Culture, arts and history are all on your doorstep in the bustling heartland of Northern Ireland
As the 7 Hills Blues Fest kicks off across the city of Armagh today, Thursday 10th August, what better way to see out the remaining weeks of summer than with 7 top things to put a smile on your face as you enjoy all the region has to offer.
Locals, visitors, families, couples and small groups alike can all find something to experience anew across Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough during the remainder of the summer holidays.
Over 50 amazing events are complemented by a wide range of accommodation options and fantastic value for money to be found in the hotels, bars and restaurants, Armagh is an ideal destination for a weekend or short break, or as a base to explore the wider region.
7 Hills Blues Fest
Running until Sunday (10-13 August), the 7 Hills Blues Fest is back for another year, hosting world class blues and roots events across 30 venues and locations in the Cathedral city, promising to be another unmissable weekend of music and entertainment for the whole family.
Attracting locals and visitors in their thousands from far and wide each year, the programme will complement a packed schedule of brand new fringe events designed to suit everyone. Whether visiting the city to shop, eat, drink or to see the sights, those bluesy tones won’t be far away.
Benchmarked as Northern Ireland’s Food Heartland, Armagh and the surrounding area will host bespoke food events during the festival. A Street Food Market in the Shambles Yard will kick things off on Friday before Saturday welcomes back the Picnic in the Park for family fun filled blues with fun and games for everyone to enjoy.
The city’s famed Band Stand on Market Street will have music throughout the day on Saturday before The ShamblesSunday BBQ & Blues event on Sunday from 1-5pm will be filled with good food, great craic and blistering summer blues. Any budding blues stars will have the opportunity to pick up an instrument and play during the blues jam session.
Visit www.7hillsblues.com for more information.
Taking place this weekend, BuskFest returns to Banbridge on Saturday (12th August). Now in its 14th year, BuskFest has gone from strength to strength attracting singers, musicians and entertainers from across the global who perform to huge crowds on the streets of Banbridge Town Centre, all with the hope of taking away a share of the amazing £3,000 prize pot.
During the competition, which will run from 1pm – 4:30pm, participants compete for a variety of accolades including best individual, best band, best junior, best performance and the ‘Spirit of BuskFest’ prize.
Culture vultures of all ages will enjoy the Lazy Sundays at The Argory. The 200-year-old house and its 320-acre estate will play host to laid back tunes, a summer BBQ and entertainment for the whole family. Running all summer, there is no better way to while away a Sunday’s afternoon than with soft music floating through the trees.www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-argory
The Planetarium in Armagh offers events and a fun approach to education for all age groups captivated by space travel, the universe and astronomy. The Planetarium has a brand new digital theatre showing “Secrets of Gravity” and “Asteroid: Mission Extreme”, spoiling visitors with choice for the rest of the summer and the perfect way to distract those wide-eyed wannabe astronauts. For more information on shows please visit www.armaghplanet.com.
Navan Centre & Fort
As one of Ireland’s most important archaeological sites, the legendary Emain Macha, home of the famous Red Branch Knights and Ulster Cycle of tales at Navan Centre & Fort is where myth and reality meet. The self-guided map is available to all visitors to access a fully guided tour to the site with audio visuals bringing the Legends to life.
Loughgall Country Park
As we long for the good weather to stick with us until the end of summer, Loughgall Country Park is a rural haven of relaxation and recreation. Fun for all the family, sports enthusiasts and those merely wanting to get active and spend time in stunning natural surrounds, there are a diverse range of activities to avail from whether walking, cycling, fishing, an adventure trail or sporting facilities. For more information of things to do visit www.loughgallcountrypark.co.uk.
Music & Food Festival
Round off the holidays with something the whole family can look forward to at Rushmere Shopping Centre’s first Music & Food Festival, coming to Craigavon during the first weekend of September. Friday 8th will have a live country music concert featuring local talent Cliona Hagan and Ritchie Remo with a bumper Food Village offering fantastic local produce, barbecues and a beer tent for all ticket holders to enjoy. Saturday 9th will have the full Food Village experience with lots of free activities for the whole family to enjoy and a Downtown Country Roadshow with giveaways and promotions all day. Tickets for Friday’s concert are available from the Customer Service Desk and for more information visit www.rushmereshopping.com.
To find out more information about any of the events or things to do throughout the summer or for the rest of the year, plan your next visit at www.armagh.co.uk.