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Northern Ireland - County Tyrone

Top 10 places

Top 100 places to visit in Northern Ireland

County Tyrone and Lough Neagh

1. Ulster American Folk Park

Ulster American Folk Park tells the story of emigration from Ulster to America in the 18th and 19th centuries, with costumed demonstrators going about their everyday tasks in authentically furnished Old and New World buildings. The Ship and Dockside Gallery features a full-size reconstruction of an early 19th century sailing ship of the type which carried thousands of emigrants across the Atlantic and a major indoor exhibition 'Emigrants' complements the outdoor site.

2. Pan for Gold in the Sperrin Mountains

From the north eastern end of County Tyrone near Strabane through towards the A6 in County Derry run the Sperrin Mountains, a 40 mile wide range of undulating bog and heather covered hills. Wildlife including buzzards, kestrels and sparrowhawks can be seen, attracted by the rich menu of prey which includes the rare Irish Hare. The Sperrin Heritage Centre features interactive displays to involve visitors in the rich culture and history of the area. You can even rent a pan to try “panning for gold in the Sperrins’ streams.

3. Benburb Valley Park

Picturesque Benburb is set in the lush rolling hills of southeast Tyrone. The tiny cottages on Main Street were once apple peeling sheds, and the parish church, dating from 1618, is one of the oldest still in regular use in Ireland. Some excellent walks can be had along serpentine trails next to the Blackwater River in Benburb Valley Park. The river has hewn a beautiful gorge across the countryside and is an ideal location for canoeing, fishing and walking. Perched on a rock thirty metres or so above the water are the remains of a castle built in 1615, which offer commanding views of the Blackwater Valley.

4. An Creagan Visitor Centre

An Creagán Visitor Centre's circular design mirrors that of nearby archaeological sites and gives you the opportunity to explore the area and its history. The centre houses an interpretative exhibition and offers archaeological, environmental and cultural guided tours. An Creagan also explores the rare raised bog terrain all around, with signposted rambling and cycling routes all over the countryside. Facilities also include a licensed restaurant, bar, craft shop, children's play area and eight traditional self-catering holiday cottages.

5. The Beaghmore Stone Circles

Tyrone is peppered with thousands of archaeological sites, and the most impressive are the Bronze Age Beaghmore Stone Circles, in the southeast of the Sperrin Mountains. There are seven stone circles, ten stone rows and a dozen round cairns, some containing human remains. All of the circles stand in pairs, except for one, which is filled with over eight hundred upright stones known as Dragon's Teeth. The alignments correlate to the movements of the sun, moon and stars, and two of the rows point to sunrise in the summer.

6. Lough Neagh

Lough Neagh Discovery Centre is situated within the surroundings of Oxford Island National Nature Reserve. The Loughside Café offers outstanding views of Lough Neagh from the ground and mezzanine floors and serves a wide choice of good quality food. A Tourist Information Office is located at Reception. Boat trips are available from Kinnego Marina, which also provides watercraft and shore based courses. Game angling is available around the Lough mainly on the tributary rivers, with main species including the wild Dollaghan (Lough Neagh Trout) and Salmon.

7. Sperrin Mountains Walks

The forty mile wide Sperrin Moutain range is rich in wildlife and is an excellent target for determined, lonesome walking. For those not equipped for the high ground, the Glenelly and Owenkillen river valleys run through the heart of this fine countryside from Plumbridge and Gortin respectively. The Central Sperrins Way is a twenty five mile waymarked trail that takes in a variety of countryside with spectacular views of the mountains, moorland and Glenelly Valley. A Sperrins Walking Festival is held at the beginning of August and involves various daily guided walks, graded according to difficulty.

8. Wellbrook Beetling Mill

Wellbrook Beetling Mill is an eighteenth century water powered linen mill and is the last working beetling mill in Northern Ireland. 'Beetling' was the last stage of production whereby linen was given a sheen and smoothness by hammering with heavy wooden 'beetles'. See the hands-on demonstrations of the linen process, led by costumed guides. The Mill is situated in an idyllic wooded glen and there are lovely walks and picnic opportunities by the Ballinderry River.

9. The Clogher Valley Scenic Drive

The Clogher Valley Scenic Drive runs for about 25 miles in a loop either side of the A4, but the southerly section is easily the more enjoyable and takes you into the most isolated part of country outside the Sperrins. From Fivemiletowm head south, and once you've picked up the first sign you'll find yourself on narrow woodland lanes gradually ascending towards Slieve Beagh.  As the route enters moorland, you traverse the Ulster Way, and the whole valley can be surveyed from the car park viewpoint before you descend into Fardross Forest...

10. Tyrone Crystal Factory

Crystal has been made in County Tyrone since 1771 and today, the craftsmen at Tyrone Crystal Factory are breathing new life into the art of crystal making by fusing traditional techniques with innovative design. Visitors  are escorted on a tour of the factory and get the unique opportunity to watch master craftsmen at work, making everything from chandeliers to lamps and glasses. See the blowing, marking, cutting, and finishing stages of this fine crystal. A restaurant and audio-visual presentation are also available.
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