This is a wonderful place just on the shore of Lough Neagh and close to the airport, so a great spot if you have time to waste before your flight. The park facilities are open between 9.30 and 7pm (or dusk if earlier) but there is a car park just outside the main gate and you can access the grounds at any time (free admission). If you are walking alone during the day this is a safe enough place, as long as you stick to the main footpaths. I wouldn't advise lone walkers to walk beyond the bridge on the town centre side or walk beyond the castle on the Lough side, unless it's a very busy day.
The castle grounds are well kept and are undergoing a considerable restoration programme. Currently the long canal is closed off but there is still plenty to see. There is a beautiful Italian tower right on the edge of the river and if you climb inside the old archway at the base you can see the remains of the stairwell open to the sky above.
This is a great place for families as children can run free, with plenty of space for games and picnics. For garden enthusiasts there is a large formal garden. Clotworthy house (in the Castle grounds) is also home to an art gallery. Unfortunately this was closed when I visited. The coffee shop was a wonderful find. With seating indoors and in the courtyard this is a fantastic little place. Very modern, but with warm scones, jam, fresh cream and strawberries, it retains a certain old world charm...even if you do eat it with your grande americano!
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