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Top Picks and Hidden Gems - Tyrone and Sperrins

Why not enjoy a short break in Tyrone and the Sperrins?

The region has plenty to offer, from the fascinating Ulster American Folk Park to historic buildings, intriguing archaeological sites and unique shopping and dining. Below is a guide to some of the top picks and hidden gems.

An ideal way to explore the region is to follow the Sperrins' four Scenic Driving Routes, which were included in the National Geographic's list of the world's top 101 scenic drives in 2012.
The trail pdfs can be downloaded here.

• Ulster American Folk Park, OmaghA colourful indoor and outdoor museum exploring the story of Irish emigration to the New World.  Highlights include reconstructed Ulster and American streets, American Frontier log cabins and a host of costumed characters.  The park hosts an extremely popular Bluegrass Festival each August/September.  Don't miss: Thanksgiving Day (27 November).  The Hill of the O'Neill and Ranfurly House Arts & Visitor Centre, DungannonThis elevated site above the town of Dungannon was the seat of the Gaelic O'Neills of Ulster.  Explore the public park with its sweeping views and 18th century tower ruins, then find out more about the O'Neills and the later Plantation of Ulster in the adjacent visitor centre.Also visit:Tullaghoge Fort (fomer inauguration site of the O'Neill chieftains) Tullaghoge Fort • An Creagán, Creggan, OmaghUncover the rich heritage at the foot of the Sperrins at this visitor centre designed to relfect the archaeological sites of the area.  Explore the interpretive exhibition and craft shop, walk the nature trails and stay over at one of the An Clachan cottages. • Springhill, MoneymoreTake a tour of this beautiful, 17th century Plantation home and uncover the stories of ten generations of the Lenox-Conyngham family.  Explore the costume collection, walled gardens and waymarked paths through the parkland. Ulster American Folk Park Hill of The O Neill and Ranfurly House Arts and Visitor Centre An Creagan Sixmilecross

Beaghmore Stone Circles Knockmany Passage Grave Loughash Wedge Tomb Harry Averys Castle Newtownstewart Castle http://www.discovernorthernireland.com/Castlederg Castle Castle Caulfield  Beaghmore Stone Circles, Cookstown
The Sperrins are known for their wealth of archaeological sites.  This Bronze Age location, uncovered in the 1940s, is one of the largest and most intriguing comprising seven stone circles and various other alignments.  Its purpose may have been as an astronomical or ritual site and it is considered by many to be a very spiritual place to visit. • Harry Avery O'Neill's Castle, Newtownstewart
Picturesquely situated amid the foothills of the Sperrin Mountains, this castle is thought to have been built around 1320 by a local chieftain of the O’Neill clan.  It is unusual in that Irish chieftains of the time rarely built stone castles. Literary Connections
The region has a rich literary heritage, with links to well known figures including Brian Friel, Benedict Kiely, Flann O'Brien and William Carleton.  Don't miss: the Flann O'Brien-inspired public art in the writer's home town of Strabane, including the much-loved Ambrose the Pig and a sculpture depicting O'Brien himself.


The Linen Green Island Turf Crafts Visitor Centre Coalisland For dining out, the region is home to many top quality restaurants.  Download the Tyrone Food Trail for details of Tyrone Good Food Circle restaurants and coffee shops, as well as markets, farm shops and local producers. Visit the main towns of Omagh, Strabane, Cookstown and Dungannon for their mix of independent retailers and high street names.  Some highlights include: The Linen Green in Dungannon which boasts designer clothing stores, giftware, speciality food shops and factory outlets, Island Turf Crafts in Coalisland offering hand-crafted gifts made from ancient Irish turf, and Cookstown's Saturday variety market which dates to the 17th century. Download the food trail download the food trail

Tyrone & the Sperrins are also ideal for an outdoors break, with excellent walking, cycling, mountain biking and adventure activities. Find out more.

Also see: Explore the idyllic landscape of the Sperrins this Autumn - Photo Blog