The ultimate guide to outdoor day trips that will suit everyone
One of the best things about Northern Ireland is the variety of different activities to do and sights to see. Rejuvenated and irrepressible, Lough Neagh offers a diversity of attraction. It manifests superb natural heritage, remarkable cultural treasures, outdoor activities in abundance, and an increasingly vibrant food and music scene. When you visit Lough Neagh, you’re within touching distance of many new, unique and beautiful areas – it’s just a matter of knowing where to look!
With a circumference of just over one hundred miles, the area around the Lough is ideal for a day trip. So we’ve compiled this list of some of the best day trips from Lough Neagh, including informative tours, natural beauty and exciting activities, with sprinkles of a local legend on top. With any luck, this will help you make the most of your time and experience all that you can from this incredible attraction.
For the TV Fanatics
If you loved Game of Thrones, the perfect day trip includes a visit to see the Toome Canal or as it’s better known, the Old Valyrian Canal from season 5 of GOT. The small town of Toome lies at the north-west corner of Lough Neagh and offers opportunities for walking, cycling and canoeing whilst showcasing panoramic views of lough neagh.
For the Green Fingered
Spend time admiring the beauties of nature at Oxford Island National Nature Reserve where you’ll find tourist information, bird watching facilities, woodland, ponds and wildflower meadows. Located at the south of the lough, Oxford Island consistently stands as one of the best places to truly enjoy what makes lough Neagh special. The site provides access to a range of habitats, reflecting the true diversity of Lough Neagh.
For the Animal Lovers
Located in Dungannon, Peatlands Park is a wonderfully unique park with a rich variety of wildlife and habitat. Whilst the park has over 10 miles of paths leading visitors throughout the park’s beautiful scenery, the diverse wildlife is what really sets it apart. With creatures ranging from moths and butterflies to squirrels and badgers and even some lizards, Peatlands Park is one of the best places to experience one of Northern Ireland’s most unique ecosystems.
For the History Junkies
Take a step back in time with a visit to the tenth century Ardboe High Cross and Antrim Round Tower. Ardboe Cross is a national monument dating from the tenth century. It was the first High Cross built in Ulster. Standing at 18.5 feet high and 3.5 feet wide, this is the original stone cross, placed here over one thousand years ago. The twenty-two panels depict Old Testament stories and New Testament scenes. There are also remains of a church and abbey here. The abbey was founded by Saint Coleman in 590 and the church built during the sixteenth century.
For the Walkers
The lake itself is 113 miles all the way around but there are many smaller walking circuits that will take you through the natural countryside in the area. Reas Wood extends along part of the shore of Lough Neagh. It is a great example of a wet woodland and has a rich diversity of wildlife to see. The path will eventually form part of the Lough Neagh Cycle Way.
For the Family
Situated on the shores of Lough Neagh, Antrim Lough Shore Park is an area of natural beauty with many attractions and activities to enjoy. The attractive surroundings make it the ideal spot to spend a few hours enjoying a picnic, feeding the swans or walking along the many pathways. During the summer months, there is a range of events including Sunday band concerts, children’s entertainment and a dragon boat race.