives an instant feel for the terrain and is ideal for route planning or simply as a striking image to mount. It is helpful for getting the big picture and allows you to easily see where you have been exploring. £10.50 and available here.
5. Mourne t-shirt- This brand new design is exclusive to Good Craic Gifts in Rostrevor. Currently on order they will be in store by the end of November. Can be preordered now here for £12.
6. Mourne Mountains 30 Best Hikes Book- by Andrew McCluggage. This book is already a best seller for Good Craic in 2020. It gives accurate and up to date details on Mourne hikes- where to start, how long each hike will take and how difficult it is. It has proper maps and is an excellent guide to finding areas you may not have explored before. £13.99 and available here.
7 Mourne Mountains enamel mug with exceptional water colour art by Piera Cirefice. It depicts part of the Mourne range with each mountain named. Perfect for taking with your thermos of tea on your rambles. £16 from here. Water colour prints of various Mournes scenes in A4 or A5, framed or unframed, are also available in store.
8 Pyrography Art of the Mournes by Angela Gillen. Beautiful Mournes scene inspired by Silent Valley done originally in pyrography then printed and hand finished with white and gold highlights. Available here in a 6x4" frame for £15.
9 Mournes pendant - handcrafted silver jewellery from SimplyN in Belfast. This pendant is incredible quality. Individual pieces are layered to created the mountains. There is a lot of work in this piece and I'm sure it would be treasured for many years. £85 from here.
10 Experience in the Mournes If you need a gift for someone who prefers an experience over a thing
maybe you'd be better off getting a voucher for somewhere like Gorse Hill Glamping - email@example.com. Or an activity voucher from somewhere like Life Adventure Centre in Castlewellan where you can hire mountain bikes, electric bikes, canoes or kayaks. Or the amazing SOAK Seaweed bathes in Newcastle [I 100% endorse these guys. What a fabulous and unusual experience!!!!] Many of our local tourism businesses offer vouchers and I'm sure they would appreciate a little extra support after such a rough year.
Here's a few other local businesses offering vouchers this year:
Mourne Seas Tours, Newcastle
Ballybrick Glass and Clay- workshops available
Mourne Alpacas- firstname.lastname@example.org (10% of voucher proceeds go to Children's Hospice at Horizon House)
Castlescreen Farm- wee cows, BIG beef- produce and tours. Downpatrick.
Spy Pond Photo Space, Newcastle
Montalto Estate, Ballynahinch
The Rostrevor Inn, Rostrevor
Escape Glamping, Castlewellan
Restaurants and Cafes