The Stone Cirlces at Beaghmore; Some of the Many Prehistoric Architecture the Region.
The Sperrins are a mountainous range which spread across the counties of Tyrone and Londonderry. They are one of the highest regions in Northern Ireland and Ireland, as a whole. Around 150,000 people live in the region which has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Sawel Mountain is the highest of the Sperrins; its summit is at 2224ft. The area is full of hidden wonders, including numerous ancient stone monuments, and is a joy to explore. The Sperrins attract many climbers, hikers and cyclists, as well as anyone looking to take in the mountains’ breath-taking views.
The Sperrins have been a favourable among walkers and hikers for many years and has a number of approved walks. One such walk is the Robber’s Table near Gortin; on this walk you’ll pass the site where many 17th century highwaymen came to divide their takings. At Lough Fea, you’ll find a pleasant stroll around the lake. It isn’t a long walk but your surroundings will be truly beautiful and you may even be joined by some of the local wildlife. These are just a couple of many trails throughout the Sperrins. Find the full list here: http://www.walkni.com/walks/?a=5.
Prefer to be on two wheels? There are 12 cycling routes throughout the region which range from 11 to 41 miles in length and vary in difficulty. Being a mountainous region, expect to be tackling a few uphill struggles accompanied by easy downhill jaunts. There are also gentle flatland routes for a pleasant and less challenging ride. Read more here: http://www.discovernorthernireland.com/Cycling-Routes-in-the-Sperrins-A2235
The Sperrins are also home to a number of stone structures built by the early Irishmen of the region. These prehistoric monuments are thousands of years old and originate from the Neolithic and Early Bronze Ages. The Clogherny Wedge Tomb is located near Omagh on an area coated in peat with the tomb itself within a circle of standing stones. Precariously perched on a number of standing stones, the main stone at Tirnony Dolmen is hard to imagine being moved by hand. The stone table is thought to be even older than Clogherny and is believed to have been used to cremating their dead. The Beaghmore Stone Circles are one of the most famous prehistoric landmarks in the region. With 7 stone circles, 12 cairns and 10 rows of stones; it is definitely one of the more complex builds.
Thinking of coming to Northern Ireland for outdoor pursuits or just to explore the lay of the land? Self-catering may be ideal for you; plenty of room for any gear, closer to the action and limitless freedom.
Self Catering in County Tyrone
Self Catering in Northern Ireland
Words by John Temke
Image by Stephen Trew