Attractions in Tyrone Northern IrelandSubmitted by fatlad on Tue, 08/02/2016 - 20:39
Drum Manor Forest Park
Drum Manor House, once an attractive eighteenth-century demesne, is now a forest park which is the most centrally located forest park in the province, lying immediately south of the Sperrin Mountains, west of Lough Neagh and three miles from Cookstown, towards Omagh.
This small yet varied and attractive forest estate was acquired from Mr Archibald Close by the Forest Service in 1964 and opened to the public as a Forest Park in 1970. Since then many of the original features have been enhanced adding to the enjoyment of the visiting public.
The Manor House was built in 1876 as the residence of the Close family and the parkland, fish ponds, garden and woodlands which they created provide the unique character of this old estate.
Only the shell and Tower of the Manor House remain today but visitors can see photographs of the original building in the 'Tea Room' which is open daily during July and August (weather permitting).
The Fish Ponds are an historical feature which were probably put in place originally for landscape reasons, as well as supplying fresh fish for the 'Manor House'. Today they are simply ornamental and play host to a variety of native wildfowl as well as dabchick and visiting kingfisher and are not used for angling!
The Butterfly Garden is a unique feature to the forest park with a wide variety of wild flower and shrubs specially grown to attract most native butterfly species.
The forest is home to a wide variety of tree species which have been successfully grown due to the high fertility of the soil and nearly 100 plots of both native and exotic species have been established as an educational feature.
Today the estate is of particular botanical interest, with shrub gardens, a butterfly and Japanese garden, arboretum, ponds and mixed woodlands which are spectacularly colourful in the spring and autumn.
Combine this with lakes, a heronry and nature trails it welcomes individuals, groups and families to enjoy a great fun day out - with well marked trails of varying length commencing at the car park forming a circular route and a self-guided trail with wheelchair access.
The forest park is open every day of the year from 10.00am until sunset.
Admission Fees (Subject to change)
Pedestrian Access: Adult £1.00 Child £0.50
Further activities include walking, orienteering, caravanning and camping. For further information please contact, or visit the website.
An Creagán Visitor Centre and Restaurant
A warm welcome awaits visitors to the An Creagán Visitor Centre, which is situated at the foothills of the Sperrins.
An Creagán Visitor Centre is distinctively designed to mirror the archaeological sites of the area and gives visitors an opportunity to step back in time.
The centre offers a programme of cultural events which incorporate traditional music and song, storytelling, Irish dancing, traditional arts and crafts and walking and cycling routes. (Cycle hire is available)
It houses an interpretative exhibition and cultural guided tours of the surrounding archaeological area are available, there is also a licensed restaurant, bar, conference and function areas, craft shop and children's play area.
There is an array of finest quality Irish handmade crafts and other attractions in this fascinating craft centre; including pottery, needlework, traditional porcelain dolls, artwork, wall-hangings, rag dolls, farm animal bag-holders and many more items of interest which are for sale in the craft shop.
Conference facilities - provide the perfect venue for seminars, meetings, workshops, training courses, corporate hospitality and special events.
These facilities include a PC compatible projector, television and video recorder, flip charts and seating for up to 80 theatre style in the main conference area and up to 30 in the smaller conference rooms; with a full catering service available.
In the grounds of An Creagán there is a fully licensed Restaurant and Bar offering a friendly welcome, great service, excellent value and quality food.
A programme of cultural events is held throughout the year and the An Creagán bar offers visitors an opportunity to sample the traditional culture of Creggan at first hand and to meet local people.
There are evenings of traditional music, songs and storytelling which are held regularly throughout the year and live music takes place each weekend.
Within the grounds of An Creagán Visitor Centre are eight traditional self-catering holiday cottages which offer visitors the chance to discover the past, with all the comforts of the present!
An Clachan cottages are situated some 14 miles from Omagh and they reflect the traditional clachan settlements in the Creggan area, combining simple tradition with modern comfort.
