Game of Thrones backdrop in Northern Ireland becomes Unesco geopark

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The beauty of the Mourne mountains has led to an award that local artisans hope will also benefit sustainable tourism

It is said the Mourne mountains of Northern Ireland were “born of fire and shaped by ice”, moulded from 400 million years of geological history into a landscape of dark peaks, drowned glacial lakes and lush green farmland, patchworked by stone walls.

Now, that jaw-dropping beauty, as well as sustainable tourism projects and 25 years of peace, is being celebrated. Unesco has named the Mourne Gullion Strangford region in the south-east corner of the country as the UK’s newest Global Geopark in tribute to its geological past and culturally rich present.

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