Hotels in Cookstown
In rural County Tyrone, not far from Lough Neagh, Cookstown is famous for its main street – the longest and widest in Ireland – and its archaeological remains.
The town bills itself as the retail capital of mid-Ulster, with high-street brands rubbing shoulders with independent family-owned shops in the town centre. There's a busy market on Saturdays too, selling everything from flowers to homeware, which has been running since the 17th century.
Book one of our Cookstown hotels and delve into Ireland's ancient history – you can even learn to speak the language.
Although Cookstown itself was only founded in around 1620, the surrounding area is full of ancient remains and monuments. These include the Ardboe High Cross, a 5.6m-high cross-shaped monument – high crosses are found throughout Ireland, and this is one of the best preserved. The cross has 22 panels portraying scenes from the Bible and is a National Monument. Here you'll also find the remains of a church and Ardboe Abbey, which was sacked and burned down in 1166. The Broughderg area has been inhabited for at least 7,000 years, and is full of megalithic monuments, including Dun Ruadh, the Ogham Stone and the Beaghmore Stone Circles. Finally, on the outskirts of Tullyhogue village are the remains of the ceremonial Tullyhogue Fort.
The Burnavon Arts and Cultural Centre is a venue for shows, concerts, talks and more, and it also runs workshops for adults and children on everything from making jewellery to dance. There are also Irish language classes if you're interested in learning. Killymoon Castle is a private home, but you can enjoy a game of golf in the grounds at the Killymoon Golf Club, whose 18-hole course dates from 1889. Cookstown Leisure Centre has a 25-metre pool, a spa pool, a steam room, a sauna, a fitness suite, squash and racquetball courts and a bowling alley. There's a learner pool with a flume for kids, as well as a soft play area for under-12s.
Though little remains of the 17th-century house, Drum Manor Forest Park is still a verdant expanse of trees, gardens, ponds and grassland, with trails of varying lengths for walkers. Look out for the many butterflies the gardens attract, as well as unusual species of tree including monkey puzzle and western red cedar. The park is open every day from 10:00 until sunset. Davagh Forest, north-west of the town, is popular with mountain bikers and has several trails for bikers and walkers.
Eating and drinking
Head to Villa Vinci for pizza, pasta and a very long dessert menu, or the Dragon Garden Chinese or Cookstown Tandoori for eastern flavours. The restaurant at the Greenvale Hotel has a very extensive menu, with everything from steaks and fish dishes to omelettes and salads, and there's a kids' menu too. There's live music from traditional and contemporary performers every Saturday night at Ma Quinn's pub, or visit the Otter Lodge for beautiful riverside vistas. For a light lunch or an all-day breakfast, head to Cuppatinos, which also has a kids' menu.
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