The Sperrin Mountains form the largest area of upland in Northern Ireland. This 21-mile section of the Ulster Way journeys through the heart of the range, mainly following quiet roads and tracks. The highlight is the middle portion through the exceptionally scenic Glenelly Valley. From the head of the valley, walkers who wish to shorten the final road section to Moneyneany can use the public bus service along the B47.
Considering it traverses such a significant mountain range, this walk has surprisingly little ascent and descent. This is explained by the choice of route, which tends to contour along the valley slopes, thus preserving gains in elevation. The Sperrins are designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the main ridge is orientated on an east-west axis, stretching for some 20 miles and rarely dropping below 400m. To the south is a lower ridge running parallel, and dividing the two is the idyllic Glenelly Valley. The lower slopes are divided into pastures by stonewalls and hedgerows, and this verdant landscape contrasts starkly with the rolling moorland of the high summits above. The route of the Ulster Way contours along the southern side of the Glenelly Valley for six miles, often travelling along the margin between pasture and moorland. From this high vantage point it is possible to see the outlines of some of the many ring forts spread along the valley floor.
Please be aware that this walking route passes through areas of open land such as hillside, working farmland and working forests. Livestock may be present, ground conditions may be uneven or wet underfoot and all forestry signage should be adhered to. Please refer to the ‘Walk Safely and Responsibly’ information in the Useful Info tab above.
Rural Roads, forest & hillside
Point of interest
Gortin, Barnes Gap, Glenelly Valley, Moneyneany
Refreshments are available at the start and finish of the route in Gortin and Moneyneany. However this is a long route with no refreshment stops along the way – walkers should carry provisions accordingly.
There is a hostel at the start of the route in Gortin with a campsite 3 miles to south on B48.
There is no accommodation available along the route so walkers may have to arrange accommodation off the route in Omagh.