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Though it is the smallest of six counties in Northern Ireland by land area, and second smallest by population, County Armagh has been far from sleepy in the last few decades. With the nickname 'Bandit Country', by the late 20th century the South of Armagh had become the most militarised area in Europe, a stronghold of support for the IRA. Since the Belfast 'Good Friday' Agreement of 1998, the area has calmed down, but there have still been bursts of sporadic violence in the last few years.

In sharp contrast to this recent history of violence, many parts of County Armagh feature extreme natural beauty. The land falls away from its highest points in the South, the Carrigatuke, Lislea and Camlough mountains, to elongated hills further North shaped like inverted spoons, called 'Drumlins', to sea-level flatlands in the North around the freshwater lake, Lough Neagh.

The fertile land, perfect for apple-growing, has given rise to the county's nickname: 'Ochard County'.

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