Autumn and winter in Mid Ulster
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The Argory: Circular walk and Blackwater River walk
There are many walks at this fascinating place beside the River Blackwater, ranging from the easy and wheelchair accessible to the slightly more demanding requiring stout footwear. The Circular Walk, 3.1 miles (5km), encompasses all of the paths around The Argory estate and mansion. The trail also crosses the road into the woods and along the edge of The Argory mosses (which are boggy and dangerous). Other shorter walks, such as the River Walk, 1.5 miles (2.4km), follow the banks of the Blackwater from Bond’s Bridge up to the meadows and then back to the car park. Look out for Irish hares, jays and grey squirrels, all of which are plentiful around the estate. You may be lucky enough to spot a heron or kingfisher closer to the river.
Springhill: Sawpit Hill walk
Springhill House is the prettiest house in Ulster and there are a host of interesting walks around the fascinating estate. There are some pretty walks through the woodland along the entrance drive of the house, but perhaps the best is the Sawpit Hill Walk, 2 miles (3.2km). From Tower Hill there are wonderful views of Slieve Gallion and the Sperrins. An old heronry can be seen at the summit of Sawpit Hill. This was also the site on which a pit was dug to enable the joiners to saw the 43 feet (13m) long timbers used in the construction of the Drawing Room floor. Discover the Yew Grove, Juniper Walk and the more formal walled gardens. In autumn the grounds are a blaze of colour but the snowdrops and daffodils are something to behold in the spring.
For more information on local walks visit www.walkni.com (external link).