In the same week Northern Ireland became the first part of the UK to allow camping, a new glampsite opened in the Sperrin mountains’ dark sky park
Northern Ireland was the first of the four UK countries to open its campsites last weekend. Having been locked down in Belfast for months, I was desperate to break out of my Covid-19 cocoon and stretch my horizons beyond the TV screen – and my legs beyond the local supermarket run.
A 90-minute drive from Belfast, the Sperrin mountains, in mid-Ulster, are a place where the myth and the majesty of the country’s landscape overlap. It’s a vast, open space, one that Irish poet Mary Montague described as “Ulster’s wildest land”, adding that “the thickest sheets of the last ice age scoured these mountains into smooth undulations that banner the skyline”. “But”, she cautioned, “don’t be fooled by gentle curves – the Sperrins’ heart is vastly bleak.”