Top 5 Independent Shops who support local artisans in the Mournes
Photo credit: Ryan Simpson
If you’re looking for an extra reason beyond the breathtakingly beautiful mix of sand, sea, mountain, meadow and forest then come for a shop in the locally owned independent shops who support a host of artisan crafts.
If you would like a break from shopping online and are interested in visiting independently owned shops who support local artisans then this route, from Castlewellan to Rostrevor, along the stunning County Down coastline is for you.
Our route takes us in a perfect semi-circle along the eastern and southern side of the Mountains. It can be driven in under an hour, giving you plenty of time to browse.
The land on the south side of the mountains is known as the Kingdom of Mourne. Due to its isolated location, the kingdom developed a distinct culture and society.
The Kingdom of Mourne has a rich tapestry of myth and legend, woven together by the stories of the people who lived and loved on the land.
And all people, regardless of geography, are threaded together by the things that they make.
The Mournes has an expanding and innovative community of local artisan makers.
Local creativity is thriving thanks both to a global increase in local arts and crafts during the coronavirus lockdown https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/may/04/a-good-yarn-uk-coronavirus-lockdown-spawns-arts-and-craft-renaissance, which happened on the back of an exciting and increased profile for Irish makers across the world, https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/art-and-design/irish-crafts-are-ready-for-their-close-up
Our business was one of those that started during lockdown.
The research and development had begun a couple of years before, so when lockdown happened we had no option but to go for it!
We create luxury candles, inspired by the land in which we live, in glass and also in bespoke ceramic pots, handmade by a Potter in the next County @mud_ireland
Starting a business during lockdown came with trying to navigate what was normal during an abnormal time, but thankfully there’s such a positive and encouraging community of makers and independent shop owners in this area.
I will always remember the kindness of Maeve-Ann of Mimi-by-the-Sea for her willingness to share her years of retail experience when I wandered into her newly opened independent shop and asked, very timidly, if she was willing to stock some locally made candles.
So, should you have a few hours to spare, jump in the car and take the road from Castlewellan to Newcastle (stop for brunch/lunch/coffee/ice cream in one of the many eateries) and head to Rostrevor along the stunning coastal road past Kilkeel.
Along the way you’ll find beautiful independent shops intent on supporting the many local artisan businesses, and filled to the brim with local arts and crafts you won’t find on the high street.
Top 5 independent shops for local artisan craft made in the Mournes:
1. Start the journey in Castlewellan with a visit to Blue Beans @blue_beans_craft
2. It’s a few miles to Newcastle and there you’ll find Painted Earth on the Main Street @painted.earth
3. As you leave the town by the South Promenade you’ll come to the Harbour area and Mimi-By-The-Sea @mimibytheseanewcastle
4. Along the stunning coastal road with the sparkling sea on your left and the Mournes on your right you’ll arrive in Kilkeel, the home of Made In Mourne @madeinmourne
5. Follow the coastal road to Rostrevor, to the newly opened Art Gallery and Shop belonging to local artist Jacqueline Rooney @jrooneyartandhome