County Armagh Holiday Guide
Known as the spiritual capital of Ireland, County Armagh is a picturesque, soulful place with something to offer visitors of all ages. Enjoy history and culture in the county’s beautiful towns, or venture into the stunning, unspoilt countryside, emblematic of Northern Ireland.
Nature in County Armagh
County Armagh is known as the “Orchard County” because of its many apple orchards, largely located in the south-east. The county becomes awash with colour during the spring and summer months, as pink and white apple blossom spreads across the flatlands.
County Armagh’s border with Louth is marked by the rugged Ring of Gullion rising to the south. An area of outstanding natural beauty, the Ring of Gullion was the first ring dyke to be mapped and contains the highest peak in the county.
Head to Camagh Forest in the south-west of the county to experience an enchanting, unspoilt woodland, complete with fishing lakes, an anglers’ inn and ample picnic spots. The Fews Forest is wonderful wild walking territory - climb to the heights of Dead Man’s Hill and Carrickatuke for amazing views across the valley and forest below.
Lough Neagh marks the county’s northern boundary. There are a number of uninhabited islands on the river, including Coney Island, which is situated just over half a mile off the shore from Maghery Country Park. The island is a National Trust Park that offers walking trails through stunning forest and around rugged shores, with beautiful views over the river.
History in Armagh
The county town of Armagh has been the spiritual capital of Northern Ireland for 1,500 years. It is the seat of both Catholic and Protestant Archbishops, making it the most venerated of Irish cities.
The Irish patron saint, St. Patrick, referred to Armagh as “my sweet hill” and built his stone church on the hill where the Anglican cathedral now stands.
Two miles west of Armagh city stands the great mound of Navan Fort, which was the stronghold of the kings of Ulster around 700 BC. The Navan Centre, close to the mound, offers a fantastic insight into Celtic culture, as well as the rituals and beliefs of pre-Christian Ireland.
Gosford Forest Park, located just outside of Markethill in the centre of County Armagh, comprises of 240 hectares of diverse woodland and open parkland. It was designated as the first conservation forest in Northern Ireland and is also home to Gosford Castle, a mock-Norman battlement, one of the few examples in the world.
Enjoy County Armagh
Explore the rugged hills and official Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty scattered around County Armagh. Whether you’re looking for history, adventure or an opportunity to relax in nature, this mystical place is sure to charm and enchant.