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Bessy Bell 420m,
2452, 12km
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Bessy Bell Hill Sliabh Troim A name in Irish
(Ir. Sliabh Troim [DUPN], 'mountain of elder') Tyrone County in NI and in Ulster Province, in Carn List, Psammite Bedrock

Height: 420m OS 1:50k Mapsheet: 12 Grid Reference: H39100 82100
Place visited by 58 members. Recently by: dregish, mallymcd, BogRunner1, McQuaid89, Lucky1, tonyk66, sperrinlad, BigFly, MichaelG55, LorraineG60, scottwalker, eejaymm, Ulsterpooka, MichaelE, madfrankie
I have visited this place: NO (You need to be a logged-in member to change this.)

Longitude: -7.394544, Latitude: 54.685449 , Easting: 239100, Northing: 382100 Prominence: 355m,  Isolation: 6.1km,   Has trig pillar
ITM: 639040 882093,   GPS IDs, 6 char: BsyBl, 10 char: Bessy Bell
Bedrock type: Psammite, (Newtownstewart Formation)

Bessy Bell and its lower neighbour, Mary Gray, are named after the heroines of a Scottish ballad. This begins Bessie Bell and Mary Gray, they were twa bonny lasses. The obvious Scots origin of the name did not deter Samuel Lewis from making an extravagant connection between Bessy Bell and the pagan deity Baal in his Topographical Dicitionary of Ireland (1843): “On the summit of Bessy Bell, or ‘Boase-Baal’, on which in pagan times sacrifice is supposed to have been offered to Baal or Bel, is a large and curious cairn.” Sliabh Troim is the original Irish name. Also recorded as Sliab Toad [LGÉ].   Bessy Bell is the 846th highest place in Ireland.

COMMENTS for Bessy Bell 1 2 Next page >>  
Follow this place's comments Picture about mountain Bessy Bell in area Sperrin Mountains, Ireland
Picture: Bessy Bell Wind Farm
mcna on Bessy Bell, 2008
by mcna  24 Jun 2008
This is a fantastic hill with very rewarding views on a good day. I am so glad to see it has been added to Mountain views. I walk this about once a week and the scenery never fails to entertain me! I use this as training as it has a nice, sustained slope the entire way. There is wind farm near the top and a telecommunications mast on the summit hence there is a rough road all the way. This hill forms part of every day for me, I can see it from my house and from my classroom window so I now just the weather depending on how much of Bessy I can see and how clear she appears! It can be tricky enough to get to the start of the road if you don’t know the area. From Omagh head out the Derry road and just past the Sperrin Restaurant and service station there is road to the left. Now, I mean right after it - you could miss it very easily. If you are coming from Strabane direction drive on past the folk park and it’s just before the Sperrin Restaurant. At the cross roads beside the church take a left and continue along this road until the first right turn. This road will take you to the foot of the track which is roughly GR H374809 A. This road is also used by the forestry service so there are lots of junctions along the way – just follow the road up hill. The wind farm is an excellent place to stop. There are information boards giving you details about the amount of electricity generated. The last section is up quite a steep hill to the telecommunications mast. The trig point is located about 20 m to the right but it is visible from the end of the track. It takes about 35 minutes to walk from the car to the top and about 25 back again. From here you can see Mullaghcarn and the high Sperrins, the pigeon top and on a really good day you can see Errigal and Muckish. You also look down over the Baronscourt estate and the Derg Valley. The walk can be extended by going over the summit and down the bog to the main Omagh to Derry road and over to the Mellon Country Hotel – all of which can be seen from the summit. You would need another car at “The Mellon” unless you planned to come back the same way. All in all, a very rewarding short walk that is used to introduce children to hill walking in this area but one that can be just as reward from adults! Linkback:
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Picture: An earlier shot of Bessy from Pollnalaght (Pigeon Top) to the S
Approach from east following Ulster Way
by dr_banuska  30 Sep 2010
This is a hill I'd been wanting to climb for a while, for despite its relatively low height, it and the wind farm on its lower slopes are very prominent from nearby summits owing to its relatively detached position at the western end of the Sperrins. The Ulster Way conveniently passes over the summit (not sure it always did though - the route was altered and relaunched about a year ago).

I climbed Bessy earlier this week when driving between Omagh and Strabane. About 5 miles past Omagh I took the turn-off for Mountjoy on the left, just after a garage. A couple of miles past the village you'll see an Ulster Way sign, joining from a minor road on the right. The UW then takes the next left turn at 411821 B and I followed this uphill. This is a very steep, narrow road and luckily I didn't meet anyone else on the way up or down. The road soon levels out with an abandoned, two storey farmhouse on the left. I parked next to this and made the rest of the journey on foot. While OSNI map 12 suggests the road continues on from here it really becomes a grassy, hedged-in track.

I followed the UW uphill and in a zigzag, over several stiles (some weren't necessary as the gates were open - one I was able to lift off the ground!), passing close to another seemingly abandoned farmhouse to the right. At times you'd be on a track and others passing through fields with grazing sheep and cows, with the turbines close by overhead. Sometimes the signage wasn't obvious which caused a bit of head scratching and a couple of wrong turns. Eventually a sign points off the track onto the open hillside and I began my ascent. Frustratingly I didn't see another sign on the ascent but luckily ended up right at a stile crossing a fence near the summit. The terrain was typical Sperrins: grassy, heathery, reedy in parts and luckily not too wet at the time. The trig is just a short distance from the fence with some masts beyond. I could see the wind farm access track that mcna and pquinn572 must've taken coming up the other side of the hill.

