County Armagh is located in Northern Ireland and is a largely rural county dotted with small lakes and hills. Armagh is bisected by the rivers Bann and Blackwater and borders Lough Neagh, Ireland’s largest lake, and boasts some of the best fishing in Northern Ireland. Armagh is served by an excellent road and rail network which make the county highly accessible from both North and South.
It is regarded as Ireland’s spiritual centre, as St. Patrick founded his first church in the city of Armagh in the fifth century AD. It is the seat of both Protestant and Catholic archbishops, and is home to two cathedrals – one Roman Catholic and one Protestant – and both named after St. Patrick.
Two miles west of Armagh City lies the great mound of Navan Fort. A large earthwork on the summit of a hill, Navan was known in legend as Emain Macha, ceremonial and spiritual capital of ancient Ulster, associated wtih tales of the warrior Cuchulainn. Emain Macha was the stronghold of the kings of Ulster from 700 BC.
Below the fort lies the grass-roofed Navan Centre which interprets the archaeology and mythology of the site using interactive displays and a film.
The north of the county borders Lough Neagh. Legend has it that the giant Finn MacCool created the lough by tearing out a piece of turf and hurling it into the Irish sea, thus creating the Isle of Man in the process. At 400 sq km, the lake is the largest in Britain. Salmon and trout are found in the rivers flowing from the lake while Lough Neagh itself is famous for its eels.
St. Patrick’s Trian is a heritage centre just off the Mall that tells the story of the city. It also has a “Land of Lilliput” fantasy centre for children based on Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.
Ireland’s only planetarium is on College Hill in the Observatory Grounds from where there are breath-taking views over the city.
Top Attractions in County Armagh
Armagh Planetarium – College Hill, Armagh Town – Armagh Planetarium is a world-renowned astronomical educational establishment. Established in 1968 to complement the research work of Armagh Observatory, its purpose is to bring astronomy and related sciences to a wider audience.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral – 43 Abbey Street, Armagh Town –
St. Patrick’s Trian – 40 English St, Armagh Town – A heritage centre just off the Mall that tells the story of the city. It also has a “Land of Lilliput” fantasy centre for children based on Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.
The Navan Centre and Fort – 81 Killylea Road, Armagh Town – The Navan Centre interprets one of Ireland’s most important ancient monuments: the Navan Fort, which was the Ancient capital and seat of the Kings of Ulster.
Main Destinations in County Armagh
Armagh Town is the Ecclesiastical capital of Ireland and previous seat of the High Kings of Ulster. The city of Armagh has been an important European Heritage centre for many years.
Newry town straddles counties Armagh and Down.
Getting Here and Around
Armagh is extremely accessible, not far from Belfast, which is home to two airports, as well as being close by Belfast and Larne ferryports. Bus services and a good road network are available. Details on getting around Armagh, and of the nearest air- and seaports can be found in our Co. Armagh Transport Guide.