Mention Armagh, and most people will think of apples and archbishops. In the more fertile northern part of the county, orchards are traditionally important in the local economy, with the lore of apple growing and their use a part of County Armagh life. And the pleasant cathedral city of Armagh itself is of course the ecclesiastical capital of all Ireland, and many a mitre is seen about it.
But in fact Armagh city's significance long pre-dates Christian times. Emhain Macha - Navan Fort- to the west of the town, was a royal stronghold and centre of civilisation more than 4,000 years ago. Marking the county's northern coastline, the inland freshwater sea of Lough Neagh provides sand for the construction industry, eels for gourmets, and recreational boating of all sorts. In times past, it was part of the route which brought coal from the mines in Coalisland in Tyrone to Dublin, the main link from Lough Neagh to the seaport of Newry being the canal from Portadown which, when opened in 1742, was in the forefront of canal technology.
That County Armagh was a leader in canal technology is only one of its many surprises. The discerning traveller will find much of interest, among the undulating farmland and orchards, the pretty villages, or the handsome uplands rising to Carrigatuke above Newtownhamilton, and on towards the fine peak of Slieve Gullion in the south of the county, down to Forkhill and Crossmaglen and the Gaelic football heartlands.
Local Attractions and Information
Annaghmore (nr Portadown) Ardress (NT house) +44 (0)2838 851236
Armagh County Museum +44 (0)2837 523070
Armagh Planetarium +44 (0)2837 523689
Armagh Astronomical Observatory +44 (0)2837 522928
Armagh Palace Stables Heritage Centre +44 (0)2837 529629
Armagh St Patrick's Trian Visitor Centre +44 (0)2837 521801
Bessbrook Derrymore House +44 (0)2830 830353
Forkhill (Slieve Gullion)Ti chulainn Cultural Centre +44 (0)2830 888828
Loughgall Loughgall Country Park +44 (0)2838 892900
Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, Oxford Island +44 (0)2838 322205
Markethill Gosford Forest Park +44 (0)2837 551277
Moy The Argory (NT Mansion) +44 (0)2887 784753
Newry Derrymore House +44 (0)2830 830353
Portadown Moneypenny's Lock (Newry Canal) +44 (0)2837 521800
Scarva Newry Canal Visitor Centre +44 (0)2838 832163
Slieve Gullion Forest Park +44 (0)2830 848226