Armagh, the medium-sized county town of County Armagh, received city status in 1994, making it the least-populated city in Northern Ireland. This is no bad thing, making it a wonderfully relaxing yet stimulating destination to visit.

With its gorgeous Georgian buildings, two cathedrals, National Trust properties and Ireland’s only planetarium, Armagh has lots to offer.

Make your holiday fully flexible and enjoy Armagh at your own pace by staying in a holiday cottage in the area.

Two Cathedrals for Saint Patrick

With its twin spires overlooking the city, the Catholic Saint Patrick’s Cathedral dates from 1904, but it took many years to complete, having had its foundation stone laid in 1840. Restoration work took place in 2002, following a rededication in 1982, when the relics of St Malachy were placed in a new altar.

The Cathedral’s Church of Ireland counterpart, also St Patrick’s, dates further back, to 1268, with restoration in 1834. It contains a Celtic Cross from the 11th century, as well as several bronze age sculptures. The cathedral grounds are the burial place of Brian Ború, the High King of Ireland.

Both Cathedrals are architecturally imposing, beautiful and fascinating. Offering contrasting but enduring monuments to religious devotion.

 

Armagh’s Museums and Planetarium

Armagh’s museum dedicated to the Royal Irish Fusiliers combines exhibitions and events to give an evocative picture of this regiment that dates back to 1793 and the Napoleonic War.

The museum hosts regular talks by experts in military history and has a permanent collection of items of historical significance related to the regiment. It all adds up to a fascinating insight into this world.

Armagh County Museum is the oldest museum in Ireland. From the outside, it has a distinctive façade, located on Armagh’s Georgian Mall. Its comprehensive collection includes maps, photographs, period clothing, ceramics and prehistoric artefacts.

Ireland’s only planetarium is in Armagh. This leading centre for astronomical education houses a digital theatre where visitors can attend dynamic shows related to the skies above Ireland and astronomy in general. Armagh Planetarium also hosts a monthly open skies evening during the autumn and winter, which gives people the opportunity for telescope viewing.

Other places of interest in Armagh worth checking out include the historic Armagh Gaol, the Grade A listed Diocesan Registry at Number 5 Vicars Hill, and the observatory with its beautifully landscaped grounds.

In Milford Village, Armagh, you will find the Milford House Collection. The McCrum family were a leading linen manufacturing dynasty and the collection brings together fascinating interiors and pieces from their time in residence at the house. The Argory is an historically furnished, preserved Victorian mansion open to visitors. It boasts a fully working barrel organ, a coffee shop and a second-hand bookshop.

The Armagh Visitor Experience

As a small, intimate city, Armagh provides a unique experience to visitors. And whereas the city does have a generous share of modern and stylish outlets, it also has plenty of one-off independent shops selling a range of goods.

Market Square and Shambles Yard host local markets offering local produce and gifts, homeware and clothing.

For eating and drinking in Armagh, there is a great range of restaurants, bars and cafes, including bistros, fine dining establishments and down-to-earth eateries.

Armagh may be a small city, but it punches above its weight, retaining a kind of small-town charm at the centre of its relaxed, welcoming atmosphere.