Mourne Maritime Visitor Centre
Within the Mourne Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
The Mourne Maritime Visitor Centre is situated in the Nautilus Centre overlooking Kilkeel harbour, which is home to Northern Ireland’s largest fishing fleet.
There has been a tradition of fishing in the area since the first settlers made Mourne their home. Over the years farming and fishing were interlinked as depending on the season most local farmers also had a small skiff boat to chase the herring and the abundant fish stocks. Kilkeel harbour grew from the mid 18th century and became a port for local schooners to export potatoes, granite and grain and import coal and supplies.
The maritime centre charts the history of the local harbour and the development of fishing and maritime links through the years. Children can visit our wheelhouse and have a go at steering into Kilkeel port or they can play our interactive games. The “Anna” is our largest exhibit and you can get a feeling how hard fishermen’s lives were, when it had to be launched with just fishermen lifting it into the harbour.
There are also displays on boat building, changes in fishing, deep sea mariners, shipwrecks & disasters and the role of the RNLI. Outside the Nautilus Centre is the Memorial to all those who have been lost at Sea and the Memorial Book commemorating all those lost at sea can be viewed in the Maritime Centre.
Fun-filled holiday for all the family!
Our cottages are beneath the majestic Mourne Mountains allowing you to walk from the door and be top of the world a few hours later.