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Walk of the Week: The Argory

By Linda Stewart

The beautiful 320-acre estate of The Argory — overlooking a winding stretch of the River Blackwater — offers garden, woodland and tranquil riverside walks.

The Lime Tree Walk with its pleached limes arching over the path, and the other walking trails around the estate meander among rich meadowland, woods and orchards.

Along the first stretch of the walk, a historic sump and mound system can be seen which provides a suitable wetland environment for growing oaks. The National Trust estate is well known for its gardens and variety of trees including several varieties of oak.

The Lime Tree Walk is gravel surfaced and is accessible by wheelchairs apart from the wettest weather when they may become muddy. This trail is best accessed from the main car park at The Argory and is fairly level with a very slight gradient.

Lime Tree Walk takes you along an avenue of pollarded lime trees under-planted by snowdrops and spring flowers. This walk passes The Argory Oak Plantation, returning to the house by the main drive.

DIRECTIONS

The Argory lies four miles from Charlemont, and drivers can reach it by leaving the M1 at exit 13 or 14 (signposted) and travelling three miles. You can take Ulsterbus 67 Portadown to Dungannon, to alight at Charlemont, reaching The Argory after a 2.5 mile walk. Cyclists can reach the estate on NCN95 or by boat, alighting from the Blackwater River at the canoe access point at The Argory or Bond’s Bridge.

From the car park near reception and the Argory courtyard, follow the path towards the stone pavilion building with the narrow windows. Join the path at the Pavilion with the river on your right and the ‘ha ha’ wall on your left.

Stay on this path and within five minutes you will be under the canopy of lime trees. In spring you will also be surrounded by a carpet of snowdrops. At the end of the lime trees you can go past Meadow Cottage on the right and walk back along the River Blackwater or turn left towards the entrance drive and Lady Bond's Walk.

As well as the Lime Tree Walk visitors can enjoy the longer circular walk or take a stroll along Lady Bond’s Walk or the Blackwater River Walk.

THE BACKDROP

The Argory can be described as an ‘atmosphere time capsule’. The mansion was built in the 1820s — a handsome Neoclassical Irish gentry house and former home of the McGeough Bond family.

Visitors can take a tour of the house which has remained unchanged since 1900 — the eclectic interior still evoking Edwardian tastes and interests.

As you travel away from the mansion house, the surrounding grounds gradually merge with the stunning woodland environment leading down to the River Blackwater.

The River Blackwater lazily meanders through the beautiful countryside of counties Armagh and Tyrone, flowing gently into Lough Neagh.

The river has been travelled for thousands of years as a highway by early Celtic settlers, Viking raiders and English invaders.

Nowadays the River Blackwater is a popular route for canoeists and walkers alike.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Please contact the National Trust at www.nationaltrust.org.uk or tel: 028 9751 0721.

For further information on walking or any other outdoor activity, please contact Countryside Access and Activities Network at, tel: 028 9030 3930 or visit walkni.com.

The National Trust and Countryside Access and Activities Network (CAAN) in association with Belfast Telegraph have provided this information.

Every care has been taken to ensure accuracy of the information. CAAN and Belfast Telegraph, however, cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions but where such are brought to our attention, the information for future publications will be amended accordingly.

Walk Name: Lime Tree Walk, The Argory

Area: Co Armagh

Nearest big town to start point: Village of Moy or town of Dungannon

Distance: 2 miles circular

Time: This walk should take approximately one hour to complete.

Terrain: Gravel paths and woodland tracks, and along the riverbank.

Access Restrictions: Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times.

Refreshments: There is Lady Ada’s tearoom, as well as a gift shop and book shop. Toilets including baby-changing facilities, picnic area and playground are also available.

Publications: The National Trust property leaflet, available at reception.

Walk Developed By: The National Trust.

Map: Sheet 19 of Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland Discovery Series, available from LPSNI Map Shop (lpsni.gov.uk)

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