Residents of Mid Ulster will have the opportunity to ‘discover what’s on your doorstep’ during a series of bus tours exploring the wealth of ‘hidden heritage’ in Mid Ulster.
Four coach tours, organised by Mid Ulster District Council, offer the opportunity for locals and visitors alike to experience some of the region’s most historic and popular landmarks from Beaghmore Stone Circles to the historic homeland of Ulysses Simpson Grant, the 18th President of the United States!
The series kicks-off on 21st June at the picturesque Beaghmore Stone Circles where participants will be able to experience the first day of summer from this breath-taking location! This trip is already booked out so high is the demand for it! During the trip the fascinating history and significance of the stones will also be explored finishing up with refreshments being served at the most peaceful of surroundings.
Dungannon is the location for the second tour (1st July) as it explores the U.S. Grants and Carleton Trail. The trip will begin at the cottage of the Simpson family with close ties to Ulysses Grant, the Commanding General of the victorious Union Armies in the American Civil War. Grant, the 18th President of the United States visited the site during his presidency. Participants will then get to visit the childhood home of the much-loved Victorian novelist William Carleton, who was well-versed in Irish folklore and described by W.B. Yeats as the ‘greatest novelist of Ireland’.
The third tour (12th August) allows participants to step back in time with a journey through the Upperlands Linen Tour, Ireland’s oldest linen village! Learn about the fabric of local history with stops at the Old Mill Coffee Shop and Flax Visitor Centre both located in an old industrial building opposite the last surviving linen beetling machines, a process dating from the 1730s. Also in the Flax Visitor Centre participants can view a permanent display on the heritage of the linen industry and a model Irish village and railway.
The final tour (10 September) will explore Seamus Heaney HomePlace and HomeGround. Participants will be able to immerse themselves in the extraordinary world of Seamus Heaney taking in the people and places that so inspired him! Seamus Heaney HomePlace has been described by fellow poet and close friend Michael Longley as 'an echo chamber for the poet's beautiful lines'.
Participants will get to view the interactive exhibition spread over two floors and the HomeGround tour will take in the splendid sights of Ballyscullion House and will also allow participants to pay their respects at Seamus Heaney's final resting place at St Mary's Parish Church Bellaghy.
Refreshments will be served in the Old Thatch Inn, Castledawson.
The tours take place on:
- Wednesday 21st June, Summer Solstice at Beaghmore Stone Circles
- Saturday 1st July, U.S. Grants and Carleton Trail
- Saturday 12th August, Upperlands Linen Tour
- Sunday 10th September, Seamus Heaney HomePlace and HomeGround Tour
Booking is essential as spaces are limited. The first tour in June is already sold out so book today for the remaining three before it’s too late!
All tours cost £8 per person. A bus will depart from the Burnavon for each tour. For more information go to www.midulstercouncil.org/hiddenheritage or to book contact Cookstown Visitor Information Centre on 028 8676 9949.