Oxford Island and the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre are two places of interest managed by the Craigavon Borough Council. Despite the name this Oxford is not an island. Both Oxford and the Discovery Centre are located on the shore in south Lough Neagh, the largest fresh water lake in the British Isles. They are also very close to the town of Lurgan. They are very easily accessible since the M1, one of the main motorways of Northern Ireland that leads from Belfast south and east to Lurgan, Portadown, Armagh and beyond, passes very close.
The Discovery Centre
The Discovery Centre is the main facility. It was opened in 1993. Built just meters away from the lake waters it has a small gift shop and a restaurant/café that offers a good selection of food. More importantly, the staff at the Centre have expertise in the wildlife of the area. They run programs and events for anyone interested including themed walks and talks about bird watching and conservation issues. Outside the Centre there is a park and children’s play are that among others includes a water feature which children love to explore, especially on warm days. There are many spots to fish from and there are miles of trails to explore that will take you to scenic places by the shores of the lake.
Just beyond the Discovery Centre is Oxford Island. It also has a play area and camping and caravanning facilities, places for fishing and trails for walking. In addition, it has a small marina. Many private boats are moored there and there is a club that offers training in boating/canoeing and water sports.
This place is very popular with locals and with people from further afield. On weekends and public holidays and even on a warm weekday the place can be quite busy. The reason is both the good facilities and the accessibility from main urban centers. As a family we visited many times and the children loved it. Of the camping site UK this is one you might want to explore.
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