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NORTHERN IRELAND TRAVEL, HOTEL, HOLIDAY & ACCOMMODATION GUIDE 
HOTELS IN COUNTY ARMAGH, NORTHERN IRELAND

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Observatory Built 1789, Armagh, County Armagh, Ireland
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St. Patrick's Footsteps Driving Tour
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St. Patrick's Footsteps Driving Tour   by Mairead Foley

Armagh Featured Hotels

The life of Ireland's National Saint has been well documented, from his early life in slavery to his ordainment and conversion of the pagan Irish to Christianity. There are many places in Ireland that are associated with the Saint, each with a story to tell relating to his life. Fancy walking in the footsteps of the Great Man? Read on for more about a driving tour of the places that are forever linked with St. Patricků
 
The following are some of the places in Ireland that are perennially linked to St. Patrick. Although the land of his birth is disputed by some, he was probably born in modern day Wales, and was the son of wealthy parents, of whom his father was a deacon. At the age of sixteen he was abducted by raiding Irish Pirates and sold into slavery.

Slemish Mountain, County Antrim and Killala Bay, County Mayo
When sold into slavery, there are two theories as to where Patrick was enslaved by the chieftain Miliucc. One theory is that he tendered herds of sheep on Slemish Mountain, County Antrim and during his isolation here, he found renewed his faith in God. Slemish Mountain is the remains of an extinct volcano, and is located near Ballymena, County Antrim. The Mountain is located within an Enviromentally Sensitive Area. It is a great place for birdwatchers, and has a strong geological interest for geographers due to its volcanic history.

Another theory was that the young Patrick was brought to Killala Bay to herd sheep for another local chieftain, at a place called Fochill. This may have some credence as it is said that the boat he set sail in, whilst escaping his life of bondage, left from Mayo.

People Walking Across Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge to Small Rocky Island, Antrim, Northern Ireland
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Hill of Slane, County Meath
The Hill of Slane is the place where one of the most dramatic scenes of St. Patrick's life took place. The tradition of the time was that the High King of Laoghaire would light the first fire in the land at the Royal Palace on the Hill of Tara - St. Patrick had beaten him to it. According to legend the fire could not be extinguished by anyone but St. Patrick, and it was here that he explained the holy trinity mystery, using Ireland's national emblem the Shamrock, and this is worn on March 17th, St.Patrick's Day.

Croagh Patrick, County Mayo
Croagh Patrick, in County Mayo, is the mountain, which St. Patrick climbed and fasted for 40 days. The miracle of the "banishing of the snakes" is supposed to have occurred on Croagh Patrick! In reality there has never been snakes in Ireland but the tale is symbolic of St. Patrick converting the Irish natives to Christianity and banishing the Druids, whose symbol was the snake. Croagh Patrick, with its height of 765 feet, attracts thousands of pilgrims who make the trek to the top on the last Sunday in July. Find out more about Croagh Patrick.
 
Planetarium, Armagh City, County Armagh, Ireland
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Lough Derg, County Donegal
Lough Derg in County Donegal is a place where St. Patrick slew a large monster according to legend! The area has had a shrine erected in memory of St.Patrick on Station Island, and during each August, pilgrims spend three days fasting and praying on the Island. Find out more about Lough Derg.

Armagh Town
One of the most prominent religious places in Ireland associated with St. Patrick is Armagh Town. According to legend, it is here that St. Patrick constructed a stone church around AD 445 and proclaimed it to being the most holy church in Ireland, and thus founding the See of Armagh. Armagh is today the primary seat of both the Catholic and Protestant Churches in Ireland and both cathedrals in the town are named after St. Patrick.

Down Cathedral, Downpatrick County Down
Another important place, not too far from Armagh is the small village of Saul in County Down, located 2 miles from Downpatrick. The name Saul (translated into Irish is Sabhall, meaning a barn) derives its name from how St. Patrick established his first Irish church in a barn, which was donated to him by one of his first converts, a local chieftain called Dichu.  Saul has a replica round tower and church at the approximate spot where St. Patrick had his first church. On Slieve Patrick Hill there is a statue commemorating the Saint.

Legend has it that when St. Patrick died in the latter half of the 5th Century AD, his body was laid onto on ox drawn cart, and to be rested in the place that he revered the most. The cart made its way to Saul, and St. Patrick's final resting place is believed to be a shrine in the grounds of Down Cathedral. The grave of St. Patrick is believed to be shared by Ireland's other main Saints, St. Brigid and St. Columba. A visit to the St. Patrick Centre close to Downpatrick Cathedral is well advised, to learn more about the life of Ireland's patron saint.

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About the Author: Mairead writes for Novacarhire.com - an independent car hire reservation website where you can book low cost car hire at over 5000 locations worldwide.  Thinking of heading to Ireland? Visit Novacarhire.com's www.novacarhire.com/car-hire/Ireland/ Car hire Ireland page and get an instant quote which will offer you the best deals from top car rental providers.


FEATURED COUNTY ARMAGH HOTELS - NORTHERN IRELAND

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Armagh City Hotel
This hotel is located in Armagh. St. Patrick's Church of Ireland Cathedral and St. Patrick's Church are area attractions. Another nearby attraction is St. Patrick's Trian Centre. Dining options at Armagh City Hotel include a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. A complimentary breakfast is served daily. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a health club, a spa tub, a sauna, and a fitness facility. This 3.0-star property offers small meeting rooms, audio-visual equipment, and business services. Wireless Internet access is available in public areas. This Armagh property has event space consisting of banquet facilities and exhibit space. Guest parking is complimentary. Additional property amenities include a nightclub and laundry facilities. 
Carrickdale Hotel and Spa. Ravensdale
Located in Ravensdale, Carrickdale Hotel and Spa is a family-friendly hotel in the historical district and local attractions include Proleek Dolmen. Other regional attractions include Oriel Park and King John's Castle. Dining options at Carrickdale Hotel and Spa include 2 restaurants. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a children's pool, a health club, a spa tub, and a sauna. The property's full-service health spa has massage/treatment rooms. Guest parking is complimentary. Additional property amenities include a fitness facility and laundry facilities. This is a smoke-free property. 
Cranny Farm, Mullaghbawn
Close to Slieve Gullion, this Mullaghbawn cottage property is situated in a rural location. Another area attraction is Crossmaglen Square. Cranny Farm features barbecue grills and a picnic area. Guest parking is complimentary. This is a smoke-free property. Guestrooms have mountain views. Rooms are individually decorated and furnished. At the 4.0-star property, accommodations include kitchens with stovetops, refrigerators, coffee/tea makers, and cookware/dishes/utensils. Bathrooms feature makeup/shaving mirrors. Televisions are available in guestrooms. Rooms also include washers/dryers and irons/ironing boards. 
Maggie Crannys, Mullaghbawn
is Mullaghbawn cottage property is located in a rural location. Slieve Gullion is a local point of interest. Another area attraction is Crossmaglen Square. Maggie Crannys features barbecue grills and a garden. Guest parking is complimentary. Guestrooms have mountain or garden views. Rooms are individually decorated and furnished. Fireplaces are featured in each room. At the 5.0-star property, accommodations include kitchens with full-sized refrigerators/freezers, stovetops, microwaves, and dishwashers. Bathrooms feature shower/tub combinations with handheld showerheads. TGuestrooms offer phones and CD players. Televisions have DVD players. Rooms also include separate sitting areas, washers/dryers, coffee/tea makers, and irons/ironing boards. 
Potters Cottage, Craigavon
This Craigavon cottage property is located in a rural location. Oxford Island Nature Reserve is a local point of interest. Another local attraction is Ardress House. Potters Cottage features a coffee shop/café, barbecue grills, and a picnic area. Guest parking is complimentary. This is a smoke-free property. Rooms are individually decorated and furnished. At the 3.0-star property, accommodations include kitchens with stovetops, microwaves, refrigerators, and dishwashers. Bathrooms feature showers and hair dryers. Wireless Internet access is complimentary. Televisions have DVD players.
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