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Sunday’s fourth annual Tour of the Orchard County to raise vital funds for NSPCC

This Sunday sees the fourth annual Tour of the Orchard County – a non-competitive but highly exciting cycling event organised by Armagh Tigers Charitable Trust and sponsored by Linwoods.

Covering routes travelled by the Giro d’Italia last year, riders can choose from two routes through the blossoming apple orchards and exquisite County Armagh countryside. All event proceeds will go to the NSPCC, in aid of stopping child cruelty throughout the UK.

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.

Linwoods have sponsored the event for the past four years and their range of nutrient-rich milled seeds, nuts and berries is now enjoyed all across the world, including the USA, with Linwoods Superfoods products 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.

Armagh Tigers Chairman Kieran McAnallen is looking forward to this year’s event saying: “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 7.30am 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 – 58kmThe 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.

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