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Things To Do In Armagh

When looking for things to do in Armagh, you’ll be surprised how much this beautiful part of Ireland has to offer its visitors. This county has its own distinctive charm and is well worth visiting.

With its county town of Armagh City only approximately 80 miles ( 128 km ) from Dublin and 40 miles ( 64km ) from Belfast , it is an easily accessible place to visit in Ireland.

Armagh is set among a rolling countryside steeped in history and a decent amount of cider!

places to visit in armagh orchards
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Bramley Apples grown in Armagh have protected status in the E.U.. They are more tart than those grown elsewhere. Over 40,000 tonnes grown annually. Hence, the nickname for Armagh, The Orchard County. If you happen to visit Armagh in May you are in for a treat as Armagh will not disappoint, with approximately 6,000 apple trees in blossom.


In the city of Armagh the two cathedrals dedicated to St. Patrick look directly at each other across the valley.

The two Cathedrals, one Roman Catholic and the other, Church of Ireland, are impressive to look at from the outside but take in the view of the inside and climb to the top to see for miles across Armagh.

Armagh County Library hosts some wonderful artifacts from the past and some rare books including a first edition of Jonathan Swift’s Gullivers Travels complete with handwritten author’s notes.

Beyond the city, you will come across some spectacular scenery from mountains to bogland. Take the time to travel through the small local towns to capture the real sense of Armagh.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Roman Catholic

rc st patricks cathedral armagh ireland
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The Seat of the Catholic Primate of Ireland, an impressive building with beautiful stonework and mosaics. Easily accessible and ample parking. It is a winner of Trip Advisor Excellence Award. With beautiful stonework and mosaics it dominates the local skyline. The interior is even more impressive and with free admission or a very cheap guided tour this cathedral is an excellent starting point on your list of things to do in Armagh.

On entering the Cathedral you will see the awe inspiring interior. Guided tours of the Cathedral outside mass times can be arranged but must be booked two weeks in advance.

Cancellations of any tours must be done within 48 hours of the tour taking place. Admission to the Cathedral is free and guided tours are available. If booking the tour you must advise if you would like to take the steeple tour.

During the tour you will have the opportunity to visit the steeple and hear the Cathedral bells ring out. On your way down remember to stop at the choir balcony to get the best view of the cathedral.


st patricks cathedral coi armagh ireland
St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh is the seat of the Archbishop of Armagh in the Church of Ireland, and was the seat of the Roman Catholic Archbishops until the Reformation.

The cathedral is situated in the centre of Armagh. This stunning cathedral can be visited year round, though times may vary and it is worth checking this before you go.

You can take your own time wandering around the Cathedral outside of worship times. An entry fee exists, this goes to the upkeep of the Cathedral which does not get any public funds.

While you can wander around the Cathedral and enjoy the inspiring windows and features if you have time it is recommended to take a guided tour a morning or afternoon on the hill. This is a tour that must be booked in advance with the chief steward of the Cathedral.

If you get to take the morning on the hill you will be given firstly the guided tour of the Cathedral, with all information on its history and its monuments and features and this part of the tour ends in the Crypt.

From the Cathedral you will go to No. 5. Vicars Hill where you will be met by your guide to show you around the building with its octagonal rooms. these rooms used to store public and church records.

Although there are no official records there anymore, you will get to see examples of what was stored here. You will also get to see some ancient artefacts, coins, gems and prints.

Built upon the site of a monastic community and small church, it contains medieval and Celtic carvings. It also contains 18th and 19th century sculpture.


robinson library armagh ireland
One of the oldest libraries in Ireland, Armagh Public Library was established in 1771 by Archbishop Robinson. The library contains seventeenth and eighteenth century books as well as collection of books belonging to the Archbishop.

The library is a registered museum and holds archival material related to Christianity both in Ireland and in Europe. It also has a collection of ancient Irish artefacts such as flint arrowheads and stone axes.


where to go in ireland navan centre fort armagh
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Navan Fort is currently viewed as being on a par with Tara, Rathcroghan etc. as an ancient provincial Iron Age centre. Research conducted from the 1950’s onwards associates it with the Iron Age and Celtic history.

However, recent research suggests that it is early Iron Age and actually continued as a medieval centre of activity through the first one thousand years A.D. This place looks like it could become one of the great ‘where to go in Ireland’ places.

