Are you thinking of visiting Northern Ireland? Are you unsure of which County to explore? Here at ConnollyCove, we have created this guide to tell you all the wonderful things to see and do while exploring County Tyrone!
From exploring the airy country air of the Sperrin Mountains to finding thrills at Todd’s Leap adventure centre.
Keeping reading to discover everything to do in County Tyrone! Fun for all the family and more for a great time in Ireland.
County Tyrone, from the Irish ‘Tír Eoghain’, meaning “land of Eoghan”, is one of the six counties of Northern Ireland, and is located in Ulster. It is the largest county of Northern Ireland, and is 3,155 kilometres squared. Due to this, it is no surprise that there are many many places to explore in County Tyrone.
While there are no cities, there are many, many towns and villages. The largest town is Omagh, and the bigger towns in the area are: Cookstown, Dungannon and Strabane. To see a full list of places in County Tyrone look here.
Explore County Tyrone | Sperrin Mountains
The Sperrin Mountains comes from the Irish ‘Na Speírín’, which means “little pinnacle”. The Sperrins span across both County Derry and County Tyrone, and is one of the largest raised areas of Ireland. It is an untouched area of natural beauty, making it one of the top places to visit while exploring County Tyrone.
It is the perfect destination for those who enjoy a walk, there are areas that are flat and perfect for a stroll, as well as high peaks which are perfect for hiking. There are ten peaks which are higher than 500 metres, the highest peak is Sawel at 678 metres.
It is also popular among cyclists, horse riders, and parachutists. Whatever wild adventure you have in mind, The Sperrin Mountains are the place for you.
Beaghmore Stone Circles
A part of the Sperrins can be found in Cookstown. There are many stone circles (over 90 sets) within the mountains, however, none compare with the famous Beaghmore Stone Circles. These stone circles were discovered in the 1940s, there are 7 stone circles in this set.
You can find this collection of stone circles at Blackrock Road, Cookstown, NT80 9PB.
Free access at all times. Make sure to take the necessary precautions.
Gortin Glen Forest Park
You will find Gortin Glen Forest Park only six miles north of County Tyrone’s largest town, Omagh. It is the west entrance to the Sperrin Mountains. In the park, you will find a youth campsite and a number of vista parks where motorists can pull into and take in the stunning scenery. There are a number of walking trails to enjoy, all marked out with signs from, and back to, the car park. There are also designated mountain bike, and equestrian areas.
For children to enjoy, a purpose-built, four-metre-tall, wooden play sculpture was recently built. The area is also wheelchair-friendly, the play area is surrounded by a boardwalk, and there is an auditorium. This area is designed to educate children about the forest and the importance of preserving the environment.
You can find this Forest Park near Glenpark Road and Lisnaharney Road, Omagh. There is a carpark at the park’s entrance (costing £3).
Gortin Glen Forest Park is opening to visitors from 10am until dusk (season dependant).
Wilson Ancestry Home
Another landmark within the Sperrins that you should visit is the Wilson Ancestry Home. It doesn’t look glamorous, but within there you’ll uncover a rich history. It is a small thatched cottage, and it was the home of Judge James Wilson. Judge James Wilson was the grandfather of Woodrow Wilson, who was the 28th president of the United States of America (USA). James Wilson left the small residence in 1807, and inside still lies some of the family furniture, including a portrait of Judge James Wilson over the fireplace. The Wilson family still live on the farmland next door. You will find this thatched house at 28 Spout Road, Strabane, County Tyrone.
It is free to visit, and the opening hours alter seasonally. It is advised to ring in advance of visiting this historical house. Phone: 028/8224-3292
Explore County Tyrone | Bluegrass Festival
The Bluegrass Festival visits County Tyrone annually at the end of August/ start of September. It takes place over a weekend and is a fun, festive way to bring in the new season.
The three main acts over the weekend 30 August to 1 September 2019 were Dr Bluegrass & The ‘illbilly 8, Front Country, and Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers. The highlight was arguably the multi-award-winning Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, who flew the whole way from the United States of America to play in this festival. Throughout the years the Bluegrass Festival has grown, and now receives an audience of about 7,000 people yearly.
While enjoying the multiple music acts during the festival, Loaf Catering is available onsite to provide hungry music lovers a range of food. They also offer options for vegetarians and vegans. Of course, when in Ireland, there has to be an option for a ‘wee’ alcoholic beverage, Bogans Bar is onsite providing a range of drinks: wines, spirits, beers, and of course a Guinness. (Unfortunately the bar only accepts cash, do not forget to stop at an ATM on your way).
