10 Reasons to visit Lough Neagh

Lough Neagh is the biggest freshwater lake in the British Isles and is slap bang in the heart of Northern Ireland.

Irish legend has that the lough was formed by an overflowing spring created by a urinating horse, or by Finn McCool scooping up earth to toss at a Scottish rival. I think I prefer the second tale…

No matter where you choose to stay in Northern Ireland, Lough Neagh is nearby and definitely worth a visit…

10 Reasons to visit Lough Neagh

Lough Neagh Rams Island

  1. Cycling
    If cycling is your thing the Loughshore Trail encircles the entire lough, mostly on peaceful country roads
  2. Countryside
    Country atmosphere abounds at Tannaghmore Gardens, with rare farm breeds, a Barn Museum with traditional farming displays, and beautiful rose gardens
  3. Traditional Irish Music
    Sample the delights of traditional Irish music at the oldest thatched pub in Northern Ireland, the Crosskeys Inn near Toome, carbon dated as being built in 1654!
  4. Christian Heritage
    The area around Lough Neagh is rich in Christian heritage, with sites including Cranfield Church and Holy Well at Churchtown Point and Ardboe Old Cross
  5. Ulster History
    At Ranfurly House learn about the O’Neills, the Flight of the Earls and the Plantation of Ulster through an interactive exhibition. Take a stroll on the Hill of the O’Neill and experience spectacular views
  6. Nature
    If you like get close to nature, Lough Neagh is perfect. Oxford Island in Craigavon has a network of trails, bird watching hides, and the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre for you to enjoy
  7. Boat Trips
    Any lough has boats, and Lough Neagh has plenty. Take a day trip round the Lough on the Maid of Antrim or become a Pirate of Lough Neagh (departing regularly from Antrim Lough Shore Park!)
  8. Angling
    The Lough and its surrounds are perfect for the keen angler. You’ll find trout angling, course fishing, and for something different you could try fishing for Pollen around Rams Island
  9. Peat!
    Peatlands Park promotes peatland awareness. Amongst the attractions are a miniature railway and a turbary site where you can experience cutting turf. Each July the Park hosts the Northern Ireland Bog Snorkelling Championships and visitors are welcome to try!
  10. Relaxing
    Finally one of the best reasons to visit Lough Neagh is to relax, to stroll along its paths and picnic on its shores. Try Lough Shore Park in Antrim

You can find out more about Lough Neagh and it’s many attractions on the Discover Northern Ireland website: discovernorthernireland.com/loughneagh/  Take a look and start planning your visit to Lough Neagh now…

Lough Neagh Harbour

Lough Neagh – Where to stay

The gorgeous Ballealy Cottage is close to the shores of Lough Neagh.  Built in 1865 for the deerkeeper on the Shane’s Castle Estate in Country Antrim, the cottage has been completely restored into a fairy-tale luxury holiday cottage.

Ballealy Cottage

But because it’s so big and so central, all of our other self-catering cottages in Northern Ireland are close to Lough Neagh.  So take your pick!

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3 Responses to “10 Reasons to visit Lough Neagh”

  1. Brenda Doyle says:

    Have you a large house to rent for the long weekend in October. For about 7 couples. Please

  2. Hi Brenda, Can you send me an email to [email protected] with your preferred dates and number of rooms and I’ll take a look for you. Many thanks

  3. MaNonn says:

    The Shannon-Erne did have a non-border body of its own. However, although I have heard that there was an ecmonoic analysis of its costs and benefits, I have not been able to find a copy. Three points therefore strike me: (a) it is not clear that all improvements in the area are attributable to the SEW as there were other factors, notably the Sean Quinn empire, that provided employment; (b) many of the businesses set up in the first flush of enthusiasm proved to be short lived; (c) much of the cost was not carried by the Irish taxpayer; the cost-benefit ratio changes significantly if the taxpayer bears the whole cost.I simply do not accept that The Ulster canal is not a political animal . There would be no question of its being reopened (even in part) were it not that political considerations outweighed common sense (and ecmonoic analysis).And I do not believe that folk will be attracted from Foreign Parts just to see another canal. There are lots of canals. Canal twitchers those who feel they must travel on every available waterway will no doubt arrive, but it is not clear that the Ulster Canal has any attractions that outweigh those of waterways in other climes. In fact, the Irish hire-boat industry is continuing to decline amd at least one firm has moved many boats out of Ireland. A restored canal, even if it ever got beyond Clones, will not revive the economies of the surrounding areas.bjg

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