Fantastic Fun Days Out for Kids at Forest Parks in Co Armagh
Located in the heart of Northern Ireland, County Armagh boasts a number of beautiful forest parks that offer a fun and adventurous day out for families with kids of all ages.
From hiking and cycling trails to playgrounds and picnic areas, these parks provide a perfect setting for families to bond, relax and explore nature. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best forest parks in County Armagh that offer something for everyone.
1. Gosford Forest Park
Gosford Forest Park, located in the town of Markethill, is one of the most popular forest parks in County Armagh. Covering an area of over 240 hectares, the park offers a variety of activities for families to enjoy, including hiking, cycling, horse riding, and fishing. The park also has a large playground area, a miniature railway, and a visitor center with interactive displays that teach visitors about the park’s history and ecology. Families can also explore the park’s historic castle, which dates back to the 19th century.
One of the main attractions of Gosford Forest Park is its network of walking and cycling trails that wind through the park’s beautiful woodlands and lakes. The trails are suitable for all ages and abilities, and range from short, easy walks to longer, more challenging hikes. Families can also bring their own bikes and explore the park’s mountain bike trails, which offer a thrilling off-road experience.
For families who love fishing, Gosford Forest Park has several lakes that are stocked with brown trout and rainbow trout. Fishing permits can be obtained from the park’s visitor center.
2. Tannaghmore Gardens and Animal Farm
Tannaghmore Gardens and Animal Farm, located just outside the town of Craigavon, is a popular attraction for families with young children. The park is home to a wide variety of farm animals, including cows, pigs, goats, and sheep, as well as rare breeds such as Irish Moiled Cattle and Gloucestershire Old Spot Pigs. Visitors can interact with the animals, feed them, and learn about their habits and behaviors.
In addition to the animal farm, Tannaghmore Gardens also has a beautiful walled garden that features a variety of flowers, shrubs, and trees. Families can take a leisurely stroll through the garden, relax on the grass, and enjoy a picnic or a snack from the park’s café.
3. Armagh Planetarium and Observatory
While not technically a forest park, the Armagh Planetarium and Observatory is a must-visit attraction for families with kids who love science and space. The planetarium features a variety of interactive displays and exhibits that teach visitors about astronomy, space exploration, and the history of the universe. Families can also attend one of the planetarium’s regular shows, which include stunning visual displays of the night sky and the latest discoveries in space science.
The observatory, which is located adjacent to the planetarium, is home to a number of telescopes and other astronomical instruments. Visitors can use the telescopes to view the sun, the moon, and the planets, as well as distant galaxies and stars.
4. Loughgall Country Park
Located in the village of Loughgall, Loughgall Country Park is a beautiful park that offers a range of activities for families. The park has a number of walking trails that wind through its woodlands and around its lake, as well as a children’s play area, a picnic area, and a café.
One of the main attractions of Loughgall Country Park is its 18-hole golf course, which is suitable for players of all ages and abilities. Families can rent clubs and equipment from the park’s clubhouse and enjoy a round of golf in the beautiful surroundings.
5. Lurgan Park
Lurgan Park, located in the town of Lurgan, is one of the largest urban parks in Northern Ireland and is a great place for families to spend a fun day out. The park features a large lake, a children’s play area, a picnic area, and a variety of walking and cycling trails that wind through its beautiful woodlands.
One of the main attractions of Lurgan Park is its popular maze, which is made up of tall hedges and offers a challenging and fun experience for kids and adults alike. Families can also explore the park’s rose garden, which features a variety of colorful flowers and is a great place to relax and take in the scenery.
6. Portadown People's Park
Portadown People's Park, located in the town of Portadown, is a popular destination for families who want to spend a day outdoors. The park features a large lake, a children’s play area, a skate park, and a variety of walking and cycling trails.
One of the main attractions of Portadown People's Park is its water sports center, which offers a range of activities for families, including kayaking, paddleboarding, and sailing. Families can also enjoy a picnic or a barbecue on the park’s grassy areas, or relax on one of the park’s benches and take in the beautiful views.
7. Glenariff Forest Park
Although not technically in County Armagh, Glenariff Forest Park is located just a short drive away in County Antrim and is definitely worth a visit for families who enjoy hiking and exploring nature. The park is known as the ‘Queen of the Glens’ and boasts some of the most stunning scenery in Northern Ireland.
Glenariff Forest Park features a number of hiking trails that wind through its beautiful woodlands, along its rivers and waterfalls, and up to its breathtaking viewpoints. Families can explore the park’s many trails, enjoy a picnic or a barbecue, and take in the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside.
County Armagh is home to some of the most beautiful forest parks in Northern Ireland, offering a range of activities and attractions for families with kids of all ages. Whether you’re looking for hiking trails, cycling routes, playgrounds, picnic areas, or animal farms, there is something for everyone in these parks. So pack a picnic, put on your walking shoes, and head out to one of County Armagh’s forest parks for a fun and adventurous day out with your family.