The view of the rolling Tyrone countryside N and E was impressive. I could see Mullaghcarn, the higher Sperrins beyond and Owenreagh E of Strabane with its own wind farm. I could also make out Omagh and Strabane. The Bluestacks were visible but NW was hazy so I couldn't make out Muckish, Errigal etc. Return was by the same way, though this time I noticed an UW sign pointing downhill along the fence and I followed this until a sign pointed right again.

Ascent took about an hour (including head scratching and wrong turns) and descent a lot less. When I rejoined the road coming from Mountjoy, this time I took left and after a couple of miles came into Newtownstewart, with easy access back onto the A5 to Strabane. From N'stewart I took a brief detour to see the ruins of Harry Avery O'Neill's Castle (signposted) - definitely worth a look if you're in the area. Linkback:
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Picture: Ever changing weather on the summit
Four Seasons In A Day
by Aidy  27 Oct 2013
There were dire predictions of hurricane force winds on the forecasts, but it looked like we would miss the worst of it, so I decided to walk the nearby Bessy Bell. Besides, I had a new pair of cheap, waterproof over-trousers, and thought today would be a good test. I parked at Point C on the Cashty Road and set off up the gravel track to the summit in bright, warm sunshine.

On the way up I experienced all four seasons, By the time I reached the top, heavy rain was driving sideways in extremely strong winds. Using the tripod was impossible, and it was nearly impossible to even stand still for hand held photos. Views were obscured by low cloud and heavy rain, but it was easy to see they would be worth the climb on a good day. I'll just have to return for better shots.

Nice walk, and the trousers were great - reached home dry as a bone despite the stormy weather. Linkback:
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Picture: Bessie`s Jewels
The Lure of Bessy
by eamonoc  21 Dec 2013
On Monday 16/12/2013, as I headed to Donegal about three hrs behind schedule and with no intention of climbing anything. I was on the Omagh Derry road and couldn`t help but notice Bessy Bell in the distance, racking my brain I remembered mcna`s directions to a well maintained forestry path at GR H374809 A and eventually arrived at same. The lure of Bessy Bell had proved too much so it was on with the boots and upward I went. About 2mins up the path I noticed a muddy track on the right so I followed it uphill to the edge of the forest and at an area of rhodedendron bushes I turned left and followed a faint path and an old fence uphill after approx half a km I arrived at the first of the huge wind turbines that adorn Bessy. The Summit was easily visible from here so I made my way across some heathery boggy ground to a well maintained track and followed it more easily to the summit . Time taken from car to summit was 25 mins. Fantastic views to be had in all directions. Headed quickly back to car a total round trip of 4.39km and 47mins walking time ie according to my garmin 410 Ken! Linkback:
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Picture: A View from Bessy Bell
pquinn572 on Bessy Bell, 2008
by pquinn572  18 Aug 2008
I started on the Cashty Rd and parked at the 2 white houses. I walked up the stone path through thick forest for around 1km. I then came to a cross roads and I turned up the hill and began a steady climb through a few corners to the wind farm, this was about 1 km uphill all the way. I followed the road on up passing the wind farm and the workmens cabin on up the road to the top and over to the pillar near the telecommunications mast. On a clear day you can enjoy great views of the Sperrins and views over baronscourt and the Derg Valley, also if you are lucky, you might be able to see Errigal and Muckish away in the north. A great walk, on a clear day. Linkback:
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Picture: Sumit looking to higher Sperrins
Clear as a Bell
by gerrym  12 Nov 2011
There are plenty of access points on Bessy Bell which is criss-crossed with tracks to serve forestry and wind farms. Started at the track at 369816 C where there is loads of parking space.

Several signs warned of the danger of 'shooting in progress' but all was quiet at this stage! Follow the track northwards for around 5 minutes where it joins the uphill escalator straight to the summit. Already from here could see the communications mast at the summit and wind turbines turning lazily amongst the trees.

The track uphill is as straight as a die, with lifeless deciduous on one side and green pine on the other and a tumbling stream. Views are wide to the SW to the Bluestacks and as height is gained the high Derryveaghs come into sight. As the track enters an area of clearfell views open further to the N with the Urris Hills, Raghtin More and Slieve Snaght visible. The deep call of ravens echoed through the trees.

Coming out of the forest the wind turbines were fully visible. Two scramblers were making use of the tracks and a volley of shots came up from below - I kept looking back expected to see fireworks such was the noise (and it was the 4th of November!).

Ravens were soaring on the breeze around the summit and the communications mast was soon reached. The trig pillar is a short distance away. Views are extensive to the E to Mullaghcarn and up along the hills either side of the Glenelly valley, to the SW Cuilcaigh and the Sligo Hills and pretty much all the high hills from S to N Donegal - pretty damn good!

Return is pretty much the same way only quicker. Met a mountainbiker and some walkers with dogs but otherwise fairly quiet. In all took an hour and a quarter. NIce hill with easy access and brilliant views for not too much effort. Linkback:
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Open Street Map
(Various variations used.)
British summit data courtesy:
Database of British & Irish Hills
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