As I sit and write this, I’m nursing some sore leg muscles! It’s all because I’m just back from an action-packed weekend in Tyrone and Sperrins which, amongst so much more, included mountain biking. I reckon it’s the first time I’d been on a bike in about 20 years so no doubt, there were some muscles used that hadn’t been used in a long, long time!
It was all part of my trip west to check out what the Tyrone and Sperrins region has to offer in terms of a “staycation”; that is, seeing what’s available when it comes to hotels, attractions, adrenaline-fuelled activities, for example, right on our own doorstep.
Honestly I had such a class time that there’s just too much to say, so I’m going to do a blog on each place we went, because I couldn’t do them all justice in just this one!
But as a quick overview; the itinerary was drawn up and off we headed early on Easter Saturday morning straight to Campsie (Egliton, Derry~Londonderry) for our first stop at Campsie Karting for some fast-paced go-karting. There, my inner Lewis Hamilton came out and I was determined to beat Barry! Check out whether I managed to in my next blog.
Barry and I at Campsie Karting, Eglinton
After the go-karting we made our way down to Omagh where we spent almost three hours discovering the Ulster American Folk Park and the tales of the Irish men, women and children who emigrated to America. It was great to see a typical 19th Century “Ulster Street”, before boarding the ship and exiting on to the “American Street”, reminiscent of old ports such as New York or Boston.
Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh
At closing time, we made the short trip to Cookstown for a lovely dinner and overnight stay at the Greenvale Hotel situated on Drum Road. I must highlight the Super King Size bed in particular- a perfect night’s sleep! And Barry’s “Mixed Grill”, which was so big, it might be the first time he’s ever left food on his plate!
Our hotel room at Greenvale Hotel, Cookstown
On Easter Sunday it was up early to go mountain biking in Davagh Forest, with the official trailhead provider, Outdoor Concepts. Davagh is right in the heart of the Sperrin Mountains so a stunning untouched landscape, but we decided on the more gentle “green” trail rather than the “red trail” with narrower tracks and rock slab drops!
Look at me go! Mountain biking in Davagh Forest
Finally, it was back on four wheels to make our way to the last part of the Tyrone and Sperrins experience- The Jungle NI in Moneymore. There, we took the “Tarzan Tree Top Adventure Course” which saw us cross rope bridges and tackle various obstacles high up in the trees! A few wibbles and wobbles along the way but I made it! We ended the afternoon being strapped inside a giant ball and rolled down a hill- otherwise known as zorbing! I screamed the whole way down but it was absolutely hilarious.
Upside down in the zorbing ball! The Jungle NI
We got back on Sunday evening absolutely buzzing after the whole weekend- from the adrenaline rush of the go karting and hearing the history of our forefathers, right through to seeing the lovely landscape of the Sperrin Mountains by bike and the rush of being thrown down a big hill!
Visiting Tyrone and Sperrins was a great way to spend our Easter weekend and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for that sense of adventure “staycation”.