Journey through the Sperrins
Magherafelt to Davagh
Beginning in the town of Magherafelt, take the signpost for Desertmartin at the foot of Slieve Gallion, a popular village for motocross fans with its own racing track. On route to the Sperrins you will pass through the townland of the Sixtowns an area of Derry dating back to the plantation of Ulster.
From Sixtowns, be sure to stop by at the Hill of O’Neill, an elevated site that overlooks the town of Dungannon. The seat of the O’Neill dynasty, the Hill of O’Neill held strategic importance in Northern Ireland for hundreds of years and it’s view of the surrounding Ulster counties made it the perfect place for its occupants to keep command on the surrounding area. Head to the Ranfurly House & Visitor Centre to find out more about the hill and indeed the Plantation of Ulster in the 1600s.
Explore the Sperrins
If you enjoy the great outdoors, then escape from your car and take a walk in the Sperrins as you pass through on your way to Omagh. Stretching along the border of counties Tyrone and Derry, the area can best be described as wild, untouched and beautiful. The Sperrins offer four scenic driving routes allowing you to explore the area from the North, South, East and West.
As well as driving routes, the Sperrins has a number of great walking and cycling routes for visitors, with the nature trail at An Creagán in Omagh one of the most popular. The Bronze Age site of Beaghmore Stone Circles is another historical significant area of interest in the Sperrins, and is thought to be one of the largest Bronze Age sites in the world, comprising of seven stone circles.
Finish in Omagh
The route finishes in the historical town of Omagh which is situated where the rivers Drumragh and Camowen meet to form the River Strule. With the Ulster American Folk Park, Harry Avery’s Castle and Boorin Nature Resort all located near the town, there is plenty to see and do in Omagh. Gortin Forest is also located close by, with part of the Ulster Way passing through the forest.
Thought to have been built around 1320 Harry Avery’s Castle is considered unusual in that Irish chieftains of the time rarely built stone castles. It has two towers similar to that of Carrickfergus Castle, but in reality it served a similar function to a medieval tower house. Relax for the night in one of Omagh’s many bars and restaurants, and continue to explore the Sperrins in the morning.
Other things to see and do in Tyrone and the Sperrins
If you’re looking for activity breaks, Tyrone has plenty to offer, with popular mountain bike trails at Davagh Forest and Blessingbourne, and an outdoor activity centre at Todd’s Leap.
Take a walk around Lissan House and take a tour through the grounds ancient woodland through forest trails and along riverside paths. Other popular attractions to visit when travelling around the Sperrins include Aghascrebagh Ogham Stone, Newtownstewart Castle, The Gallery Omagh and Dromore Motte and Bailey.