10 ways to spend an adventurous staycation in Armagh
Now that you’ve relished the week’s relaxing, romantic indulgences, why not get outside and enjoy an active break to Armagh.
1. Cradled in beautiful gardens and green fields, Newforge House will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the great outdoors in Craigavon. Check in at the 5 Star Georgian Country House which offers warm hospitality, superb food in tranquil surroundings and uninterrupted views of the countryside.
You will feel right at home at this oasis of calm, waking up to their legendary Ulster fry which was recently awarded the ‘Best Breakfast in Ireland’ by Irish Breakfast Awards. A nearby orchard provides the fruit for homemade preserves and chutneys, while resident chickens lay fresh eggs daily – contributing to the perfect first meal of the day, ahead of a busy schedule.
2. Just a 15 minute drive away you can pick up the pace at Tannaghmore Gardens, equipped with a Segway to tour the beautiful farm grounds for those more adventurous of us.
3. In keeping with the Georgian theme, experience the old Irish gate, tree and sculpture trails, or visit Rare Breeds Farm, home to Irish Moiled and Dexter cattle, Galway and Jacob Sheep, Saddleback, Tamworth and Gloucester Old Spot pigs.
4. If you aren’t ready for the romance to be over yet, look out for Tannaghmore’s Kissing Gate. Legend has it that couples who kiss over the gate will get married within a year!
5. Keep the momentum going with a cycle or walk around Oxford Island where you will find four miles of footpaths, five birdwatching hides, woodland, ponds, wildflower meadows and picnic areas. This National Nature Reserve is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and visitors can explore the history and culture around Lough Neagh at its exhibition centre.
6. In need of a break during all that exploring? Be sure to call at Loughside Café which, bounded on three sides by water, has stunning panoramic views of the Lough.
7. After a jam-packed day of activities, you will have certainly worked up an appetite. Venture across town to The Curious Fox at Edenmore Golf Club, where you can dine in the beautifully designed clubhouse with views over the 18-hole golf course or relax on the adjoining terrace, next to wood burning stoves.
The dedicated team, led by Head Chef Brian Donaldson, will help you top off your day’s adventures with warm, friendly service and an excellent seasonal meal, made from fresh, locally sourced produce.
8. Pay a visit to Lurgan Park,which is enjoyed by as many as 2,000 people every day and is Northern Ireland’s largest urban park.
The beautifully landscaped parkland contains many well-kept paths, ideal for walking, running or cycling. Be greeted by the Friends of the Park group who meet on the last Wednesday of every month in the Gate Lodge, welcoming all new members.
9. Situated next to the Oxford National Nature Reserve, Kinnego Marina is the largest marina on Lough Neagh. Here you will find a range of amenities including a caravan and camping park, vessel access and water sports.
Trips aboard the Master McGra or The Coney Explorer run every Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday from April – October, every 30 minutes from 1.30pm – 5pm.
10. With barbecue sites, marked nature trails and vast arboretum, Gosford Forest Park is a sanctuary for lovers of the outdoors.
This 240 hectares of mixed woodland, millponds and open parkland has its own caravanning site with full facilities, and can be found on the outskirts of Markethill.
To plan your active adventure break to Armagh visit www.discovernorthernireland.com.
Belfast Telegraph Digital