I am delighted you have two weeks to holiday with us on our beautiful Island and I have no doubt you will enjoy every minute of it. Can I suggestthat you include Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon in your visit as there are so many wonderful and special things to experience? We have too many to mention but below are just a few to start you off on your visit. Spend a day shopping and enjoy eating in our award winning restaurants, attend events that might be taking place during your visit or take in a performance in The Market Place Theatre.
In Armagh, a visit to The Navan Centre & Fort is a must. The Navan Centre & Fort is located just 2 miles outside the ancient Cathedral City of Armagh and provides interpretation of one of Ireland’s most important archaeological sites, the legendary ‘Emain Macha’,otherwise called Navan Fort. This was the royal seat of the Kings of Ulster and the Province’s ancient capital. Adults and children can enjoy a great day out at this wonderful attraction. Armagh is known as the Orchard County and towards the north of the county there are lots of apple orchards covered with rows of Bramley apples. In early May the orchards are in full bloom with white and pink blossom that last for only a short while. A pre booked visit is highly recommended.
As you approach Armagh, you’ll notice its most distinctive landmarks right away. From opposite hills, two striking cathedrals face each other across a valley, both honouring St Patrick.Saint Patrick’s Church Of Ireland Cathedral and Saint Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cathedral. Enjoy a visit to Armagh County Museum. Officially opened on 28th April 1937 it was the first dedicated county museum in Ireland. Spend a while at Armagh Planetarium and Observatory. In the Planetarium’s amazing Digital Theatre you can relax and enjoy a 3-D Star Dome show that’s not to be missed.The Observatory is located together with Armagh Planetarium inapproximately 14 acres of attractive landscaped gardens known as the Armagh Astropark.
In Banbridge Ferguson’s Irish Linen is really worth a visit. It was established in 1854, and they are widely recognised as being the finest of Irish Weavers. The combination of fine raw materials, skilled weavers, advanced loom technology and careful finishing have brought Ferguson’s a reputation of which they are proud. They are world renowned for their fabulous product, and have established a growing reputation as an innovative designer and manufacturer of stylish new collections.
The F E McWilliam Gallery and Studio in Banbridge is dedicated to the memory of sculptor Frederick Edward McWilliam, one of Ireland’s most influential and successful artists. Featuring a permanent display of McWilliam’s work, temporary exhibitions of Irish and international art, a craftshop, café and Banbridge Tourist Information Centre.
In the Craigavon area why not visit Brownlow House, Lurgan’s grandest secular building erected by Charles Brownlow. A special feature there is the World War II exhibition.
Also in the Craigavon area is Ballydougan Pottery. Watch the master craftsmen at work in the Pottery workshops where you too can take a turn on the potter’s wheel and be creative. Meander around the Gift Shop or sit in the courtyard garden and enjoy a freshly made cappuccino from their Restaurant & Coffee Shop.
A visit to Kinnego Marina, the largest marina on Lough Neagh.Situated by the Oxford Island National Nature Reserve it also has a fully serviced caravan park and is home to Lough Neagh Sailing Club, one of the oldest sailing clubs in Northern Ireland, established in 1877.
Explore the sublime beauty of Oxford Island – a designated National Nature Reserve situated on the peninsula in the southern shores of Lough Neagh. With four miles of absorbing woodland trails to bird watching hides, unique boglands, rich wild flower strewn meadows and wildlife ponds,become immersed in the panoramic views of this stunning setting. Learn fascinating facts about the protection and enhancement of the natural environment, including local history and heritage. With an educational Discovery Centre featuring a delightful restaurant and artisan craft shop, this tranquil paradise is truly inspirational.
A wonderful drive is the Saint Patrick’s Trail. It takes you through a host of Christian sites at Bangor, the Ards Peninsula, Downpatrick, Newry and Armagh to uncover just how strong Northern Ireland’s links are with this patron saint. The 92-mile linear driving route links 15 key sites, all identified as having some connection to his life, legacy or landscape – they are all just waiting to be explored https://visitarmagh.com/trails/drive-st-patricks-trail/
If you enjoy walking, the Saint Patrick’s Way- The Pilgrim walk is a 132km (82mile) trail connecting Armagh and Downpatrick. These two locations on the island of Ireland are most closely related to Saint Patrick. Saint Patrick’s Way is suitable for leisure walking and pilgrimages. The Walk begins at the Navan Centre outside the ancient city of Armagh winding through beautiful landscapes and historic cities, to end at Saint Patrick’s final resting place at Down Cathedral in Downpatrick. https://visitarmagh.com/trails/saint-patricks-way-the-pilgrim-walk/
Vehicle rental is easy and varied. Car companies are generally based in airports and cities.
All above information and much more including accommodation can be viewed on https://visitarmagh.com/
Other useful links that will help you plan your visit are www.discovernorthernireland.com/ and https://www.discoverireland.ie/
If you decide to include Armagh in your visit please do call into our Visitor Information Centre and the staff here will be delighted to be of assistance.
I hope you have a really enjoyable holiday and do let us know if we can be of further assistance.