» Ulster American Folk Park
» Gray's Printing Press
» Local Sites of Archaeological Interest
» Derry's Walls / UK City of Culture 2013
» Fermanagh Lakelands
» Marble Arch Caves
» North Antrim Coast
» Giants Causeway
» Dunluce Castle
» Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
» Bushmills Distillery
» Glenveagh National Park
» Slieve League. The highest cliffs in Europe
» Malin Head: The Northernmost Tip of Ireland
Ulster American Folk Park
The Folk Park is located just 5 miles from Baronscourt Cottages and is voted as the Best N. Ireland Visitor Attraction. It is an open air museum which tells the story of emigration from Ulster to North America in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Visitors are taken on a journey from the thatched cottages and farmsteads of rural Ulster, on board a crowded sailing ship, to their new homeland on the American frontier. This is the ultimate in living history with original, authentic buildings restored, relocated and populated by a cast of colourful, costumed characters. Demonstrations include spinning, open-hearth cooking, blacksmithing and printing.
Gray's Printing Press
This is a National Trust property located within 10 miles from Baronscourt Cottages. It depicts Strabane's 18th-century reputation as Ireland's capital of publishing. You can get guided tours and demonstrations of a fine collection of print presses and discover Gray’s Press’s famous associations with America. There is a country garden open to the public.
Local Sites of Archaeological Interest
» Harry Avery O'Neill's Castle, Newtownstewart
Newtownstewart provides the setting for the majestic ruins of one of the Gaelic strongholds of the O' Neills. Harry Avery O'Neill's Castle is situated overlooking Newtownstewart and surrounding countryside. Dating from the 14th or 15th Century, it is an unusual and interesting structure and especially important in relation to the study of native Irish Medieval life prior to the plantation period. The castle consisted originally of a two storey rectangular construction fronted by it's most visible remaining features- a pair of D-shaped towers.
» Stewart Castle, Newtownstewart
Built in 1619 by Sir Robert Newcomen, Stewart Castle is of the type of contemporary English Manor houses, with little defensive equipment. It was burned during the 1641 insurrection, and then rebuilt. In 1689 it was occupied for a night by James II who on his return from the siege of Derry then ordered its destruction.
» Castlederg Castle
Built by Sir John Davies on a site previously occupied by an O'Neill Tower House, this defended stone house or bawn commands a site of once strategic importance on the River Derg. The Bawn would have been a refuge for planter families during the 1641 rebellion. The ruins today consist of a rectangular bawn with square flankers at each corner. Those situated by the riverside were open-topped, providing a point for artillery.
» Beaghmore Stone Circles.
Beaghmore Stone Circles are a reflection of the ritual and spiritual life in the early Bronze Age. Archaeologists believe that Beaghmore Stone Circles date back to around 1500BC. There are 7 stone circles and alignments along with several cairns on this spectacular preserved site. It has been suggested that the circles and alignments have some connection with astronomy but a more popular theory is that they may well have served some function in fertility rites.
Derry's Walls / UK City of Culture 2013
Make a visit to the famous walled City of Derry, also known as Londonderry. This is only remaining completely walled City in Ireland and also one of the finest examples of walled cities in Europe. You can walk the 1.5km distance of the walls surrounding the city and gain an insight into the history dating back as far as 6th Century AD. You can also view the four original city gates – Bishop, Ferryquay, Butcher and Shipquay as well as the canons mounted throughout the walls.
Derry is also a busy shopping area spread out along the original Renaissance-style streets converging on the central square called The Diamond. A modern shopping mall is also nearby. Cruise liners can also regular visitors up the River Foyle to the city.
Derry~Londonderry has made history after winning its bid to be the first ever UK City of Culture in 2013. The momentous win means that in 2013 Derry~Londonderry will play host to a year-long celebration of culture in the city, opening its doors to visitors from across the world.
