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8 highlights of Armagh’s Georgian Festival happening this weekend

If you’ve ever wanted to star in a period drama like Downton Abbey or see what Jane Austen’s Georgian society novels are really all about, then your dreams could come true this weekend.

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council will once again host its Georgian Festival to celebrate the region’s rich history.

Visitors will enjoy a variety of interesting and exciting Georgian-themed events and activities from November 22 – 25. Here's our top picks.

1. Great Georgian Banquet

  • November 23 - Archbishop’s Palace

Armagh was recently crowned one of the top five foodie destinations in the whole of Ireland so of course the festival will celebrate the region’s culinary credentials with a decadent banquet that defies all expectations. Guests will be transported to a Venetian Ball and enjoy a sumptuous, five-course meal reminiscent of an authentic 18th century menu from chef Simon Dougan and The Yellow Door. Court music will add to the atmosphere and entertainment can be expected throughout the night. Black tie optional but as we like to say when you’re out, you’re out.

2. Ghost Walking Tours

  • November 23 - No. 5 Vicars Hill

Wrap up warm for this spine-chilling ghoulish night. Not for the faint-hearted, the tour will lead attendees along historic streets and haunted locations disturbed by souls of the past.

3. The ‘Hidden Gems’ coach tour

  • November 25 - Departs from Armagh City Hotel

Guests will enjoy a guided tour of Armagh’s finest properties, namely Crannagael House and Dean’s Hill. These private residences are rarely opened to the public so this is a rare opportunity to meet the owners and learn more about the fascinating histories inside. Did someone say Instagram?

4. The Rokeby Lecture

  • November 22 - Armagh Robinson Library

So yes, we know a library doesn’t sound the most exciting venue but you haven’t seen the stunning interior of this amazing, historic and still working library. On Thursday evening, the Robinson Library will showcase a collection of over 4,000 gems from the 18th century which had been left to the city. Tim Wilks, a professor in Cultural History, will lead the evening discussing the full catalogue. A must-see for both magpies and history lovers.

5. Wax Sealing and Calligraphy Workshop

  • November 24 - No. 5 Vicar’s Hill

Fancy impressing loved ones and the postman this Christmas Card season? At this special event attendees will have the opportunity to learn how to recreate Georgian penmanship and perfect their letter writing and gifting skills.

6. Horse and Carriage Rides

  • November 24 - Departs from Royal Irish Fusiliers Museum

The perfect experience for adding a touch of romance to a date, or sharing a special family moment, a stylish coach led by Georgian gentry will allow you to sit back, relax and take in the sights of the festival and tree-lined Georgian mall.

7. Mock Trials

  • November 24 - Armagh Courthouse

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The Georgian legal system was harsh! Thieves and miscreants were all treated with downright disdain. Don’t believe us? This immersive event actually allows you to serve on the jury and experience rough justice first hand.

8. Grand Tour Wine Tasting

  • November 25- Armagh County Club

And the best way to end a celebration? A tipple, of course! Discover the wines brought home from France, Italy and further afield by the region’s explorers who travelled near and far throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. A brilliant opportunity to get together with friends or family and be treated like Georgian royalty.

For tickets and more information, head to visitarmagh.com/georgian or view the full brochure here

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