Welcome to Tyrone & Sperrins
Tyrone & Sperrins are one of Northern Ireland’s premier eco-tourism destinations, with rivers teaming with life, mountains, valleys, forests, lakes and outdoor pursuits.
The ancient bog gives the Sperrins landscape its character and it has yielded age-old secrets in recent decades. Most notably the Beaghmore Stone Circles, created around 1500 BC, perhaps as an observatory and ritual site for the people who farmed the high pasture of the Sperrins.
With its scenic windswept hills, Tyrone has a special appeal for walkers, who can relax after a day’s hiking in the pleasant main street pubs. Quality walks include the Robber’s Table near Gortin, which passes the site where supposed 17th century highwaymen met to divide their spoils after raiding postal carriages.
Visit the region’s newest historical and cultural attraction, Hill of The O’Neill & Ranfurly House Arts & Visitor’s Centre - the hill from which the famous O’Neill dynasty ruled Gaelic Ireland for over 300 years. With commanding 360 degree views, it is perfect for morning walks, family outings and special picnics.
Explore the Sperrins on the excellent network of signed cycle routes. The more adventurous can take the 31-mile Gold Cycle Route, a scenic route with little traffic, taking you through the ancient valleys and spirit lifting heights of the Sperrins. From the breathtaking Glenelly Valley, often regarded as one of Northern Ireland’s most idyllic and dramatic landscapes, you can marvel at the glacial environment millions of years in the making as you cycle through the dramatic Barnes Gap and the wilds of Sawelabeg and Doraville.
Other great views include the Owenkillew Valley and Butterlope Glen – fellow glacial landscapes and from Pigeon Top Mountain near Omagh, Mullaghcarn which rises above Gortin Glen Forest Park and Bolaght Mountain near Castlederg.
Or why not experience one of the Sperrins’ four Scenic Driving Routes – included in the National Geographic’s prestigious list of the world’s top 101 scenic drives for 2012. Download the Sperrins Driving Routes here.
This is a region rich in history, with many important sites of interest; from Clogherny Wedge Tomb and Tirnoney Dolmen, megalithic burial chambers at least 4000 years old, to the ruinsof two separate castles in Newtownstewart, the 14th century Gaelic Avery’s Castle and the 17th century plantation Stewart Castle.
No visit would be complete without some time spent at the Ulster American Folk Park, an outdoor museum which chronicles the story of emigration during the 18th and 19th centuries; bringing to life the various aspects of the emigrant’s tale on both sides of the Atlantic. Nearby, be sure to visit The Abingdon Collection, an impressive private collection of classic cars and motorcycles, other vintage memorabilia and over 3,000 items relating to the Second World War (please contact in advance).
Whether you enjoy electrifying, adrenaline-based pursuits at Todds Leap, relaxing with a holistic treatment at Angel Sanctuary Healing Centre, walking in Drum Manor Forest Park or marvelling at ‘The Tinnies’ in Strabane, the Sperrins and Tyrone make for an unforgettable experience for all.