Lofty Hill of the O’Neill takes tourism crown in Mid Ulster Council area

Just one of the breath taking views from the Hill of the O'Neill, Dungannon
Just one of the breath taking views from the Hill of the O'Neill, Dungannon

The historic Hill of the O’Neill in Dungannon is the most popular tourist and visitor attraction in the entire Mid Ulster District Council area - and that’s official!

The revamped O’Neill family fortress along with the new Ranfurly Arts and Visitor Centre, which were opened up to the public in 2012, have clearly struck a chord with visitors keen to research the fascinating history of the site and take in the stunning views across much of Ulster from the lofty location.

Latest figures from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) show how the majority of visitors to the Mid Ulster Council area last year chose to put the Hill of the O’Neill and Ranfurly Arts Centre on their travel itinerary.

And, in a tourism coup for the Dungannon district, the next two most popular tourism sites were Benburb Castle and the Island Turf Crafts Visitor Centre in Coalisland.

Interestingly, none of the three top spots featured visitor attractions from the other two Mid Ulster Council areas of Cookstown and Magherafelt.

In total, 214,000 tourism overnight visits were made in the Mid Ulster area during 2014, with NISRA revealing that over half of those (54%) were taken as visits to fmaily and friends.

Thirty-two per cent of those who visited came for holidays, while 10% visited for business purposes, with the local tourism industry benefitting to the tune of £27 million.