Lurgan is a town historically in County Armagh in Northern Ireland - those counties have been abolished as units of government so it's now part of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon District. In Irish An Lorgain means "the shin", indicating a long low ridge, which affords drier ground for travel and settlement. The town stands near the shore of Lough Neagh, 18 miles southwest of Belfast and is industrial. In 2011 its population was estimated as 25,093.

Understand edit

A fair Town, consisting of 42 Houses, all of which are inhabited with English Families, and the streets all paved clean through also to water Mills, and a Wind Mill, all for corn
- William Brownlow, who laid out the town from 1610

The transport route from Belfast to Dublin swings southwest to avoid the Mourne Mountains, so the strip through Moira, Lurgan and Portadown became built-up and industrial from the 17th century. Lurgan was laid out by Brownlow as a "Plantation" settlement from 1610, with characteristic wide streets, and a market and linen trade. The settlers were Protestants, but employment also drew in Catholics moving off the land, especially during the famine years, so Lurgan became an "interface area". It also became part of the commuter-belt for Belfast when the railway arrived. In the late 20th century Lurgan was roiled by "The Troubles", driven as much by collapse of the textile trade as by sectarian differences. A nearby New Town of Craigavon never entirely got built but several of its modern features (such as bicycle paths) infiltrated Lurgan, and Ulster's first motorway arrived.

Get in edit

Trains run every 30 min from Bangor via Belfast (several stations) and Lisburn to Lurgan (50 min from Belfast) and Portadown.

The Dublin-Belfast Enterprise train doesn't stop here, change at Portadown. 1 Lurgan railway station   is north of town centre along William St.

Goldline Express 251 runs hourly from Belfast Europa station to Lurgan (30 min), Portadown and Armagh. One or two per day continue across the border to Monaghan and Cavan Town.

Goldline Express 261 runs from Belfast Europa station to Lurgan, Dungannon and Enniskillen. It's every two hours M-Sa with only two on Sunday.

Ulsterbus 551 runs hourly from Belfast via Lisburn and Moira to Lurgan, 65 min; it continues to Craigavon and Sprucefield Shopping Centre but doesn't reach Portadown.

By road follow M1 and exit at junction 10.

Get around edit

Lurgan has a good network of bitumen cycle paths which are in most cases separate to the road network, and link Lurgan to the National Cycle network. These paths also link Lurgan to Lough Neagh, Craigavon Lake and Rushmere Shopping Centre.

Ulsterbus 46 / 47 shuttles between Lurgan, Craigavon and Portadown every 15 min.

See edit

  • Market Street is very wide, typical for a Plantation-era main street. It's mostly undistinguished low-rise but spare a glance for the Italianate Town Hall, and Shankill Parish Church (C of I) at the top of the vista.
  • 1 Brownlow House (Lurgan Castle), Windsor Ave, Lurgan BT67 9BJ, +44 28 3832 6049. Tea rooms Tu-Sa 10:00-15:00. Grand mansion built in 1833 with Scottish sandstone in sort-of-Elizabethan style. It's nowadays a venue for weddings and similar big events; they don't do tours but you can sip a stylish cuppa in the tea rooms.  
  • 2 Oxford Island in Lough Neagh became a peninsula when the water level was lowered in 1846. Much of the area is a National Nature Reserve. There are sometimes boat trips along the lough from the marina nearby at Kinnego.
  • 3 Portmore Lough is another nature reserve, with RSPB bird hides.

Do edit

  • Lurgan Park a block east of High St was originally the grounds of Brownlow House. There's a lake with wildfowl, and the park paths are firm going for walkers, runners and cyclists.
  • Lurgan Golf Club is north end of the park. White tees 6311 yards, par 70, round £30.
  • Football: Glenavon FC play soccer in the NIFL (Danske Bank) Premiership, the game's top tier in Northern Ireland. Their stadium is Mourneview Park (capacity 4160) by the hospital south side of town.
  • 1 Craigavon Ski Centre is the improbable facility one mile north of Lurgan. It's a Dendex surface, all 100 yards of it, so it's really just for kiddy-wink beginners.
  • British Pipe Band Championships were held in Lurgan in June 2022. The venue rotates and the 2023 event hasn't yet been announced.

Buy edit

Brownlow House
  • Tesco in town centre is open M-Sa 07:00-23:00, Su 13:00-18:00. There's an ATM; they don't have fuel.
  • 1 Ballydougan Pottery, Bloomvale House, 171 Plantation Road, Gilford BT63 5NN, +44 28 3834 2201. M-Sa 09:00-17:00. They hand-make pottery, and sell this and other kitchenware and giftware. There's a popular restaurant, and they also have four self-catering cottages.

Eat edit

Drink edit

  • Long-established bars are "The Burn" ie Ashburn Hotel (see Sleep), Fa' Joes wine bar and Cellar Bar on Market Street, and The Courthouse and others on "golden mile" from Queen Street to the Lough Road.
  • Ruby Blue Spirits is a microdistillery and gastropub in Moira, midway between Lurgan and Lisburn. They distill potato vodka and fruit liqueurs; tours are available.

Sleep edit

Lurgan war memorial
  • 1 Ashburn Hotel, 81 William St, Lurgan BT66 6JB, +44 28 3832 5711. Comfy well-run hotel. Popular restaurant (serves daily 12:00-14:30, 17:00-21:00) and bar. B&B double £100.
  • 2 Glenmore Manor, 150 Lough Rd, Lurgan BT66 6JL, +44 28 3832 4241. They offer B&B midweek. Weekends they hire out for exclusive self-catering use (sleeps 18), eg for weddings and hen parties.
  • 3 Newforge House, 58 New Forge Rd, Magheralin, Craigavon BT67 0QL, +44 28 9261 1255, . Excellent upscale hotel in Georgian mansion. Open Feb - mid-Dec. No dogs. B&B double from £160.

Connect edit

Lurgan has good mobile and 4G coverage from all UK carriers. As of Aug 2020, 5G has not reached this area.

Go next edit

  • Armagh has long been the ecclesiastic capital of Ireland, with two cathedrals, and a prehistoric "fort" that was clearly a religious centre.
  • Hillsborough is the grand castle, gardens and symbol of power a few miles outside Lisburn.

Routes through Lurgan
Dungannon  W   E  LisburnBelfast
ArmaghPortadown  SW   NE  Lisburn

This city travel guide to Lurgan is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.