There are three: 3 bed roomed cottages, two: 2 bed roomed cottages and three: 1 bed roomed cottages, all offering an attractive combination of simple tradition and modern comforts, with turf fire, traditional pine furniture, central heating, television and telephone. There is a centralised laundry facility provided on site.
A stay in An Clachan cottages affords visitors a unique and convenient base from which to explore the heritage, culture and traditions of the area.
Please contact for further information.
Gortin Glen Forest Park
163 Glenpark Road
Gortin Glen Forest Park was first opened in 1967 and was the first Forest Park to be established in a purely coniferous woodland. The forest was originally planted for the prime purpose of producing commercial crops of timber.
Embracing some 1534 hectares of ground, the forest park is situated six miles North of Omagh, at the Western gateway to the Sperrin mountains in an area of great scenic beauty.
Walking through the forest you will see some huge Sitka spruce along with many other species including purple bell heather which flowers in July, ling heather, in August, and pink blossomed cross-leaved heather in boggy parts.
A major recreational feature of the forest is the five mile long drive offering some breathtaking views enroute and there are a number of vista parks which have been constructed where visitors can pull in and, without getting out of the car, enjoy the outstanding scenery.
The Forest Park provides schools with opportunities for cross-curricular learning with real outdoor experiences offering enjoyment and exercise with sites to study trees and wildlife.
Within a short walk of the main car park there are wildlife enclosures where you can watch the Sitka deer which, when armed utter a sharp terrier-like bark and bound away flaring a bright white petticoat as well as wild fowl and an indoor exhibit.
A nature trail has been laid out with information at each point and picnic places, with covered barbecue areas, are provided and a number of forest trails lead to viewpoints and the forest paths will lead you to the car park.
There is a small shop and, for young visitors, there is the children's play area.
The forest park offers basic camping facilities for youth organisations, by prior arrangement, as well as trails for mountain biking and horse riding (with permit).
The Forest is open every day of the year from 10am until sunset.
Admission Fees (Subject to change)
Pedestrian Access: Adult £1.00 Child £0.50
Please contact for further information or visit the website.
The Sperrin Heritage Centre
274 Glenelly Road, Plumbridge
Amidst the scenic Glenelly Valley the innovative Sperrin Heritage Centre lies and its 'Treasure of the Sperrins' exhibition delves deep into the land; providing an interpretation on the region's formation; its rich geological composition and the story of gold.
Visitors to the centre are able to try 'panning for gold'.
The Centre also devotes much too local wildlife and their natural habitat as well as offering an insight into local rural life.
There are cultural events throughout the season and Murphy, the resident ghost, is always close at hand with tales of poteen, and the banshee,!
Visitors are welcomed at the Glenelly Kitchen where friendly service and the very best in homemade cuisine can be enjoyed.
Other facilities and special attractions include:
Audio visual presentations
Children's play area
Monday-Friday 11.30am - 5.30pm
Saturday 11.30am - 6pm
Sunday 2 - 6pm
Last admission 45 minutes before closing
Please contact for Exhibition and Gold Panning rates and for further information.
The Ulster History Park
The Ulster History Park is a 35 acre complex which chronicles the time span between 8000 BC and the mid 17th C and focuses on the theme of Irish settlement featuring both authentic buildings and reconstructions from Mesolithic to medieval times.
Work began at the site in 1985, with Omagh District Council as the owner and developer, and the park was officially opened in 1990.
Set in beautiful woodlands visitors can take a walk around 10,000 years of history and see models of homes and monuments from Stone Age camp to sophisticated manor dwelling.
The story of Irish settlement is told on a grand scale at the Ulster History Park.
The open-air museum traces the influx of migrants to Northern Ireland from 8,000BC and visitors can tour fourteen full-scale reconstructions of homes and monuments set out in chronological order at this thirty-five acre site.
The tour begins with a Mesolithic camp and the varied structures illustrate the building styles of different eras and hint at the conditions faced by the communities housed inside.
At the center of the park is a 89 foot stone built round tower.
There is an exhibition gallery and audio-visual theatre alongside the main park.
