Portadown City Guide

Portadown sits on the banks of the Rive Bann, just 23 miles southwest of Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland. It has been a major town since the Victorian era, when the railway arrived and it earned the nickname ‘the hub of the north’ thanks to its links with the rest of the island. For modern visitors it offers the chance to soak up a traditionally warm Irish welcome, sample some local shopping and explore the surrounding countryside.

Shopping in Portadown

The shopping on offer in Portadown runs the gamut from traditional high street outlets to modern shopping facilities. The three malls in Portadown - the High Street Mall, the Meadows and Magowan West - and the fact that the town as a whole boasts no less than 320 traders means that visitors are bound to find gifts or souvenirs to take back home.

Getting Away From it All

For a break from the hustle and bustle of shopping head for Edenvilla Park, an oasis of green in the centre of Portadown where kids can explore, let off some steam and play on the swings, slides and roundabouts.  Accompanying grownups, meanwhile, are more likely to enjoy the tranquillity of the Secret Garden which is tucked away behind the playground and never seems to get crowded, even on the warmest summer days.

Nature in Portadown

If you wish to travel a little further and experience nature at its most impressive, then visit the largest lake in Britain and Ireland, Lough Neagh, which is just 13 miles away. The sheer size of the lake – it contains 800 billion gallons of water – is striking enough in its own right, but it also offers tranquillity, natural diversity in the shape of animals, plants and birds, and the chance to enjoy a range of activities. From cycling along the trail around the lake to angling or taking a boat out to one of the secluded islands, visitors are never short of things to see and do.

History in Portadown

One of the most historically noteworthy sites in Portadown is Moneypenny’s Lock, which sits by a once busy canal which was allowed to become derelict and overgrown until recently being restored.  Strolling along the picturesque canal path, past the anglers and cyclists, will bring you to the restored 18th century lockkeepers’ cottage and stables, offering a fascinating glimpse of the way life in Portadown used to be lived.

Another indication of the rich and colourful history of the town is the fact that many of the streets are known, to the locals, by inventive nicknames rather than their official titles. So it is that Obin Street is referred to as The Tunnel, whilst Armagh Road has been given the somewhat concerning moniker ‘Rheumatism Row’.

Eating Out

Fans of gastronomy are well catered for by the range of restaurants available in Portadown centre, with the cuisine on offer ranging from Indian and Cantonese to seasonal British dishes and top of the range European cuisine.

Flights from around the UK and Europe land at Belfast International Airport, which is just 17 miles from Portadown, and accommodation in the city encompasses luxury hotels and less expensive but welcoming bed and breakfasts. Wherever you stay, your abiding memory is likely to be the warmth of the welcome.

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