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Unique Lough Neagh Tours Launched

04 July 2017

Steeped in history, heritage, folklore, fauna and culture, the shores of Lough Neagh – the largest freshwater lake in the United Kingdom – provide the backdrop for a unique set of one day tours which are being launched just in time for summer.

The diverse range of tours departing from Belfast are aimed at local, national and international visitors to immerse themselves in Lough Neagh and its surrounding natural beauty, to experience local food, local history and local habitat on land and on the spectacular lough itself with Lough Neagh native tour guide, James Walshe.

There are currently three tours available:

Lough Neagh Craic ‘n Food & Drink Tour, Co Antrim & Co Derry

A sampling of Lough Neagh Eel accompanied by stories from an eel fisherman whose family have been fishing on the lough since the Flight of the Earls in 1607 starts the tour which ends with toe tapping traditional Irish music in Ireland’s oldest thatched pub – The Crosskey’s Inn. There is a visit to Ireland’s only buffalo farm at Ballyriff and a stop off at a pub made famous by much loved local poet, the late Seamus Heaney on the Lough Neagh Craic ‘n Food & Drink Tour.

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_P2hAlsBOL0&t=7s

Lough Neagh Wilderness Tour, Co Armagh

For those who wonder what rural life was like before technology took over, this one day tour transports visitors into the wilderness to provide an insight into how the ancestors of Lough Neagh lived and survived!

The ultimate adventurer’s day out, Lough Neagh Wilderness Tour offers visitors an opportunity to build a shelter, cook their own lunch on the campfire after foraging and a chance to canoe on Lough Neagh with only the resident swans for company.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9vOwr0uRZo&t=5s

Lough Neagh Western Forts Tour, Co Tyrone

Taking in the forts and castles on the western shore of the lough, the Western Forts Tour starts at the impressive and imposing Ardboe Cross before a stop at Hill of The O’Neill, Dungannon and on to the spiritual site of Tullyhogue Fort on the outskirts of Cookstown.  Mountjoy Castle is the final stop where visitors can imagine the grandeur of the castle on the hill in the early 1600s with its battles and power struggles between the O’Neills and the O’Donnells.

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwfFp3-UAzI&t=3s

Lough Neagh Tours have been developed by Lough Neagh Partnership due to the demand from visitors in search of a readymade itinerary.  

Eimear Kearney, Lough Neagh Partnership, said:  “We receive enquiries year round from local and international visitors who wish to visit Lough Neagh and are seeking expert advice about what to see and what to do.  Before now we simply didn’t have the resources to provide detailed information but with recent funding we have now been able to realise the dream of bringing tours to the market which we know will cater for foodies, adventurers and those tracing their family history.”

As well as the Craic ‘n Food and Drink, Western Forts and Wilderness tours, Lough Neagh Tours also offers private individual group tours and itineraries can be developed to deliver the ultimate bespoke experience.

Lough Neagh Tours have been developed with assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

Anna Carragher, Committee Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund NI added: “Landscapes are more than just beautiful scenery, they are also living, working places full of stories and experiences. These new tours will give visitors a taste of life in Lough Neagh and we wish the Partnership every success with their new initiative. HLF’s Landscape Partnership programme encourages a mix of projects and activities which not only help to protect the landscape but also to give communities the opportunity to explore and share their heritage with others. We are delighted that National Lottery players’ money will help Lough Neagh’s communities to show off all the wonderful heritage on their doorstep.”

Essential information and details of how to book Lough Neagh Tours is available at: www.loughneaghtours.com or by calling tel +4428 7941 7941. Facebook: www.facebook.com/loughneaghtours, Twitter: @loughneaghtours

Lough Neagh Tours have been developed in collaboration with Lough Neagh Landscape Partnership, funded by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, Lough Neagh Partnership, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and Mid Ulster District Council.