As the festival is held in the Ulster American Folk Park, the closest places to stay near the festival location is in Omagh/ West Tyrone area. This area offers a range of hotels, hostels, and Bed and Breakfast accommodations. However, if you want to experience the full festival magic, there is the option to camp! Omagh Rugby Club offered their grounds for the 2019 festival. From here there was a daily shuttle bus to the museum. Here were the 2019 prices for camping:
- 3 nights: £40
- 2 nights: £30
- 1 night: £20
(These prices are subject to change yearly)
Explore County Tyrone | Ulster Herald Food Festival
The Omagh Food Festival, held by the Ulster Herald, is a second annual festival held in County Tyrone. We definitely recommend that if you are visiting on this weekend that you make it your mission to visit!
This year (29 and 30 June 2019) the festival was held in a car park next to Kelvin Avenue. This area was completely transformed to a worldly food haven right out in the open! To view the list of food and vendors, have a look here. For children, there was face painting and cupcake decorating stations. For adults, there was cocktail classes to take part in. Meaning there is something for all the family to enjoy!
Explore County Tyrone | Sion Stables
“Here and now Heritage comes alive”
Sion Stables is located on Melmount Road in Sion Mills Village. This village was founded in 1835 and was known for its Linen industry. Now, within these newly restored stables you will find a museum, craft shop, heritage education centre, and it’s famous Restaurant 1861.
It is easily accessed, there is free parking onsite as well as overflow parking at the Chapel across from the stables. There is also a drop off and pick up point, a short two minute walk from the stables for bus travellers.
When exploring County Tyrone, this museum and heritage centre should be number one in your to-do list!
This restaurant combines history with luxury, seemingly effortlessly. The Restaurant 1861 is a fully licensed bar, restaurant, and cafe, which was awarded the Best Newcomer in County Tyrone at The Irish Restaurant Awards.
This restaurant offers delicious breakfast, morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner menus! They use the best quality ingredients to produce amazing meals you will not forget. While exploring County Tyrone you will surely work up an appetite, and Restaurant 1861 with its charm and character is definitely the place for you.
Restaurant Opening Hours
(These are subject to change, please call ahead of your visit: 028 8165 9880)
Tuesday 11.00 – 17.30
Wednesday 11.00 – 19.30
Thursday 11.00 – 19.30
Friday 11.00 – 21.00
Saturday 11.00 – 21.00
Sunday 12.00 – 20.00
Explore County Tyrone | Lissan House
Lying in a 267 acre plot of land lives Lissan House, a beautiful country house full of history. You will find this stunning property just one and a half miles north from Cookstown, at the foot of the Sperrin Mountains. It has been, and still is, one of the most sought after wedding venues since its opening in 2012.
While exploring County Tyrone, this magnificent estate is definitely a place you will enjoy. You can tour the historic house, explore the forest and take in the stunning scenery, and relax by the Lissan Water.
Opening Hours and Tours
Yearly the house is open to the public from Easter until mid-end September on Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm to 5pm. During July and August it is open on Thursdays and Fridays also from 12pm to 5pm. During these months there are 3 daily tours at 12:30pm, 2pm, and 3:15pm.
There is an onsite car park which costs £3 per car,.
Cost to visit the house:
Including gift aid:
Children (aged 5-15): £3
Family (two adults and two children): £13.50
Explore County Tyrone | Todd’s Leap
Todd’s Leap is the perfect destination for those seeking a thrill! It is an award-winning activity centre with fun for all the family! Todds Leap has everything for the family to enjoy, over 20 unique activities, a bar and restaurant, and and cabins to sleep in.
There are many activities to enjoy, for the full list of activities look here. Here are some of the highlights:
One of the major highlights of your visit to Todds Leap will be their zip line. It offers some of the most amazing views you will ever see, along with the thrill of flying through the air at a height.
It costs £15 per person and is suitable for all ages.
The Drop Zone is arguably the most adrenaline-filled activity in the centre! You will jump from a 30 foot high platform onto a giant bouncy-castle type airbag.
It costs £15 per person and is only suitable for adults aged 18 and over.
Yes that’s correct, following from our childhood favourite play park activity, the Giant Swing guarantees fun for all. On this attraction, you along with two others are harnessed in, lifted into the air, and fly backwards and forwards through the air over a cliff edge! You will be amazed by the stunning scenery, while having the time of your life!
