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The Craigavon Trail

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Craigavon, Armagh,

This easy-going trail passes through a landscape of waterways.

This easy-going trail passes through a landscape of waterways and along picturesque old coaching roads, with over a third of the way on traffic-free paths. Before pedalling off call at the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre for an insight into the ecosystem and history of this huge inland sea.

You are on Route 9 of the National Cycle Network, on a minor road for a short while, then paths through the City Parks past the famous man-made Craigavon Lakes. A road leads into Portadown centre and on to Edenderry Bridge across the Bann River. Soon you are cycling on the Bann Boulevard beside the river.

The Point of Whitecoat is where three waterways meet: the Bann, the Cusher River and the Newry Canal, the first inland canal in the British Isles. The towpath is used by walkers and cyclists and is also known as The Newry Canal Way and Route 9 respectively. Look out for swans and, if you're lucky, the flash of a kingfisher. At Moneypenny's Lock there is an exhibition in the restored lightermen's bothy and stables.

At Knock Bridge the route links to the old Lurgan-to-Newry coaching road, passing Blackers Mill linen factory, some traditional mud-walled cottages, the Red Cow coaching inn, Lisnamintry Rath and 17th-century Lynastown Quaker burial ground. On to Bleary and Ballydougan Pottery, through Waringstown, and north to the Lagan Canal near Aghagallon, and back to Oxford Island for refreshment at the Discovery Centre's excellent restaurant.