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Sunday’s ‘Tour of the Orchard County’ cycle to support work of NSPCC

For many of us the Giro D’ Italia visit has encouraged the dusting off of old bicycles and a desire to get back on the road.

Now, with thanks to the Tour of the Orchard County, you can take in the same routes as the Giro riders and support a great cause whilst doing it!

The 3rd annual Tour of the Orchard County takes place this Sunday, July 20, in Armagh, covering routes travelled by the Giro d’Italia riders earlier this year, when Armagh hosted the Giro BIG START.

Organised by the Armagh Tigers Charitable Trust, this non-competitive but highly exciting cycling event sponsored by Linwoods Healthfoods will see all proceeds will go to the NSPCC, in aid of stopping child cruelty throughout the UK.

Organisers are calling on cyclists of all abilities to get involved as there are two routes to choose from, based on ability.

Route one; 58km will take in beautiful sites passing through Middletown, Markethill and on to Gosford Castle Demense. The route will then split with route one heading home towards Armagh taking in a backdrop of Lough Neigh and the Sperrin Mountains. Route two, 110km will continue from Markethill to Poyntzpass and pass through Tandragee – the birthplace of the famous Tayto crisp. It’s guaranteed to be an enjoyable day with both routes taking you through the idyllic Armagh country side.

Whilst Armagh has been famous for centuries for its exquisite blossoming apple orchards, more recently the orchard county has been put on the world map by Linwoods thanks to its healthy-eating Superfoods. Linwoods range of nutrient-rich milled seeds, nuts and berries is now enjoyed all across the world, including the USA, and Linwoods Superfoods products are regularly spotted in the shopping baskets of hollywood icons.

Part of the County Armagh community for over 30 years, Linwood bakery, dairy and health foods business is also renowned for offering support to local community and charity initiatives.

Emma Gribben, Marketing Executive for Linwoods said: “Linwoods is proud and excited to support the 2014 Tour of the Orchard County and we will be right behind the organisers, helping to fuel the event from start to finish.

“We strongly believe in giving something back into the community that has supported us for past 30 years and we are particularly keen to encourage local sporting events, as well as healthy and active lifestyles. This sponsorship is a perfect fit and we hope to help establish this fantastic event as one of the key events in the province’s sporting calendar. Cyclists are athletes that need stamina and a healthy diet to help maintain peak performance particularly over long distances. Linwoods Superfoods can help prepare cyclists during their training with a wealth of nutrients and vitamins and indeed add nutrition to anyone’s diet regardless of their fitness level, to improve their health and vitality.”

A spokesperson from the organisers, Armagh Tigers commented: “The Tour of the Orchard County has already become firmly established as a highpoint of Northern Ireland’s sporting calendar and is known far and wide as the great sociable cycle. We encourage riders of all abilities to take part, we have made it easy to register online at our website.”

Registration opens from 8am this Sunday at Armagh City Hotel with the tour kicking off at 9am. Entry fee is £25 when you register online at

All enquiries regarding entries can be sent to event organisers email:

Full routes:


  • Route One – 58km The Tour of the Orchard County leaves the historic ecclesiastical Capital City of Armagh and heads towards the village to Caledon passing the Ancient Navan Fort, home of the Red Knights. The route then heads to Middletown passing the old Caledon Mill and the entrance to the Tynan Abbey Estate, following through Middletown to LongNancies and on towards Keady. From Keady the route meanders through the hamlet of Tassagh towards Marketthill with spectacular views of the Mourne Mountains on the way. From Markethill home of the famous cattle markets and Gosford Castle Demense, the route then splits, with the shorter route heading home towards Armagh with magnificent views of Armagh’s two Cathedrals and a backdrop of Lough Neagh and the Sperrin Mountains.


  • Route Two – 110km The longer route continues on from Markethill passing their famous landmarks Cow and Calf and heads towards the village of Poyntzpass and onto Tandragee, passing the White’s Flour Mill home to the famous porridge oats and Tandragee Castle the birth place of Tayto Crisps. The route then loops back towards Stonebridge and the village of Kilmore, you are now entering the heart of the Orchard County famous for the ” Bramley Apple”. Whilst workings its way through acres of Orchards the route passes “Dan Winters Cottage” built in 1795 and birth place of the Orange Order. From here you pass Ardress House, home to the founder of Brook Bond Tea and opposite McNeice’s apple cider factory. We then head for Loughgall and visit the Loughgall Country Park, department of Agriculture and experimental laboratories and home to Armagh’s second Golf Course. The final part of the route takes you past Tullygoonigan Creamery and right towards Blackwatertown before heading back to the Armagh City Hotel for more views of the Cathedrals and a well earned rest and BBQ with music!
  • After Event BBQ: There will be an opportunity to get together with fellow participants after the event for a BBQ at the Armagh City Hotel, when participants will have use of the facilities here for showering and refreshing themselves.

Picture shows last year’s participants in action.

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