Rural Day trips in Northern Ireland
A day trip or a Stay-cation in Northern Ireland is something we’ve all pined for recently, but you’re probably wondering how to spend your time without visiting the usual visitor attractions such as The Giant’s Causeway or Titanic Belfast? We’ve put together a short list of beautiful places to enjoy whist avoiding the crowds.
Wooded Walks near Ardtara
Portglenone forest is a stunning ‘Ancient Woodland’, it is a 20 minute drive from Ardtara and the perfect place for a picnic by the banks of the Bann. There are a number of waymarked Trails leading down to the Bann River (Approx 1.3 miles). The ground flora contains extensive colonies of Ancient Woodland indicator species which take centuries of woodland cover to establish. Visitor facilities in the forest includes picnic tables, toilets with wheelchair access. Main recreation area is accessed just outside Portglenone on the A42 Ahoghill Road. Google Map Link
This beautiful ancient woodland is situated less than 10 minutes drive from Ardtara and is one of the few remaining fragments of a great forest that once covered much of mid-Ulster. Throughout the year Drumnaph Wood’s varied mix of habitats is a joy to explore. In spring the woodland floor is carpeted with bluebells and other flowering plants. In summer, butterflies bring Drumnaph’s meadows and woodland edges to life, while brightly-coloured dragonflies patrol the bog cotton grass in wetland areas. Whether you are interested in timeless woodland, excellent walks or fascinating cultural connections, Drumnaph Wood is well worth a visit. Google Map link
Upperlands Mill & Dam Trail
This scenic walk is accessible on foot from the grounds of Ardtara, just ask one of our team to point you in the right direction. There are four-man-made lakes or “dams” in Upperlands. These used to serve the linen mills. They are Craig’s dam, Island dam, Green dam and Lapping-room dam. The walk circumnavigates the old mill dams, which are now disused, but very picturesque.
Banager Glen is reached by car, approx 20 minutes from Ardtara. This Short walk is approx 2 miles through the steep wooded Banagher Glen, one of the oldest ancient oak woodlands in Ireland to Altnaheglish Reservoir and Banagher Dam. Google Map Link
The forest is less than ten miles from Ardtara and is home to a range of walking, cycling and mountain bike trails to enjoy! There are four diﬀerent grades of cycle trails within the forest each oﬀering a diﬀerent experience, and walkers can avail of waymarked walking trails. Google Map Link
You’ll find other activities and attractions here