The Orchard of Ireland
Cathedrals’, Museums and Forest Parks, often referred to as the Orchard county Armagh may be one of the smallest counties in Ireland but it has no shortage of history, culture and scenic landscapes to make a visit to Armagh worthwhile. Few cities could be more beautiful than Armagh during the apple blossom season each May as ‘The Orchard County’ or ‘The Orchard of Ireland’ comes alive. Local market stalls in the city’s Market Square offer fresh local produce from fruit to vegetables to give you a true taste of Armagh, whilst stylish boutiques line the street of the Mall where a warm welcome awaits.
The Armagh skyline is dominated by spires of its two Saint Patrick Cathedrals with his legacy clear across the city a visit to Armagh can provide an authentic experience and a glimpse into the life of St Patrick. Alternatively Armagh Gaol is one of Northern Ireland’s most important landmark buildings, steeped in history, for most of its working life Armagh Gaol was the primary women’s prison in Northern Ireland until its closure in 1986. The Gaol is opened on a temporary basis giving the public and visitor to the area an opportunity to see the gaol in its original state offering insight in to prison life within Northern Ireland.
Located nearby is Armagh County Museum, the oldest county museum in Ireland with its rich historic collections capturing centuries of stories relating to the people who lived, worked from a bygone Armagh and wider age. For art enthusiasts’ the museums art collection includes works by many well-known Irish artists.
If it is myth and legend you seek a visit to Navan Centre and Fort is a must, families and individuals can learn and walk through tales of mythical Irish characters such as the great Irish warrior Cu Chulainn decide for yourself what is myth and reality.
In contrast a trip to the nearby Armagh Planetarium will help improve your understanding of astronomy and related sciences. A visit to the Planetarium is not complete without a walk around the Astropak, often described as a stroll through the universe; here you can discover the relative distance and size of the planets within our solar system. Guided tours are available with prior arrangement; however there are interpretation panels and leaflets to aid further understanding.
Nearby Gosford forest park has all the facilities an experienced camper needs, a great site for walks and just relaxing, whilst the kids are free to play in the park. The forest park also contains a large collection of traditional breeds of poultry, rare breeds of farm animals and red deer all helping to make a trip to Gosford memorable.
Better still one of the world’s most loved crisp brands Tayto originates from Armagh, experience the magic of Tayto castle set deep in the Armagh countryside in the town land of Tandragee. Take a tour and see firsthand how these famous crisps are made, sampling the various now famous flavours’ and if you’re lucky meet the brand mascot Mr Tayto!
Inside The Market Place Theatre situated in the heart of Armagh a seasonal programme offers the best in arts and entertainment at affordable prices expect top quality drama, comedy and of course pantomime.
There is a limited number of hotels in Armagh to choose from, a lot of people research other hotels in Ireland and base themselves in another county and explore Armagh in one day.