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Lough Neagh

Home > United Kingdom > Escape the City | Free | Outdoor | Walks | Weekend Escapes
by Erin Connelly (subscribe)
I am a medievalist in the process of completing a PhD (involving medieval medicine). I travel as much as possible at home (UK) and abroad. I'm always ready for new experiences!
Published January 9th 2013
A sparkling treasure in the heart of Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Blessed with a stunning coastline, untouched wilderness, oceanside cliffs, and serene natural beauty, this small place will quickly become a favourite holiday destination. In the middle of the country is the largest freshwater lake in all of Britain and Ireland, Lough Neagh (or Loch Neagh). The lake is so large that five of the six counties of Northern Ireland touch the water's edge.

Lough Neagh. Photo by Erin Connelly.


The legend of the lake states that it was formed by the giant Finn McCool who dug it out to throw at a Scottish enemy. The name is a reference to the horse god Eochu, lord of the underworld, who was said to dwell beneath the waters. The reference is derived from booming noises under the surface of the lake related to water spouts and whirlwinds on the water surface, which made the ancients think of a horse god galloping beneath their boats.

Photo by Erin Connelly.


There are many walking and cycling paths around the shimmering lake. Despite its immense size and popularity with tourists and locals alike, the area is one of the most peaceful places in all of the UK. Many pleasant hours can be spent leisurely walking through the forest, playing in the water, feeding the resident swans, and enjoying the bird-life and waterfowl.

Entrance to walking path. Photo by Erin Connelly.


Forest walking path. Photo by Erin Connelly.


Northern Ireland is only a short flight away from London and fits perfectly into a long weekend away. Driving distances are quite short in this small country and the lake is easily accessible. See the official website for more details about planning your trip.

Photo by Erin Connelly.
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Why? Visit the largest lake in Ireland and Britain
When: All year round
Phone: 028 7941 7941
Where: 135a Shore Road Ballyronan, Magherafelt Co. Derry
Cost: Free
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