As a further extension to our regular weekly top 10 things to do in Northern Ireland feature, it’s great to be able to bring you some top 10 lists of great things to do in each region.
On this occasion, we are featuring Armagh and the news that there is a new Armagh Shuttle Bus service direct from Belfast.
Departing from the Visit Belfast Welcome Centre at 10am on Fridays and Saturdays, the ‘Armagh Shuttle’ will have you back by 5:30pm.
Here are some of the early summer highlights which should be on your horizon. For more details, even more things to do, how to book and get there, visit www.armagh.co.uk.
Shambles Artisan Food & Craft Market
The Shambles Artisan Food & Craft Market will take place on Saturday 20th June in the Shambles Yard, Armagh from 10:30am-4pm. Enjoy the food and craft market which will offer a wonderful range of mouth-watering jams, chutneys, homemade fudge and chocolates, refreshing cider from Armagh and delicious baked goods among others. Craft demonstrations will take place throughout the day and local chefs will provide cookery demonstrations as well as a FREE children’s cookery class. Music will be provided throughout the day. Admission is Free.
Build and launch a rocket at the Armagh Planetarium
Blast off a fun-filled trip to Armagh City with a visit to Armagh Planetarium to get on board a virtual visit to the international space station and outwards to Mars. During your trip, accept the challenge to design, build and blast your own rocket, a favourite activity for the thousands of children who have visited the Planetarium. You also get to experience a full 3D testing of its latest state-of-the-art technology.
Celebrate Armagh’s special EU status as an apple-growing pioneer with the county’s Bramley growers with a visit to the Armagh Cider Company and enjoy a guided tour of the orchard, see how the cider is produced, make your own apple juice and sample some cider/juice – and take home a goodie bag filled with apple delights. Operates every Friday and Saturday at 11am as part of the shuttle bus day tour.
Tip in and enjoy Ireland’s bowling finale
Known as a ‘bullet’ in Armagh, road bowls is the much-loved sport which has a cast-iron sphere thrown, or ‘driven’, along a pre-determined course. Today road bowling is a popular competitive sport wherever it is played, but the most vigorous competitions are held in Armagh and Cork. The all-island final takes place on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd August.
Tour Armagh’s historic Gaol for a glimpse of the past
Built in the 1780’s and extended in the style of London’s Pentonville Prison in the 1840s, the iconic, history-laden Armagh Gaol was the primary women’s prison in Northern Ireland until its closure in 1986. This tour, also part of the Shuttle Bus optional itinerary, will bring you right up to date on its history and happenings, which includes details of the grisly executions which took place on its grounds.
Spoil your Dad at Navan
What better way to celebrate Father’s Day on June 21st with all the family than a trip to the historic Navan Centre and Fort. Learn about the myths, the legends and the folklore at one of Northern Ireland’s most beautiful sites as living history characters bring the story of the Celts to life. Treat your Dad to a day he will never forget which kicks off with a wild BBQ at which he can also try his hand at making a wattle and daub fence – no pressure!
This global festival success returns to The Market Place Theatre & Arts Centre for a five-day run starting Monday 27th July and will feature a packed programme of readings, talks, discussions and debates as well as celebrating visual art, music and theatre. A truly unique musical performance that’s unlikely ever to happen again includes Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon strapping on a guitar to join a star-studded band that includes Paddy Goodwin’s Holy Ghosts with Barry Devlin, Jim Lockhart and Johnny Fean of Horslips, with special guest Paul Brady.
Banish the blues at the 7 Hills Blues Festival
Already an established event success on the Blues calendar, this annual musical extravaganza takes place this year from August 6th to August 9th and is musical therapy for all ages. Local bands take their place amongst top-class international acts from across Europe, USA and further afield. Fringe events add an artistic and family-oriented buzz to the Festival, with eateries and shops getting involved to bring a real blues feel to the entire city.
Test your skills at Lurgaboy
Ideal for families looking for a fun afternoon in the great outdoors, take part in raft building, archery, a high levels rope course and a 375m zip wire at Lurgaboy Adventure Centre. Everything takes place at its spectacular 35-acre countryside venue in Armagh, allowing kids to enjoy the great outdoors in a safe environment and with no time wasted travelling between fun-filled activities.
It’s Tayto Time!
Located in the 500 year old Tandragee Castle, experience the magic of Tayto with a guided tour and demonstration which shows how the globally-famous ‘Tayto’ crisps and other snacks are lovingly made. You will also get to meet some of the crisps fresh off the production line and meet the brand mascot, Mr Tayto. A must-see for all the family! Yum!