The city of Armagh sits in the heart of County Armagh, surrounded by stunning rural scenery which includes, among other things, over 4,000 acres of apple orchards. Although only small, and boasting a population of just 14,749 people, Armagh has played a hugely important role in the history of Ireland as a whole.
The historical artefacts on view in Armagh run the gamut from prehistoric stone tombs to ancient Celtic hill forts and not one but two cathedrals built in honour of St. Patrick. The city has been dubbed the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland, and anyone who knows the pivotal role which the church has played in the history of this country will know how important that title really is.
Although the fascinating history of Armagh, reflected in the Georgian architecture and heritage trails to be found in the city centre, is a factor which draws many of the visitors making their way there, modern-day Armagh also has much to offer in the way of up-to-the-minute amenities.
The area around Market Street in the centre of Armagh is packed with exciting places to eat, some of them offering simple but delicious traditional Irish food, while others, such as Uluru, push the envelope a little further. This is the only Australian restaurant in Northern Ireland, was chosen as Armagh’s Restaurant of the Year every year between 2008 and 2014 and has been mentioned in the Michelin Guide and the Good Food Guide.
Accommodation in Armagh
Finding accommodation which allows you to take advantage of everything Armagh has to offer should be easy, such is the range of establishments on offer. A simple bed and breakfast or traditional guesthouse in the centre of the city will put you within walking distance of most of the major attractions, while a country lodge or spa hotel on the outskirts will bring you closer to nature, and to an attraction such as Loughall Country Park.
Loughall Country Park
Loughall Country Park is situated on the main street of Loughall, just over five miles outside the centre of Armagh. It is the ideal spot to visit for anyone looking for a taste of the tranquillity of the Irish countryside, for golfers seeking a sporting challenge amid fantastic scenery and for families with kids who want to let off a little bit of steam. Of course, it goes without saying that this is the ideal place to visit if your party happens to contain a mixture of all of the above.
Facilities at the Park
Aside from the 18 hole golf course and 37 acre lake with 100 fishing stands, the park offers a host of facilities to keep guests of all ages happy. Cyclists can enjoy three beautiful cycle routes of varying lengths, young children can explore the award-winning play area, older kids can learn through fun on the interactive eco trails and those wishing to keep fit can make use of a fully equipped outdoor gym.
When to Visit
Opening and closing times at the park vary throughout the year, so it’s probably best to check before heading off. It’s open most days until at least 4pm, however, and with facilities which include a shop, lockers, picnic area and changing room, it’s the ideal place for the whole family to enjoy an action (or relaxation) packed day out.