Our signature season is definitely Spring – The Home of St Patrick Festival immersing visitors in the vibrant cultural fabric of Armagh City and bringing our rich heritage alive, inspiring Easter celebrations in our iconic Cathedrals, the traditional fun of bunnies and eggs and then the landscape changing as the incredible apple blossom blankets our famous orchards in May. Spring breathes new life with a calendar of exciting events and experiences.
CELEBRATE ST PATRICK’S LIFE, MISSION AND LEGACY IN HIS ADOPTED HOMELAND
The Home of St Patrick Festival [8-19 March] brings the streets of Armagh City alive with thousands of visitors and an unrivalled mix of talented home-grown and international performers, celebrating St Patrick in the place he chose to live and work. The festival, supported by Tourism NI, features an eclectic range of events including stand-up comedy, music, performance, art, literary readings, talks, tours, re-enactments and pageantry.
UNLOCK YOUR PAST AND DISCOVER THE PLACE AND CULTURE THAT HAS SHAPED YOUR OWN FAMILY HISTORY
JOURNEY IN A VISUAL TIME CAPSULE WITH AN ACCLAIMED PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION EXPLORING THEMES OF NATIONHOOD, IDENTITY AND TIME
In conjunction with the National Museum of Ireland, ‘Kim Haughton: Portrait of a Century’ will exhibit at The Market Place Theatre as part of The Home of St Patrick Festival [12 March – 5 May]. Other Spring exhibitions include Mark Shields: The Inaccessible Land at FE Mc William Gallery [3 March –19 May].
SHRUG OFF THE WINTER BLUES AND PREPARE FOR SOME EGGTASTIC EASTER FUN
Follow bunny’s clues, running through muddy woodlands and along nature trails at The Argory and Ardress House on the annual Easter egg hunts. Enjoy craft and an Easter trail based around the traditional story and song of the Three Little Pigs at Navan Fort or have an egg-citing time at Armagh Planetarium or at Easter themed workshops at The Market Place Theatre and FE McWilliam Gallery
DISCOVER HOW THE ARMAGH CIDER MAGIC HAPPENS WITH AN INTIMATE TOUR AND TASTING EXPERIENCE.
With orchards alive with blossom and pollinating insects, take a tour of Armagh Cider Company, sampling the new cider for a new year and meeting the people behind the award-winning brews.
EXPLORE OUR COUNTRYSIDE WHEN THE TREES ARE AT THEIR GREENEST, BIRD SONG IS AT ITS NOISIEST, WILDLIFE IS AT ITS LIVELIEST AND THE DAFFODILS ARE IN FULL BLAZE
Spring sees nature kick into gear with a stunning feast for the senses. From the first cuckoo of Spring at Oxford Island Nature Reserve to the energy of frolicking lambs in Tannaghmore Gardens. Delight in May’s bluebell carpet in Lurgan Park and the vibrant colour of wildflowers shooting up in Gosford Forest Park. Relish the scent of Spring’s wild garlic and a new fishing season to raise the pulse!
VENTURE INTO OUR APPLE ORCHARDS TO ADMIRE THE BLOSSOMING TREES, ONE OF NATURE’S SHOW-STOPPERS
Nestled among the apple orchards of County Armagh, Ardress House will be celebrating the arrival of the blossom on 5-7 May with orchard tours, local artisan cider and apple tastings, plus a special apple trail for the little ones.
LEARN FROM LOCAL ARTISAN CRAFTERS AND DESIGNERS WHILST ENJOYING SOME SPRINGTIME RETAIL THERAPY AT ARMAGH CRAFT FAIR
Showcasing the finest in handmade artistry, Armagh Craft Fair [Sat 26 May] will feature exclusive jewellery, ceramics, glass wear, wooden bowls and felt, all exquisitely handcrafted by some of the finest crafters and designers nationwide. Free entry to the event at The Market Place Theatre which will also feature live music, demonstrations, craft-making opportunities and craft food stalls.
INDULGE IN A FOOD FEAST AS NATURE’S SPRING LARDER IS GIVEN THE GOURMET TREATMENT IN OUR AWARD-WINNING RESAURANTS
Our Food Heartland Chefs tirelessly champion the finest of seasonal local produce so prepare for tender lamb, salty buttery new potatoes and tangy rhubarb in our award-winning restaurants. Discover Armagh’s distinctive food offering on one of the new Armagh City Food Walking Tours. Watch for details of tours exploring Armagh’s rich agricultural history, an abundance of food produce waiting to be sampled and enjoyed.
SPEND A WEEKEND UNWINDING IN THE QUIET INTIMACY OF A COUNTRY HOTEL OR BOOK A GLAMPING WEEKEND IN A LUXURY TEPEE – YOU, YOUR PARTNER, A WOOD-BURNING STOVE AND A STAR-STUDDED SKY
Spend romantic days enjoying quiet time together, whiling the hours away over afternoon tea and strolling through gardens, blossoming with flowers and plant life. Plan a theatre trip to The Market Place Theatre during your stay or follow the session trails as part of The Home of St Patrick Festival. Hire bikes and explore the Giro 2014 cycling route, taking in the orchard county in all its Spring glory!