Palace Demesne Park: Unwinding in nature’s haven in Ireland

Visiting the historic town of Armagh? Stretch your legs with a walk in Palace Demesne Park.

Palace Demesne Park: Unwinding in nature’s haven in Ireland.
Credit: geograph.ie/ Eric Jones

Armagh is a town of great historical and religious importance in Ireland. If one building encompasses its significance in both of these spheres, it’s the Archbishop’s Palace and the surrounding park.

If you fancy a walk that’s equal parts educational and stunning, check out our guide to Armagh’s Palace Demesne Park.

Ireland Before You Die’s top tips for visiting Palace Demesne Park:

  • Palace Demesne Park sprawls over 300 acres, so make sure you’ve got some comfortable shoes for the walk.
  • The car park opens all week, but the park is also a mere 15-minute walk from the town of Armagh.
  • Make the most of the park’s proximity to the town by checking out some of the great activities Armagh has to offer.
  • Always check the weather forecast before going for a walk in Palace Demesne Park. Irish weather is notoriously changeable, so you might need both sun cream and a waterproof jacket!

Top facts about Palace Demesne Park:

  • Armagh is the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland, and the palace itself was the residence of the Archbishops of the Church of Ireland (COI) from 1770 to 1975.
  • The palace and demesne were the ideas of Richard Robinson, COI Archbishop from 1765 to 1794. Robinson deemed the original residence on Armagh’s English Street dissatisfactory. Architect Thomas Cooley helmed the design of the project.
  • The numerous walks around the ground vary in distance and difficulty. Whichever you undertake will afford you excellent scenery.
  • The demesne is home to a ‘Garden of the Senses’ – a sensory experience comprised of five areas linked by a path. The demesne also includes a play park and a public outdoor gym.

What’s nearby

Food: As Palace Demesne Park is so close to the town of Armagh, there is great access to many fantastic restaurants. You can’t go wrong with Zio (Mediterranean), Uluru Bar and Grill (Australian), or Embers (greasy spoon).

Drink: The park’s proximity to the town also comes in handy when it comes to pubs. Highlights in Armagh’s pub scene include Keegan’s, the Hole in the Wall, Red Neds, the Victoria, and Mickey Kelly’s.

Accommodation: Seagoe Hotel (four-star), Armagh City Hotel (three-star), Charlemont Arms Hotel (two-star), Meadows Bed and Breakfast.

Other attractions: Armagh Franciscan Friary, The Market Place Theatre and Arts Centre, St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, Armagh Robinson Library, Armagh County Museum.

Your questions answered about Palace Demesne Park

How do you pronounce demesne and what does it mean?

The word ‘demesne’ is of French origin. It is pronounced ‘di-main’ and refers to a piece of land attached to a manor, in this case, the Archbishop’s Palace.

When was the Archbishop’s Palace built?

The Archbishop’s Palace and accompanying demesne were built in 1770.

What is the Archbishop’s Palace used for now?

Since 2015, the Archbishop’s Palace has been the office of the Lord Mayor of the Borough of Armagh, Banbridge, and Craigavon.

Contact and more info

Address: The Palace Demesne, Armagh, BT60 4EN

Phone: 03000 300 900

Email: [email protected] (Visit Armagh)

Opening times: Pedestrian access open all year round; car park open Monday–Friday, 5 am–10 pm

Price: Free

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