For those travelling to the rally in Cascais, the following message received from Brittany Ferries regarding the ferry from Portsmouth to Santander.
“We’re sorry to inform you that due to a technical reason, Pont-Aven is currently unable to operate at its full cruising speed. As a consequence, the ship’s sailings originally scheduled to operate between Portsmouth and Santander this season will now be departing from and arriving into our UK port of PLYMOUTH.”
With this in mind, members booked on this route with Brittany Ferries and on this ship, may want to check with them prior to travelling to confirm details of their crossing to Santander if they have not already been contacted and advised of any changes.
News Flash !!
Check out the Group Riding Experience Course by Harley Davidson
Follow the link for more info http://www.belfasthog.com/chapter-info/group-riding/
In 2019 Harley-Davidson will be taking a break from the EuroFestival event. The company is taking time to examine and evaluate the event operations, with a view of improving the experience for customers. The plan is to return in 2020 to the amazing Prairies de la Mer location with a refreshed event. Those dates will be communicated as soon as possible.
THE MOUNTAINS OF MOURNE SWEEP DOWN TO THE SEA
This year’s Hog’n’Bog Rally will be based in Newcastle, Co Down, where the mountains of Mourne literally sweep down to the sea. It is a veritable open-air playground providing coastal drives, hill walking, rock climbing, nature rambles, photography, canoeing, cycling, horse riding, bird watching, ﬁshing and world-class golf.
Shrouded in magic and majesty, the Mourne Mountains, Slieve Craob and the Ring of Gullion are areas of outstanding natural beauty and are without a doubt the most picturesque in Ireland. Filled with dizzying peaks, rolling valleys, tranquil forests and golden coastline, they are ready and waiting to be discovered by you, enjoyed, experienced and never forgotten.
Bring your cameras and binoculars. Switch off your engines, machine and your own self, and take time out to really listen to the mountains: the sounds overhead of the wind sighing in the trees, the different birdlife, the clear water streams tinkling over and polishing the boulders, wildlife scurrying through the forest underﬂoor; smell the earth and the pine needles and closer to the sea, smell the sea and hear the plaintiff calls of the seabirds. Observe the ever-changing colours, and think of Irish tweed – dull greens and dun browns interspersed with pops of the gorse yellow and the shy poppy ﬂowers of summer. You will be rejuvenated and feel simply great!
Travelling down from Belfast and the boat, and just 5 miles north of Newcastle is the village of Dundrum, best known for its ruined Anglo-Norman Castle. This is one of the most signiﬁcant and evocative castles in Northern Ireland, ranking in importance alongside Carrickfergus and Dunluce. The Dundrum Coastal path is built on the old railway line and runs along the shore of the Inner Bay, a lovely peaceful walk.
Dundrum Bay is one of only 3 places in Ireland where 2 currents meet to create ‘the magic wave’. The town has a great Heritage Trail too.
Murlough, Ireland’s ﬁrst national nature reserve, is a fragile 6000 year old sand dune system at the edge of Dundrum Bay. Its spectacular location has superb views over the bay to the Mourne Mountains, and is an excellent area for walking and birdwatching.
There is so much to see and do and explore in this fascinating countryside that really deserves a much longer stay than the Rally weekend. Bring your walking boots too! And of course, come back!
Five miles further along the Mourne Coastal Road is the town of Newcastle where we will be based for the duration of the Rally. Newcastle is set in this stunning location at the base of Slieve Donnard, the highest of the Mourne Mountain Peaks. It is like any family seaside town, attracting crowds lining the promenade at weekends, especially bikers from all over Ireland. If you are a golfer, Royal County Down Golf Club is one of the world’s most celebrated links courses.
This areas’s heritage is tied closely to Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, and the story of how he brought Christianity to Ireland. The land’s built heritage also illustrates Ireland’s political and commercial history – the castles, dolmans and ruins that dot the rural landscape and coast.
Travel further along the road out of Newcastle and you will ﬁnd Annalong village, with its cornmill and harbour. The picturesque harbour dates back to the early 1800s. As well as ﬁshing, the harbour was used for many years for exporting the famous quarried Mourne granite. The restored cornmill has a working water wheel.
Ballykeel Portal Tomb is a dolmen known locally as the ‘Hog’s Chair’, and we being HOGs must pay it a visit for a photo session! – The Neolithic Burial site dated 4000 – 2500 BC has a huge capstone supported on uprights over an octagonal burial chamber.
Further along the coast road is Cranﬁeld Beach , Kilkeel, an award-winning beach lying at the mouth of Carlingford Lough.
Castlewellan Forest Park, Peace Maze and Mountain bike trails overlooks one of Northern Ireland’s most famous lakes with a stunning Victorian Castle in dramatic setting between the mountains and the sea. Castlewellan Forest is home to one of the most outstanding tree and shrub collections in Europe. The beauty and perfect shape of the trees in the National Arboretum attracts tree enthusiasts from all around the world. To walk around the mile -long lake while encountering some intriquing modern sculptures on the way is to enjoy a great experience of 18th Century landscape,
To be continued ..