After a short introduction about James’ love of the history of Lough Neagh and its surrounding townlands in which his passion and character shines through, he provides a snapshot of the day ahead which takes travellers on an immersive visit of the forts and castles on the western shore of the lough. First stop on the Western Forts Tour is the impressive and imposing Ardboe Cross. The reading of the cross has been given to James, having been passed down through generations from the time this great cross was built before taking a walk across to the graveyard on the shore.
From unique observations of swans on the lough, James takes a moment to point out a stone said to cure warts before a coach journey to the second stop of the day for lunch at the Hill of the O’Neill at Ranfurly Arts and Visitors Centre in Dungannon. This site where at least castle was built was used by the great Hugh O’Neill, who was the chieftain that rude with his armies from this stronghold with magnificent views on a clear day across almost all of ancient province of Ulster.
Another stop on this enlightening tour into the past is Tullaghogue Fort the inauguration site of that great O’Neill on the outskirts of Cookstown. With picture perfect views of Killymoon Castle, the peace and tranquillity at Tullaghogue Fort, which was abandoned by 1622, is indescribable and must be experienced to truly be believed. And finally, as the coach stops in Townland of Brockagh, the visitor can close their eyes at Mountjoy Castle and imagine the grandeur of the castle on the hill in the early 1600s with its battles and power struggles between the O’Neill’s and the forces of Queen Elizabeth, whose army got their first foothold in this part of Ulster.
This day long tour spans Co Antrim, Co Tyrone and County Derry. Suitable footwear for walking and a waterproof is a must on this tour in case of inclement weather. The Western Forts Tour is suitable for individuals, couples, groups and special requests can be considered.
For more info on this tour visit: LoughNeaghTours.com/Western-Forts
For any of our other tours visit: LoughNeaghTours.com