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Northern Ireland - County Tyrone

Top 10 places

Top 100 places to visit in Northern Ireland

2. Pan for Gold in the Sperrin Mountains

Top 10 ten places to visit in Northern Ireland - County Tyrone and Lough Neagh

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.

The smooth and curving slopes belie their true height – up to 2240 ft, with panoramic views from the summits of this wild and beautiful region, its colours and textures illuminated best by the light of a warm summer evening.

This is an environment mostly undisturbed by development, and wildlife including buzzards, kestrels and sparrowhawks can be seen, attracted by the rich menu of prey which includes the rare Irish Hare.

Walkers can travel long distances over the hills without having to tackle particularly steep slopes. This is still high exposed ground though, and adverse weather conditions can make them potentially dangerous. Come properly equipped for serious walking.

For shorter walks lower down, and cyclists, try the Glenelly and Owenkillen river valleys that run from Plumbridge and Gortin respectively. In August the Sperrins Walking Festival http://www.sperrinstourism.com/ hosts guided walks graded according to difficulty.

The Sperrin Heritage Centre is located just outside the village of Cranagh, nine miles east of Plumbridge, and 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.

There have been many stories of 'gold in them there hills' over the years, and although it seems that any rich deposits were probably used up long ago, you may still find the occasional panner sorting small quantities of gold dust from the stones and silt of the waters.

Sperrin Heritage Centre Address:
Sperrin Heritage Centre
274 Glenelly Road
Plumbridge
Omagh, BT79 8LS
Northern Ireland, UK

Sperrin Heritage Centre Opening Times:
Easter to October, Monday to Friday 11.30 am to 5.30 pm, Saturday 11.30 am to 6.00 pm, Sunday 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm

Sperrin Heritage Centre Admission:
Free - Gold Panning £1.00 per day

T  +44 (0)28 8164 8142

F  +44 (0)28 7138 1348

More places to visit in Northern Ireland

Sperrin Heritage Centre location
Accommodation and eating out near the Sperrin Mountains

Dungiven, County Derry
Dungiven Castle for en-suite hostel style accommodation, http://www.dungivencastle.com/

Gortin, County Tyrone
The Badoney Tavern for lunches and evening meals

The Pedlar’s Restaurant

Gorton Accomodation Suite and Activity Centre, http://www.gortin.net/

Camping, Gortin Glen Caravan Park, (+0044) (0) 28 8164 8346
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