Known as the ‘orchard' county, Armagh provides a unique introduction to the Irish countryside for those visitors yet to experience its charms. Whether walking or driving the county's endless rolling hills hold many fresh delights simply awaiting discovery. Steeped in ancient culture, South Armagh remains the most naturally beautiful part of the county, with its winding rivers and ancient woodlands interspersed with crumbling strongholds, elegant manor houses and clusters of hidden hamlets tucked away in the verdant tumbling hillsides. The county town of Armagh is the most venerated of Irish cities, being the spiritual capital of Ireland for 1500 years and the seat of both Protestant and Catholic archbishops. Two miles west of the city is the very ancient site of Navan Fort, former stronghold of the kings of Ulster since at least 700BC. Blackwater River Park provides some of the very best river fishing in all of Ireland, complementing two of the most memorable stately homes in Northern Ireland.
Ardress House is a striking 17/18 th century manor house, while the neighbouring Argory, another National Trust property, is a magnificent neoclassical house built in 1820 and set in 200 acres of wooded countryside.
Deep in the heart of County Armagh is Camagh Forest, mysterious, ancient and a little forbidding. This old forest offers fishing lakes and wild country walks over rugged terrain, through dense forestation and along abandoned moorland tracks. Loughall, situated near Portadown, is the centre of the apple orchard area and close by the village where the Orange Order was founded in 1795. All in all, County Armagh, despite being one of the smaller of the six counties of Northern Ireland, has much to attract the visitor offering a mix of rural idylls interspersed with ancient and historical sites.