County Armagh Bed and Breakfast Accommodation
Say Armagh and three things spring to mind – St.Patrick, cathedrals and orchards – but that would do an injustice to a county full of history and heritage.
It will, of course, always be associated with the country’s patron saint since it was from Armagh that he began his Christian mission and for 1,500 years it has been Ireland’s spiritual capital, as the seat of both the Protestant and Catholic Archbishops. It is also farming country and is particularly well known for the number of apple growers. Water also features strongly as Armagh has Lough Neagh to the north and Carlingford Lough to the south. Other towns include Craigavon, Portadown and Keady.
History and Heritage
The city of Armagh actually pre-dates Canterbury as a Christian religious site and it was also the legendary seat of the Celtic kings of Ulster. It has long been associated with fine georgian architecture and it is growing in popularity as a place to visit, offering as it does so many diverse attractions. In the 1960’s the towns of Portadown and Lurgan were connected by the development of a new town, Craigavon.
Sites to see
Ti Chulainn Cultural Centre, Palace Stables Heritage Centre, Navan Fort, Slieve Gullion, St. Patrick’s Trian Visitor Centre, Armagh Planetarium, Jonesborough Open Market & Lough Neagh Discovery Centre.
Sports and Leisure
Road Bowls – this unusual form of bowls is peculiar to Armagh in Northern Ireland and sees pairs of players hurl a solid iron ball along 4km of country roads, the winner being the one who finishes with the least number of throws.
GAA – this is the heartland of Gaelic games in Ulster and it boasts some of Ireland’s best clubs.
Sailing & Boating – at Craigavon Watersports Centre and Portadown Boat Club.
Walking Tours – around towns, country parks and heritage sites. Armagh guided walking tour departing from Armagh Tourist Information Centre.
Golf – plenty of good courses from which to choose.
Eat, Drink and Stay
Traditional music is a feature of Armagh life and it is to be found in many of the county’s pubs where pub food is widely available. These would include The Cartwheel, Keenan’s and Murtagh’s in Crossmaglen, The Famous Grouse in Loughgall, and Hole in the Wall, Northern Bar and The Shambles in Armagh City.
Good food can be found in such establishments as the City’s Manor Park Restaurant, The Brindle Beam Tea Rooms in Lurgan, Café Paul Rankin in Portadown and Annahaia Restaurant at Slieve Gullion.
For those seeking overnight accommodation, Armagh has plenty of quality B&Bs from which to choose.
March: St.Patrick’s Day Parade on 17th (one of Ireland’s biggest)
May: Apple Blossom Festival
June: County Fleadh – traditional music and dancing
October: Slieve Gullion Festival of Traditional Singing
November: Bard of Armagh – poetry competition William Kennedy Piping Festival
Things you have to see or do
Ti Chulainn Cultural Centre – promoting Irish language, local folklore and traditional music
Palace Stables Heritage Centre – including tableaux showing how guests were entertained in the 18th century
Navan Fort – the former seat of the kings of Ulster
Slieve Gullion – geological structure called a ring-dyke
Armagh Planetarium – Ireland leading centre for astronomical education
St. Patrick’s Trian Visitor Centre – new Interpretative Centre which illustrates “The Armagh Story” - the development of Armagh from prehistoric times to the present
Jonesborough Open Market – famous for its weekly Sunday open-air market
Lough Neagh Discovery Centre – just off the M1 motorway at Oxford Island
Armagh Planetarium www.armaghplanet.com
Northern Ireland Tourist Board www.discovernorthernireland.com
Armagh and Down www.armaghanddown.com
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