No one can deny that these last few years have seen seismic changes to the way we live and spend our free time.
One silver lining, however, is many of us have found the ability to reconnect with nature and lose ourselves in the beauty that we can so often forget surrounds us.
For those seeking a tranquil hour or so away from the house in Co Tyrone, check out our suggestions of great places to go for a walk.
1. Drum Manor Forest Park
Located on the A505 road to Omagh a few miles from Cookstown, this attractive 18th-century demesne was purchased from a private owner in 1964, before opening to the public six years later. Autumn is a particularly rewarding time for those who wander its paths, with a Japanese garden, arboretum, and mixed woodlands offering splashes of fiery colour.
A range of marked trails with scenic walks through the forest and wildfowl lake all start and finish at the large visitor car park, ensuring convenient access to visiting tourists. For keen cyclists, Drum Manor is around 20 minutes by car from Davagh Forest’s purpose-built mountain bike trails. The old manor ruins are also a popular choice for wedding photography. Photo: discoverNI
2. Brantry Lough
Halfway between Dungannon and Aughnacloy, this 1.5 mile lake remains a popular spot for outdoor recreation. The waters are particularly notable for stocking high-class brown trout throughout the fishing season. It’s unlikely you’ll encounter other people when hiking, so make the most of this tranquil solitude. Photo: Pexels
A few miles east of Omagh, walking around the shores of this lake makes for a refreshing way to unwind.
Soak in the flora and fauna of this unspoilt freshwater locale and enjoy the ever-shifting views of the lough through peering from one side of the shoreline to another. You’re sure to see the indigenous brown trout surface for food and, if you’re lucky, catch the blue catch of a kingfisher or see visiting swans and wild geese. Photo: DiscoverNI
4. Parkanaur Forest Park
Four miles west of Dungannon, this 200-hectare wood was once part of the Burgess Estate. Keep an eye out for the white fallow deer as you stroll through the trees. Photo: Visit Mid Ulster