Categories: County Tyrone

County Tyrone is the largest of the six counties in Northern Ireland and – to answer that common question around where is County Tyrone? – it's situated right in the heart of Ulster. So, it’ll come as no surprise to you that there’s a heartfelt welcome waiting for you there.

Getting to Tyrone - and around the county - is easiest by car, so it’s worth including car hire cost in your travel plans. But like everywhere in Northern Ireland, it’s well connected by public and hire transport. You can get there by bus or private taxi whether you’re travelling from within Northern Ireland or coming from the Republic of Ireland. The combination of bus and train is a limited option and only if you’re not strapped for time.

Omagh is the largest town in the county, although you may fancy exploring Strabane, Dungannon, Cookstown, Clogher, Aughnacloy and Castlederg too. 

Pay us a flying visit

While there is no airport in the county, The City of Derry Airport (in County Derry-Londonderry to the north) could be your closest landing spot. It’s very well connected to the UK with direct flights in and out of London Stansted, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh. From here, your major destination towns by road are approximately: Strabane (35km), Omagh (64km) and Dungannon (75km).

To the east, Belfast International Airport or George Best Belfast City Airport may suit your travel plans better. While distances to Tyrone’s major destination towns may be longer, these airports could be better hubs for your connecting flight, or suit you better if you’re visiting the eastern part of Tyrone around Lough Neagh.

Getting to Tyrone from Derry or Belfast

Ulsterbus and Translink operate various scheduled bus services to and from all three airports to major towns in County Tyrone. The handy Bus Rambler ticket offered by Translink gives you the freedom to explore the county and the rest of Northern Ireland in your own time. If time is your own, this option is perfect. But if you’re in a hurry or don’t have long to visit Tyrone, a car is definitely your best option.

Whichever way you decide to go, you will experience some of the most spectacular drives and scenery in the world. You may find yourself winding through the heather-clad Sperrins, or skirting the beautiful Lough Neagh or taking in Tyrone’s stunning peatlands and forests on route. And that’s before your holiday even starts! 

Tyrone is not well served by train services, but if you are in a rambling mood, there is an hourly train service from Lanyon Place in Belfast to Derry-Londonderry which takes approximately two hours travel time. From there you can take a bus to your destination in Tyrone.

Like any place in the world, private taxi drivers will take you anywhere you want to go – for the right price, of course. You may even glean some local knowledge that you wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.

Getting to Tyrone from Dublin and the rest of the Republic of Ireland

You’ll find there are a range of transport options from most major cities and towns in the Republic of Ireland.

By bus
If you’re not hiring a car, then the best way to travel to O’Neill County is to take a coach bus. Translink operates daily services from Dublin Airport and Dublin City Centre (Busaras) to major towns such as Omagh and Dungannon. Some are direct while others may require a trip to, and change in, Belfast. Expect to spend around 3 hours or more on direct bus trips depending on your destination. Add another 2 hours or more if you’re going via Belfast.

Check timetables carefully to make sure you leave plenty of time for bus connections and traffic around Dublin and Belfast. 

Expressway coaches stop at Aughnacloy, Ballygawley, Omagh, Newtownstewart, Sion Mills and Strabane on its daily Dublin Busaras to Letterkenny route. John McGinley Coaches have a Dublin to Letterkenny service starting from the National Ballroom in Parnell Square via Dublin Airport with stops in Aughnacloy, Ballygawley and Omagh. Travel times vary depending where you start your journey and which service you get. Expect to spend north of 2 hours and 30 minutes on board. 

By car 

Travelling by car from Dublin to Tyrone is a fairly no-brainer trip via a combination of M1 and N2 in the Republic of Ireland then transferring to the ‘A’ Road system in Northern Ireland, e.g. A5 to Omagh and Strabane, A28 to Dungannon. It is without doubt the easiest way to get there but can take longer than you might think. Give yourself a minimum of 2.5 hours to reach the outskirts of the county. The mountains, forests and lakes however are definitely worth the wait.

While County Tyrone is a little way away from some of the biggest transport hubs and cities, the rewards when you get here are well worth the journey.