Navan Fort could yet be far more important and detailed than has generally been believed. Once again illustrating the richness of the history of Ireland.

New research is suggesting significant changes in how we should few this tremendously important part of our heritage.

A visit to the site is an interactive experience and well worth your time. You will get to sit by the fire and witness the iron age, get your hands dirty in the garden or herb beds. Prepare for battle and delve into the ancient art of storytelling.

Take your time but wander to the top of the mound where the view you will see is definitely worth your effort. If you are lucky enough to visit when an evening festival is scheduled, don’t hesitate to go to both the day tour and return for the evening celebrations.

The guides are very informative and helpful. The restaurant on site offers good, reasonably priced food. There is also a gift shop onsite with local and Irish gifts.


St. Patrick’s Way (The Pilgrims Walk)
This 82 mile, signed, walking trail starts at the Navan Centre, it takes you through some spectacular scenery and ends in the grounds of Down Cathedral in Downpatrick.

Pick up your special passport at the beginning and get it stamped at the ten designated locations to collect your certificate of achievement. Not for the fainthearted.


Slieve Gullion Forest Park, Adventure Playpark and the Giant’s Lair, 89 Drumintea Road, Killeany, Newry, County Armagh. BT35 8SW

The broad slopes of Slieve Gullion dominate the landscape of South Armagh. The mountain lies at the centre of a ring of hills.

The Forest park boasts a number of walking trails including the Fairy walk, which is well laid out and easy to follow. Walks start at the car park and are well signposted, along the way you will come across the Giant’s House.

You can also drive the forest drive and then walk up to Slieve Gullion for some spectacular scenery. This is a very well maintained mountain path, and it will take you approximately 40 minutes to get to the top, but worth the trek.

Make sure to wear good footwear. The adventure playground is suitable for toddlers as well as older children. Don’t feel left out as there are also exercise machines for the adults.

There are plenty of picnic tables to sit and have lunch while you watch the children play. The cafe on site serves a variety of food, most of it is very reasonable to purchase.

The cafe and toilet area are very well maintained and best of all car parking is free. Bring your picnic and you have a free day out.


The public park in Lurgan is Ireland’s second largest park, the Phoenix Park in Dublin is the largest. Lurgan Park is a hive of activity every weekend. Many weekends there is some festival on, worth looking up before you go.

You can take a nice leisurely stroll around the park, but you can also hire a boat and take a trip on the lake.

Armagh Gaol Tour
Dating back to the 1780’s, Armagh Gaol takes you through the history of the gaol including some history on the prisoners and executions that took place on the ground.

Please check to make sure tours are running before you go as they do not take place every day.


where to go in ireland Armagh planetarium
Armagh Planetarium is a planetarium located in Armagh, Northern Ireland close to the city centre and neighbouring Armagh Observatory in approximately fourteen acres of landscaped grounds known as the Armagh Astropark.

Armagh Planetarium first opened in 1968 and provides a fully immersive experience under its 12 metre diameter dome.

The dome can seat up to 95 people per show. These shows are presenter led shows on a series of themes. Lots of interactive displays and much to see and learn here, a great day out for kids especially.

It is set on 14 acres of land, known as The Astropark, so plenty of space for the children to burn off the energy and the adults to have a snack.

Armagh Astronomy centre is next door and is worth a wander around. Unless the adults are interested in space travel, the galaxies etc. it can be a bit boring, but children definitely enjoy it.

If you’re mainly interested in the shows, be sure to find out the exact times as often they are fully booked and the waiting can be tiresome.


things to do in ireland armagh food cider festival
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If you happen to be in Armagh during early May put the Armagh Food and Cider Festival on your list of things to do in Armagh.

The date changes yearly so keep so check it out prior to your visit. This event takes place all over Armagh, there are orchard visits, dinner in a tentipi, food demonstrations, with of course the humble apple being the centre of the course.

Learn the history on the growing of the apples, and of course finding out how and where cider is made. It is a fun filled, packed, weekend and worth a visit, if nothing else but to see the apple trees in blossom.

As with Navan Fort, this also could increasingly be on many peoples list of where to go in Ireland.

Check out our 32 county guide to places to visit in Ireland.