What it's like
When people head for a walk in the hills in Northern Ireland, most go for the Mournes. The Sperrins, which spread across much of Tyrone and neighbouring County Derry, however, are well worth exploring. They are pleasant, rolling hills, not mountain peaks. But there are some good walks through and round them - particularly around the scenic Glenelly Valley.
Towards the south of the county, there are further good walks in the Clogher Valley area. There are numerous woodland trails and a lot of neglected megalithic heritage to explore. This is not an area for drama; but with a little research and some energetic exploration there are some pretty and interesting places to discover. Be prepared for some road walking as well as open countryside; perhaps in some respectsit’s rather better suited to cyclists.
Around Cookstown there are a couple of great National Trust properties at Springhill and Wellbrook Beetling Mill. Combined with an amble in Drum Manor Forest park, it makes a day out that would surprise many locals.
The Ulster American Folk Park is a fascinating exploration of Irish Emigration. Close also to Omagh is the currently defunct Ulster History Park. Sadly - due perhaps to reasons of marketing and location than anything else - one of the best open air museums in Ireland can only be visited by special arrangement. There is hope of this changing soon, so contact the tourist office listed below if you are going to be in the area.
- Central Sperrins Way A road and hill way-marked walk exploring the best aspects of the Sperrins.
- Gortin Glen A number of short forest walks may be done in this remarkably attractive glen.
- Knockmany Forest Following part of the Carleton Trail, this is the best section with wonderful views to the south and a protected chambered cairn with some exquisite rock art.
Must see and do
- Visit the Beaghmore Stone circles A fabulous and complex megalithic site in a wonderful location
- Wander through the Bog Garden at Peatlands Park and see the carnivorous sundew, among other things
- Visit Weelbrook Beetling Mill A working water-powered mill for finishing linen by hammering it with wooden pegs.
Destination County : Tyrone