Nestled in the centre of outstanding natural beauty, Newry´s ancient origins date back to the 5th century when St. Patrick is said to have planted a Yew tree at the head of the majestic Clanrye River. The rugged mountains of Mourne and The Ring of Guillon provide the scenery, whilst its charming medieval past and esteemed shopping centre’s attract interested visitors from all over the world.
Awarded city status as part of the Queen´s Golden Jubilee ceremonies in 2002, Newry has surfaced as one of Northern Ireland´s most visited tourist destinations. A hotbed for annual festivals, it´s cultural exhibitions are intertwined with its wealth of opportunities for leisurely outdoor activities.
The lure of its spectacular landscapes surrounding the city limits attracts ramblers, birdwatchers and fishermen whilst the serenity of its sultry canal is a haven for canoeists and barge trippers. In fact the opening of the Newry Canal in 1742 linking the town with the River Bann at Portadown turned Newry into a busy trading port and invited the development of the charming Georgian architecture that is still evident today.
In keeping with its business-like past, Newry is still a central focal point for shopping and visitors are enticed by its distinguished retail centre’s and the host of independent handicraft stores, trendy boutiques and popular high street fashion shops that sit on the banks of the canal in Buttercrane Quay and reach as far as nearby Hill Street.
One of the popular walks is the marked trail along the canal which takes in several monuments such as Banegal´s castle, a modest 16th century construction that was only rediscovered and restored in 1986. The adjoining museum exhibits a collection that dates back to pre-history together with the foundations of the 12th century Cistercian Abbey.
Also found along the trail proudly perched on a mound is the picturesque St. Patrick´s Church, the first Reformation church of its kind to be built in Ireland. Built in the late 16th century, the venue was used as a podium for the famous Irish writer Jonathan Swift to preach during his trips to the town.
As with most Irish towns and cities, Newry offers an eclectic mix of nightlife with a host of venues providing live entertainment. The bustling traditional pubs come alive with the sound of Irish folk songs making for a warm and friendly atmosphere, whilst for something a little more cultured the Town Hall Theatre and Sean Hollywood have a full program of performances from both local and internationally acclaimed artists.
Travelling to Newry by Ferry
With Newry’s location sitting nicely between Ireland’s two largest cities Belfast and Dublin there are a great number of ferry options on getting to Newry.