Newry city

The cat is out of the bag. We tried to keep all the delights of Newry city for ourselves, but the grapevine is buzzing with word of Ireland’s newest city

Known as "The Gateway to the North", Newry sits snugly amidst the natural splendour of the Mourne Mountains and the Ring of Gullion. The city has blossomed since its official granting of city status in 2002 during Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee celebrations.

A heady mix of retro and modern gives this city a distinct edge, and Newry has firmly established itself as shopping heaven with locals on the island of Ireland.

Ireland’s newest city it may be, but the past makes up an integral part of Newry’s modern day character. And there’s a lot of "past" on offer – after all, human settlement here dates back to 4,000BC.

In the 19th century, Newry was a bustling trading port, a place of merchants, markets and noisy city quays. A link to the city’s industrious beginnings can be seen in its place names: Buttercrane Quay, Canal Boat Street and Custom House Quay.

A flourish of rejuvenation means many historically significant buildings are intact once more, each with a little tale of their own.

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If there’s one thing that Newry city can do like nowhere else, it’s shopping. Shopping centres such as The Quays and The Buttercrane house all the major stores and eateries you could wish for. But a jaunt out from the centres into the smaller shops comes with its own rewards, too, with niche retailers offering something unique.

At Jack Murphy Jewellers, Gemma Murphy says the key to Newry’s success is its reputation for traditional family-run businesses. “Newry is known for the quality of its customer service,” she notes. “And that spreads through word-of-mouth all over Ireland and much further afield.”

When you’re all shopped out, Newry is the perfect base to explore some of Northern Ireland’s most iconic sites, such as the Mourne Mountains and the Gullion Way. And just out from the city, the peace and serenity of Rostrevor Forest Walk is a refreshing change of scenery to the fast-paced thrum of Newry.

Shopping AND serenity? Newry, we salute you.

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