Baronscourt Cottages are also conviently located to explore the impressive Lough Erne. The Erne is made up of two channels: Lower Lough Erne and Upper Lough Erne. The island town of Enniskillen is located between the two loughs. The town and Lough Erne are famous for the fishing and attract thousands of anglers annually.
The 50km of uncongested waterway which comprises Lough Erne is a paradise for all kinds of watersports including angling, pleasure cruises and canoeing. Around the edge of the Loughs there are plenty of possibilities to explore. These include the National Trust properties of Castle Coole, Florencecourt and Crom Castle in addition to Castlearchdale Country Park and Lough Navar Forest scenic drive.
Marble Arch Caves
The Marble Arch caves in Co. Fermanagh along with a large area of Cuilcagh Mountain are now part of the European Geopark Network. They are one of the finest showcaves in Europe. The guided tour is an exciting discovery of natural underworld rivers, waterfalls, passageways and chambers which also involves an underground boat trip. The unusal rock formations date back over 330 million years and have unique and unusual names such as The Porridge Pot , Grand Canyon and Moses Walk.
North Antrim Coast
Along the famous North Antrim Coast line there are several tourist sites worthy of a visit to north west Ireland. These include the Giants Causeway, Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, Dunluce Castle and Bushmills Distillery. This is a good day's exploring and easily reached from Baronscourt Cottages.
The Giants Causeway is Ireland's top tourist attraction and UNESCO World Heritage site. Here you can view and explore the curiously shaped basalt stone columns formed from volcanic eruptions 60 million years ago. There are up to 36,000 Causeway stones, mostly six sided and some stretching up to 12m high. There is also great folklore attached to the site in the form of the great Irish giant, Finn MacCool. The surrounding Antrim coastline is equally impressive.
Set in spectacular surroundings with amazing ocean views, Dunluce Castle is regarded as the most romantic and picturesque in the whole country. Now in partial ruins, it dates back to the fourteenth century. There is a visitor centre and guided tours which describe the turbulant history of Dunluce Castle.
On a clear day you have a panaromanic views of the ocean from Bushmills to Donegal and round to Islay island off the west coast of Scotland.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
This rope bridge connects a rocky island to the cliffs spanning a 18m wide chasm over a depth of 24metres to the ocean below! It is erected every year and attracts thousands of visitors annually.
This is another favourite stop near to the Giants Causeway. Bushmills is the oldest distillery in the world. The visitor centre and guided tour provide you with all the history of the Distillery and the whiskey production and also lets you sample the product at the end of the tour!
Glenveagh National Park
Glenveagh National Park extends to 16,540 hectares and is located in the centre of Co. Donegal. The park is home to Irelands only wild golden eagles which have been recently re-introduced from Scotland. The 19th century Glenveagh Castle and surrounding grounds and gardens are an impressive contrast to the surrounding rugged countryside of this part of Donegal. During the summer months you can get guided walks around the gardens and the castle. There are also many well signposted nature trails to experience at your leisure.
Slieve League. The highest cliffs in Europe
The cliffs at Slieve League, located on Donegal's south western Atlantic coastline, are the highest in Europe. There are plenty of walking trails along the rugged coastline and an incredibly beautiful walk to the top of Slieve League (600m). This trek is ardous but provides spectacular views of the cliffs and once at the summit you have panaromic views over Donegal Bay, from Bundoran to Donegal Town and on to Glencolmcille.
Malin Head: The Northernmost Tip of Ireland
When in this part of Ireland, a trip to the most northerly point of Ireland should be high on your list of visits. It is here you can experience the power of the Atlantic Ocean and how it has shaped the Irish coastline. The ruined watchtower at Banba's crown was built two hundred years ago to lookout for ships. This information was then passed onto Lloyds, the shipping insurers in London.
Elswehere in the Inishowen Peninsula you can visit the famous Five Finger Strand on Knockamany Ben where, at low tide, you can see the wreck of The Twilight, which sank in 1889 on it's way to Derry. You can also view Europe's largest sand dunes at Lagg.