Off the Beaten Track Craft Trail
We all love the high street but there’s nothing better than finding a hidden gem off the beaten track to inspire us. Here are a few ideas to take you away from the queues and into the stunning Lake and Mountain landscapes of Fermanagh and Tyrone.
Start your morning with a late breakfast at the Suitor Gallery & Coffee Shop, Ballygawley. An Aladdin’s Cave of local art, pottery, crafts and curios with a Taste of Ulster awarded coffee shop. Body and soul are sure to be soothed and refreshed after your stop.
Continue your journey to Enniskillen in the heart of Northern Ireland’s lakelands and the Buttermarket Craft & Design Courtyard. Here you will find 16 studios offering everything from pottery and jewellery to original artworks. Take your time, wander around and browse the treasure trove of gifts on display.
(l-r Catherine Scott Ceramics, Marjorie Leonard - The Buttermarket)
On the road to Omagh now, and travel via Beragh, Sixmilecross to Tattykeeran Gallery and Crafts, where you’ll find prints and paintings of local landscapes in the shop, located on the site of an old weaver’s cottage.
Stop for lunch at the Mellon Country Hotel, on the main Strabane Road, nestled between the mountains of Mary Gray and Bessie Bell and just a stone’s throw away from the Ulster American Folk Park, where you could pop in to check out their thoroughly contemporary gift shop, packed with a fabulous selection of Northern Ireland craft products and other gift ideas.
Back on the road again and this time via Newtownstewart, home to Baronscourt Estate and Harry Avery’s Castle, to pick up a little Christmas sparkle from Jill Graham, the contemporary jeweller based in Victoria Bridge. Please telephone in advance for an appointment, 07828 210333.
Perhaps you will just have time to journey through the glorious Sperrins countryside towards the small market village of Donemana, outside Strabane where you will find Tom Agnew’s Mill Pottery. The pottery is set in a former water powered mill and has an abundance of designs including raku and woodfired pots. Open Monday to Friday 11.00 – 18.00 and weekend by appointment. Please phone 028 7139 8377 in advance to avoid disappointment.