The Giant Swing costs £15 per person and is suitable for all ages.
Bar and Restaurant
The onsite bar and restaurant is called The Twisted Axie. They offer a range of dishes daily, and there is never a person left wanting more. They also offer themes banquet nights, murder mystery-themed dinners, cocktail party buffets, and much more.
The bar and restaurant is open daily:
Hot Lunch counter: 12:30pm-2pm
Evening dinner/ bar menu: 6pm to late
Explore County Tyrone | Brewers House Restaurant
Brewers House Restaurant is one of the oldest public houses in Northern Ireland, it was built at the end of the 18th Century, and was founded in 1797. However, it was recently refurbished and was transformed into a charming restaurant and bar. In 2013 it won Best Gastro Pub in Ireland.
You will find this historic restaurant in the village of Donaghmore. With its world-class chef, lively atmosphere, and historic feel, you will have a memorable experience as well as a great meal.
- Best Wine Experience
- Best Gastro Pub
- Top 100 Hospitality Businesses in Northern Ireland
- Best Chef
Restaurant Opening Hours
Monday to Thursday 4:30pm to 8:30pm
Friday 12pm to 9pm
Sunday 12pm to 8pm
The bar is open late every night
Discover County Tyrone | Corick House Hotel Spa
If you are browsing for a place to stay in County Tyrone, look no further! This luxurious, Victorian hotel and spa is the place for you. It is located in a stunning spot surrounded by streams and country roads. From the wrought-iron gates, up through the beech tree-lined drive, up to the gorgeous hotel. Therefore, you are guaranteed a luxurious, relaxing experience. A four-star hotel, filled with period charm, and top class facilities. Within the hotel, you will find a bar and conservatory lounge, Carleton restaurant, world-class spa, and a free car park.
There are eight treatment rooms, including couples rooms. Making it the perfect place for a honeymoon, for a couples relaxing getaway. There is also many treatments for you to choose from and enjoy. This spa features the first Vichy Shower in Northern Ireland- the total full-body relaxation. To find the full list of treatments offered, have a look here.
Gym and Spa Opening Hours
Monday to Friday: 9am to 9pm
Saturday and Sunday: 9am to 7pm
Explore County Tyrone | Harry Avery’s Castle
Harry Avery’s castle was built around 1320 by a O’Neill clan chief, and it was named after Harry Avery O’Neill. It is unusual for its time period as it was built in stone. Its design is also unusual also, the two towers look similar to Carrickfergus Castle gatehouse. It is located south-west of Newtownstewart, on the top of a hill. If you enjoy walking, this is the perfect historical place for you to visit. Its stunning views and charm will ensure a fun visit.
It is free to access throughout the year.
Explore County Tyrone | Ulster American Folk Park
The Ulster American Folk Park is the ultimate tourist destination. When you are in Northern Ireland you should make it your top priority to visit. It is located on two Mellon Road Castletown, in Omagh. If you enjoy historical placed, you will love here as it tells the history of the Irish Famine and the emigrants who travelled to America during the disaster. Here you will have the opportunity to wander through the thatched cottages where people would have lived, and you will be given tours with costumed characters.
You will also have the opportunity to board a full-scale emigrant ship, you will have the surround experience of the rough conditions people travelled in. There are over 30 buildings and exhibits to explore, a unique and active museum for all the family to enjoy.
There is also an onsite cafe to enjoy a delicious meal after exploring the museum, and a gift shop which sells many wonderful collectables to remember your time.
It takes approximately 2 to 3 hours to experience all the museum has to offer and the opening hours are:
October to February:
- Tuesday to Friday: 10am to 4pm
- Saturday and Sunday: 11am to 4pm
March to June, and September:
- Tuesday to Sunday: 10am to 5pm
July and August:
Monday to Sunday: 10am to 5pm
Have you visited any of these wonderful tourist destinations while exploring Northern Ireland’s largest county? Tell us about it in the comments below!
If you enjoyed this Ireland travel blog, please enjoy more about travelling in Ireland:
Queen’s University Belfast: Past, Present and Future | Fun Things to do in Northern Ireland | Discovering Ireland: Walk Through History | Take a Look at Our Favourite Pubs in Ireland | Spas in Ireland: The Best Relaxing Spa Breaks and Hotels