Bessy Bell East
An interesting walk through farmland onto a small rounded mountain with views all around of the Sperrin Mountains.
Distance 3.5 miles
OS Map 12
Terrain lanes, gravel tracks, open land
Nearest Town Omagh / Newtownstewart
Route Shape Linear
Grid Reference H418812
Route Type Mountain
This walk begins at Mellon Country Hotel and leads through farmland up Bessy Bell across open moorland of grass and heather.
From the start at Mellon Country Hotel, follow the waymarkers along this linear route.
The first one hundred metres is along the main road and care is to be taken here. Turn right up hill on a country lane to meet another road.
Continue straight on along this road for 1.2 kilometres until an sign directs you left uphill to a disused farm.
Continue on through this farm on a tarmaced farm lane until the first stile. Signs and arrows will direct you through another farm and on to a tarmac road which was built to install the wind turbines.
The top part of the walk is on rough grass land and heather passing a holy well which was used by local people in the past.
The walk stops short of the trig point so please follow the signs back down the way you came up.
Wind Turbines and a Holy Well near the summit
Start and finish at The Mellon Country hotel on the A5 road between Omagh and Newtownstewart
Translink – journeyplanner.translink.co.uk
Refreshments and toilets are available at The Mellon Country Hotel for customers.
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Bessy Bell East
There is another, simpler (and in my opinion better) route to the top of Bessy Bell, which is suitable for people who do not drive, or don’t want to take the car:
Drive or take the Belfast-Derry Goldline Express bus (via Omagh) to Newtownstewart. (There is a bus every hour Mondays to Fridays, every two hours on Saturdays, and only a few on Sundays.) Ask any of the very friendly people in the town to direct you to the Old Castle Road, which takes just a few minutes to walk to, from Main Street, Newtownstewart (where the bus lets you off). There are also signposts to direct you to Harry Avery’s Castle. Walk up the Old Castle Road, past Harry Avery’s Castle on the right. Keep walking until you come to a fork in the road, where you go up left, past some cottages, and you will then be on a long straight road with a forested area on your left and meadows on the right. You can walk through the forested area by turning up left and then right, or you can keep going straight, with the forested area on your left, meadows on your right, until you are past the forested area at the Killydart road, where you turn sharp left up towards Bessy Bell (which you can see). Either way, whether through the forested area or past it, you will come to a clear well-maintained road to the top of the Bessy Bell, where you will see a stunning panoramic view, especially on a clear day.
It takes about one hour and 15 minutes to walk from the Main Street in Newtownstewart to the top of Bessy Bell.
I completed this walk in two stages. Initially setting of from the Mellon Country Inn Hotel, unfortunatelly the weather turned foul and overcast with heavy rain to I decided to call it a day. I returned a week later on 27 Aug 2017 to complete the walk to the summit.
I shot the following video which is availavle on YouTube via the link
A really fun walk I’ve done with the dog a few times, views over the strule are lovely and you can see as far as Errigle on a clear day from the top. Also nice and peaceful as not many do this walk.