Newry’s Greenway, from Dublin Road Bridge, Newry to the Weir on the Middlebank, right up to Victoria Lock a distance of 3km approximately.
A beautiful view on a pleasant walk along Carlingford Bay.Views of the Mourne Mountains, Warrenpoint, Rostrevor and Carlingford. Set back from the road on a secure level path.
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Victoria Lock was built in 1850 as part of the Newry Ship Canal but slowly declined after the advent of the railway and was closed to commercial traffic in 1966.
The site was landscaped and the lock automated in 2007, creating a lovely, peaceful, sheltered picnic site with access to Newry and the Albert Basin for pleasure boats at high tide. The history of the lock and the area is interpreted and there are fascinating interactive memorials to historic shipwrecks that occurred nearby.
The lock and canal are ideal for coarse fishing, with a number of purpose built platforms for perch, roach, bream and pike.
The wildlife of Carlingford Lough and the canal is enthralling, with regular visitations by herons, egrets, cormorants and swans as well as occasional sightings of otters and pinemartins in the dusk and dawn. Native spring bulbs have been planted on the site and as these naturalise, the grass under the trees will be studded with jewels of colour from January onwards. Butterflies such as the orange tip and the green veined white are common here and dragonflies can often be seen in Summer, cruising the waters of the canal.
Across the road there is a lovely walking route, using Forest Service paths, zigzagging through Fathom Forest to the top of Flagstaff where stunning panoramic views of the Ring of Gullion, the Lough and the Mourne Mountains will be revealed. It is planned that this route will be way-marked and improved over the next year as part of the Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership Scheme.
Plans are also afoot to link the Portadown to Newry Canal footpath and cycleway to the East Coast Greenway that currently stops in nearby Omeath village. The link will hopefully give cyclists and pedestrians the unique experience of travelling the Middlebank that delineates the canal from Carlingford Lough, rejoining true dry land at Victoria Lock and heading on into medieval Carlingford.
Victoria Lock is a peaceful haven just minutes' drive from the hustle and bustle of Newry and its shopping centres. Stop here for a picnic, immerse yourself in the built heritage of the ship canal; perhaps be lucky enough to watch some wildlife; use the site as a base for an excursion to the top of Fathom or simply take a minute to stretch your legs and cross the lock gates for a unique view down the Lough. Whatever your plans for your day in the area, a visit to Victoria Lock is a must.
The Carlingford Lough Greenway will provide a world class cross-border green travel route running parallel to the A1/N1 Newry to Carlingford Road which is narrow and unsuitable for cyclists. The project extends for approximately 25km from Newry City through the villages of Omeath and Carlingford to Greenore, providing a much needed recreational facility for this area. When completed, this Greenway will link with the existing Newry/Portadown Cycleway/Towpath resulting in a total length of 52km of Greenway along the east coast of Ireland enabling walkers and cyclists to travel off-road between Belfast and Dublin using Sustrans Route 9 (The Great Eastern Greenway).
Phase 1 of the project was funded by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council through the Landfill Communities Fund administered by Ulster Wildlife.
Louth County Council has already constructed 6.2km of Greenway from Omeath to Carlingford Marina and this has proved very popular with the public since it opened in 2014. The two Councils, working in partnership have agreed to develop a Cross-border Greenway to extend the Newry section from the Weir on Middlebank to Victoria Lock and across the border to link up with the existing Greenway in Omeath. This scheme when completed shall be known as the Carlingford Lough Greenway.
This is a wonderful example of effective Cross Border cooperation to deliver a world class outdoor recreational facility for everyone to use and enjoy.
When the Greenway is completed it will be the only totally off-road pedestrian link between Newry and Carlingford as such has the potential to be developed as a safe access for locals and visitors to use. It will provide immediate benefits to people living adjacent to the greenway, improving the living environment and providing opportunities for leisure, exercise, recreation and supporting healthier lifestyles.
The section from the Weir to Victoria Lock is scheduled to be completed by December 2017.
This is an example of a project which is a key priority for Newry, Mourne and Down District Council as it helps to increase the number of people walking and cycling.