We visited Portglnone in Northern Ireland because the village is the birthplace of my grandfather and like many Irish Americans, we long to explore our ancestral roots. While not on the tourist map, the village is worth a stop on the way to or from the Antrim coast.
Besides a few old churches, there is not much to see in the town. We walked along Main Street and noticed that the village has placed a few markers in a “heritage trail” which are interesting and tell the story of the village, along with some photos from the past. The highlight for us was Portglnone forest which is right outside of town and well marked along the road.
There is a fee to park at Portglnone Forest which is paid at the entrance via a self service vending system which will provide a ticket to display on the dashboard. Entrance to the trail which runs about a mile or so is right off of the car park area.
The walk through the forest is very peaceful, and there is an old pond, a holy well, some ruins of old buildings, and a nice stretch which runs along the River Bann where there are a few benches to sit and watch the water run by. This is a great place for couples to take a romantic stroll.
Afterwards, be sure to head back into town to enjoy what we found to be the best fish & chips in all of Northern Ireland at Mc’s which is at 52 Main Street. The service is carry out only, although right across the street can be found benches in the main square to sit and watch the day go by while you enjoy your lunch.
A few of the photos from the forest are below: