Saturday 16th June 2018
Loughgall Country Park – 6.2 miles
We were venturing into County Armagh, the Orchard County, for our June walk. Loughgall, derived from the Irish Loch gCal “cabbage lake”, is a really quaint wee village with a population of less than 300. The Country Park is a fantastic resource for locals and visitors alike and as we arrived the car park was busy with golfers and caravanners.
To build up an appetite for lunch we decided to start with the Lakeside Walk and it didn’t disappoint! From our first sight of the lake through the trees we made our way around the 37 acre lough – an anglers paradise!
With 100 fishing stands there were plenty of fishermen set up for the day, maybe determined to break the Irish record of a 31.4 lb carp! The lough is stocked full of roach, perch, tench, eels, carp, beam & pike so plenty to choose from.
With the heat of the day there were swarms of damselflies about – their flashes of blue catching our eye and, with their speed, I was amazed to capture one on camera!
Before long we were back at the car park & settled down for lunch before exploring the rest of the trails. Over lunch we experienced a torrential downpour but thankfully we were able to take shelter for 5 – 10 minutes until it had passed over and we were able to walk relatively rain-free for the rest of the afternoon.
There are 4 walking trails around the park – Lakeside Walk (2km); Bramley Walk (2.3km); Orchard Walk (3.3km) & Bridle Walk (5.9km). The Bridle & Orchard walks overlap but to begin with we incorporated the Orchard & Bramley walks.
We rounded off the day with the remainder of the Bridle Walk around the perimeter of the estate & 18-hole golf course.
Despite the thought that “we were going a long way to walk in the rain” Loughgall Country Park did not disappoint (& neither did the weather!) and we had a really leisurely walk with sunshine & blue skies!
I think we’ll be back again in the spring to see the orchards when they are full of blossom or maybe even in the autumn to look for windfalls!