Three-day Blossom weekend event celebrates Armagh’s Orchard County Status
The Armagh Apple Blossom weekend events celebrate three days of fun, food and entertainment celebrating the Orchard County’s most famous produce.
Celebrating apple blossom and the start of apple growing season, be amazed as over 4,000 flower-filled acres burst into bloom, transforming the rolling Armagh landscape into a sea of pink and white and providing a spectacular backdrop for the annual festival.
Whether you want to drink in the breath-taking landscape with some traditional Armagh cider, try out tasty apple recipes, or soak up Armagh’s rich heritage, the Apple Blossom weekend promises all this and more as it bursts into life from Friday 10th to Sunday 12th May.
Food lovers will enjoy a smorgasbord of apple-based dishes as the county celebrates its prized ingredient with various events.
Step back in time and sample authentic Georgian cooking with a ‘From Blossom to Griddle’ event at Dan Winter’s House. See Mrs Patterson rustle up home-made soda bread and potato apple turnovers on the old griddle over the turf fire of this18th century listed farmhouse kitchen. Or, for a modern twist, diners can savour a delicious apple themed menu at Banbridge-based eatery, Blend & Batch, or enjoy an exquisite Apple Blossom afternoon tea in Quail’s at the Gallery.
Cider drinkers can visit Long Meadow Farm for an unforgettable, fully guided tour in the heart of the Orchard County. Ramblers can traverse the bountiful orchards, explore the farm’s cider-making facilities and sample award-winning Irish ciders all in the good company of the friendly and welcoming farm patrons, the McKeever family. If the sun is shining, finish off the experience with a VIP picnic lunch in the grounds of the orchard.
For a truly authentic craft experience, the art of woodturning with the Halo Wood Turning and Nature trail Experience at Richhill is a must. This ancient craft has been given a modern spin and is experiencing a resurgence – why not come along and try your hand at making your own pen using local apple wood? Crafters will also step into the orchard to visit the local beekeepers hard at work producing a unique flavour of honey and honey-related products.
On Sundays throughout the month of May, take your pick from a host of family friendly fun apple blossom events set in the grounds of some of Armagh’s finest historical houses.
The Ardress will be celebrating with apple treats and fun for all the family on Apple Blossom Sunday on 12th and 19th May. There will be orchard tours, local ciders and apple produce of all kinds on sale.
‘Bramley Beginnings’ will see visitors tour Crannagael House on Sunday 19th May, home of the infamous Bramley apple. Grown in the latter half of the 19th Century, the orchard is synonymous with producing the first Bramley apples in the county. Savour the sights, sounds and smells of the orchard at apple blossom season and hear about the history of the famous Bramley Apple whilst touring the stunning orchard and sampling the variety of produce grown here – including edible flowers! Top off the day with light refreshments in the beautiful Georgian residence and take a bite out of the home-made apple tarts on offer for the complete experience.
Master cider maker and proprietor of Long Meadow Farm, Pat McKeever, said;
“Armagh is famously known as the Orchard County and at Long Meadow Farm we grow some of the finest apples in the world for our range of ciders and juices. The apple is an iconic symbol of the heritage of our county, particularly the Armagh Bramley Apple which secured the esteemed PGI status seven years ago and placed County Armagh on the world map. There is a lot to celebrate as we mark the start of growing season once again.
“We are delighted to support the Apple Blossom weekend by throwing open the gates to our orchard and welcoming both locals and visitors from far and wide. With a variety of activities on offer over the weekend, the Apple Blossom Festival has something for everyone to get their teeth into. It’s a great time to visit our beautiful county in full bloom and sample the delights of our most famous produce.”
For further information on ticket prices and booking information for all events, please contact Armagh Visitor Information Centre on 028 3752 1800 or visit https://visitarmagh.com/festivals/appleblossom/