The first settlers were hunters and gatherers, who lived a fairly transient existence, moving from place to place as food supplies became scarce and, because they were not settled in one place, their dwellings were simple - a way of life that lasted in Ireland for about 4,000 years.
Reconstructions of Neolithic houses and tombs demonstrate how society changed later in the Stone Age and three things distinguish the Neolithic period from the age before.
Farming, the use of pottery and a settled way of life.
The earliest evidence for farming anywhere in the British Isles comes from County Tyrone around 4,600 BC. Ireland was thickly wooded and farmers had to clear the forests to create fields to graze cattle and sheep and to cultivate wheat and barley.
The huts in the Ulster History Park are based on evidence excavated at Mount Sandal, near Coleraine, County Londonderry.
Later dwellings displayed at the park include many from the Early Christian Period, such as farming homestead called a Rath and a defensive island settlement called a Crannog.
The next stage of architectural development is shown by a Motte and Bailey Castle, a design brought by the invading Normans.
A seventeenth century plantation settlement, complete with working corn mill, is the final example of historic housing.
Many settlements consisted of several stone and timber-framed houses built close to a large, strongly defended main house called a bawn.
Throughout the site, vast stone monuments stand in testimony to the engineering skill of early settlers.
The Park houses stone tombs, stone circles, single standing stones and an impressive stone dolmen.
Please contact for further information, or visit the website.
Ulster American Folk Park
Mellon Road, Castletown
This is a fifty acre outdoor museum illustrating the story of emigration in the 18th and 19th centuries from Ireland to North America which provides visitors with a 'living history' of the past.
There are over twenty different houses and buildings to explore and visitors can enjoy seeing costumed demonstrators going about their everyday tasks in the traditional manner and also see craftsmen providing realistic demonstrations in authentically furnished Old and New World buildings.
There are two gallery conference facilities which accommodate meetings, conferences and lectures, with seating for up to 100 people.
The museum is also a centre for Emigration Studies.
With a Ship and Dockside Gallery featuring a full size reconstruction of an early 19th Century sailing ship.
The ship is an illustration of the type which took thousands of emigrants across the Atlantic looking forward to a new life.
For those who have an interest into the history of emigration, and the way of life of these settlers, the Centre for Migration Studies is an ideal showcase.
There is a craft and gift shop, cafe, as well as a picnic area.
All with disabled access and free coach/car parking.
The Park is open from April through to September.
Please contact for further information, or visit the website.
The Wilson Ancestral Home
28 Spout Road, Dergalt
The Wilson Ancestral home near Strabane town still remains and is managed with assistance from Strabane District Council and provides visitors with an opportunity to take a step back in time and enter the world of the 'White House'.
James Wilson, grandfather of President Woodrow Wilson, was born in February 1787 at Dergalt, and emigrated to America in 1807 when he was 20, which is where he married Annie Adams, a young woman from Sion Mills.
He became editor of a Philadelphia newspaper, The Aurora and subsequently a member of the Ohio State legislature before finally becoming a senator.
Woodrow Wilson was a conservative idealist, a fine orator and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. This thatched white-washed house, on the slopes of the Sperrin Mountains, was his grandfather's home and contains some of the original furniture.
The tiny outshot bed (sleeping nook) in the kitchen is close to the fire, where cooking pots and kettles still hang.
The main room has larger curtained beds and a fine portrait of Judge James Wilson, the president's grandfather, hanging over the fireplace.
Visitors can also sample the ambience of bygone days in front of the traditional hearth fire and, in the carefully conserved rooms; artefacts are on display which include a wide selection of household furnishings, kitchen utensils and farm implements.
Guided tours, during the months of July & August, give an insight into the history behind our rich Ulster American connections and how the fate of the 28th presidency of the United States was to lie in the hands of local man James Wilson.
From Strabane take the Plumbridge road. After 2 miles turn left down lane sign posted 'Wilson House'.
Park your car in front of the Wilson house and call at the modern farmhouse, set back on the right, which is owned by the Wilson family and they have many stories to tell about the fascinating history of the family.
Guided Tours: July - August
Tuesday - Sunday: 2pm - 5pm, or by arrangement