County Armagh is preparing to stage an epic three-weekend long, mega-festival event from 24 March – 3 April. The Armagh Fusion Festival is a major celebration of Armagh’s rich history, heritage and culture. It will bring together artistic activity, events throughout the city and neighbouring apple orchards.
Fusion Festival Time in Armagh
This one-of-a-kind festival brings locals and visitors together to experience unique collaborations and imaginative fusions. There is an array of fantastic events taking place:
. the Greatest Show – Cirque du Cider –a series of captivating circus shows featuring aerial performances and jaw-dropping circus skills;
. The Faces and Places Legendary Guided Walking Tour of the city;
. Ceilidh Fusion at The Johnston Building, Bowling and Brunch at Armagh Cider Company;
. ‘Art after Dark’ which showcases the city’s unique creativity at a variety of legendary venues;
. Fire and Light show fused with art and music at Armagh Observatory and Planetarium.
Where to stay
The Armagh City Hotel is a great location to base for exploring the city and surroundings. In addition, you can enjoy fine dining and afternoon tea, or some of the great events taking place at the hotel. It is also a pet-friendly hotel.
The award-winning five-star Blackwell House nestles peacefully among rolling hills. It has six individually decorated rooms. All rooms are furnished with family heirlooms and handcrafted pieces.
In the picturesque conservation village of Loughgall, just a 10-minute drive to Armagh City, Molly’s Barn is purpose-built for holiday getaways. Catering for five people, it means you have the house to yourself.
Where to eat
The charming stone-built Mulberry Bistro sits opposite the city’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a spectacular backdrop for any meal. Locally sourced produce finds its way onto the menu every day, stopping in the kitchen just long enough to be transformed into delicious homemade dishes.
The Uluru Bar & Grill has a distinctly Aussie flavour. They’re always ready to spark the (indoor) barbeque which could just spark your passion for Australian cuisine. A firm favourite with locals, the Uluru crew put their success down to the secret ingredient behind their Josper Charcoal Grill.
The Embers is as well-known for its friendly staff as it is for its tasty food. It is an affordable family run grill bar and therefore knows just what families, and all hungry visitors want.
If you’re after more local flavour, Keegan’s Bar & Restaurant is a traditional public house. Keegan’s serve locally sourced food, with side of that indefinable Irish ‘craic’. Expect some live music too.
What to do
The hilltop cathedrals that overlook Armagh city are both dedicated to St. Patrick. This is where he founded his original stone church in 445AD. Today, Armagh is the ecclesiastical capital, the seat of two Archbishops, the Roman Catholic and the Church of Ireland Primates of Ireland.
Explore heavenly bodies of another sort, with a trip to Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, this is a leading centre for astronomical research, and it is also a star attraction for kids. Look out for the largest meteorite in Ireland, it weighs 152kg, and check out the digital theatre, a window to the wonders of the universe.
Come back down to earth and visit Navan Fort or Emain Macha. A former pagan ceremonial site, it’s been the ancient seat of Kings, Ulster’s earliest capital, and the sacred stronghold of legendary heroes Cuchulainn and the Red Branch Knights.
Take a hike to Slieve Gullion, Ireland’s Mountain of Mystery. The Forest Park offers walking trails, a scenic drive, an Adventure Playpark, Giant’s Lair children’s story trail and Courtyard with coffee shop.
The Ring of Gullion region offers a host of activities and attractions for families, couples, groups of friends and visitors of any age, who want to get away from it all. Explore unspoilt landscapes and enjoy a real sense of well-being.