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Summer Splendour: Exploring nature, buildings and tours

This Summer, explore stunning countryside and breath-taking landscapes, and historic buildings.

The Archbishop’s Palace in Armagh is an additional city green space. There are walks, outdoor gym and a children’s playpark and plenty of squirrels! Also at the entrance to the demesne is the Friary which is the longest monastery in Ireland and founded in 1263, playing an important role in the city’s religious life.  During the summer months, visitors have the opportunity to take a tour of the Archbishop’s Palace, Armagh and learn more about the building, grounds and view the interior and paintings on display by local artist JB Vallely.

Palace Demesne

Oxford Island, a designated nature reserve nestled in at Lough Neagh offers vantage points to observe nature and to hear the gentle sounds of the lough lapping against the shore.  Loughgall Country Park is spacious, open and offers chances to explore while situated close to orchards.

©Philip Magowan

National Trust properties abound in the destination, with two situated in proximity.  The Argory, once home to the MacGeough Bond family celebrates its 200th anniversary this year with celebrations on 30th June and tours of the house are available during the summer.  The second hand book shop is a treat as are resources for children.

The Argory

Ardress House, home to the Ensor and then the Clarke family is a 17th century farmhouse but was remodelled in Georgian times. The farmyard has regained its farm ambiance with a collection of small animals which is fun for all the family. Stretch your legs and explore the orchards and the Lady’s mile which was planted with trees by the Ensors in the 1800s.  Tours are available at weekends.

Ardress House