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Slieve Donard: Mourne AONB

Event will take place in Northern Ireland.

Slieve Donard is Northern Ireland’s highest peak. It sits at the north eastern edge of the Mourne AONB, overlooking Newcastle and Dundrum Bay.

Taking inspiration from the unique history and geology of Slieve Donard, patterns will be created in the landscape at dusk with specially created low-impact Geolights, carried by participants called Lumenators.

If you’re interested in becoming a Lumenator you can hear from our Finale Director Mark Murphy here as he explains the creative vision behind the finale.

This event will form part of a series of extraordinary outdoor finale artworks that will be captured on camera for a short film, which will be broadcast to millions of people in a primetime BBC Countryfile special and available online on BBC iPlayer later this year. The short film will also be available later through Green Space Dark Skies’ own channels.

Below is some practical information to help you to make your decision to join us and book your place.

If you are part of or know a community group who would like to take part, please contact our Participation Coordinator, Ann Donnelly at

Event information

How much time will I need to commit?

From arrival to departure, you will be at our Base Camp near Slieve Donard for about ten hours from 11am to 10pm.

Will I be going to the summit?

The event location will be high up on the mountain. However, to ensure the safety of all participants, only a small team of trained climbers and mountaineers will be going to the summit of each mountain.

How will I get there and back?

To reduce carbon footprint and because there is limited parking near to Slieve Donard, we will be running an extensive park and ride minibus scheme. Full details of this will be provided after you sign-up.

How fit do I need to be and how far do I have to climb?

A person with average fitness could take part. The total round-trip distance, including the walking you will do to make patterns for the film, is 10km or 6 ½ miles. About 720 metres of this is uphill though steady walking will get you there.

Filming takes place at dusk - does this mean we come down the mountain when it is dark?

Yes, the descent from the mountain will be well after the sun sets, so the descent will require the use of a headtorch. If you own one, bring it, but if not then we will lend you one. The mountain guides will ensure you don’t get lost on the way down.

What kit and clothing will I need?

Filming takes place at dusk, as day turns to dark, so you will need warm clothing and plenty of layers. A waterproof jacket, waterproof trousers and waterproof shoes or boots with a good grip are all essential, and you’ll need a small rucksack too. You will be provided with a full list of what to bring and advice about what to wear after you have signed up.

Will food and drink be available?

At the foot of each mountain, we will create a Base Camp. Here you will be able to have food and drinks, and have access to facilities including toilets. Base Camp is also where we will be briefing you, where you will collect your Geolight and where you will be rehearsing simple movements before we move onto the mountain.

Can I invite my family, friends, sports team, group or others?

Yes, you can book places for up to 10 people by clicking the link below. Children aged 14-18 can take part, though will need to be accompanied by an adult guardian and have previous experience of mountain walking. As the events are taking place at dusk and in mountainous terrain, the Finale events are not suitable for younger children.

If you have further queries, you can email us at

By signing up to take part, am I giving consent to be filmed?

The Finale will be featured in a BBC Countryfile special programme to be televised in Autumn 2022. The short film that Green Space Dark Skies is making about the Finale will be included within the Countryfile programme. By taking part in Finale film-shoots, you may appear on the Green Space Dark Skies film and/or in the BBC Countryfile programme.

By signing up to become a Lumenator in the Finale, you are providing consent to Green Space Dark Skies, led by Walk the Plank, as part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK and also to the BBC under the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988. This allows the partners above to incorporate any recording, or part thereof, in which you appear in vision and/or sound into the Finale film(s), and with the right to use, and to licence others to use, any such recording in all media, and for marketing and communications purposes now or in the future. The Finale film will be filmed by CC-Lab.

Any other questions?

Check out the Finale FAQs here or email

Event accessibility

The path up to Slieve Donard is not suitable for wheelchairs (including all-terrain ones). If you use a walking frame it is very unlikely you will be able to safely negotiate the paths which have some very large stone steps for many hundreds of vertical metres.

A single hiker in the middle of rocky moorland. Peaks rise in the background.

About Slieve Donard

Slieve Donard has three subsidiary peaks on the seaward side – Millstone Mountain (460 m), Thomas’ Mountain and Crossone. Two glens separate Slieve Donard from the neighbouring mountains of Slieve Commedagh (to the north west) and Chimney Rock Mountain (to the south).

At the summit of Slieve Donard there is a cairn and a small stone tower forming part of the Mourne Wall, which passes over the mountain’s southern and western shoulders. The summit provides spectacular views of the coast and as far afield as Belfast, 30 miles north, and Dublin, 55 miles to the south.

Slieve Donard is named after Saint Donard, known in Irish as Domhanghairt or Domhanghart, who was a follower of Saint Patrick. In pagan times the mountain was known as Sliabh Slainge – named after Sláinge mac Partholóin (Sláinge son of Partholón), who was allegedly the first physician in Ireland and was believed to be buried under a cairn on the mountain.


Held at places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, looked after by National Trust