Carlingford prospered throughout the 15th and 16th centuries but with the growth of the nearby town of Newry its importance has steadily declined hastened by the early 18th century. Newry Ship canal which enabled ships to by-pass the port in their journeys up the lough to Newry. A modern benefit of this has been the preservation of the medieval character of the place which is now one of the Heritage Towns of Ireland.
Since it first won the National Tidy Towns competition in 1988 the local community have embarked on an extensive scheme for the preservation and development of the medieval character of the town while at the same time providing the visitor with all the modern conveniences including hotel and guesthouse accommodation, an adventure centre, a yachting marina, periodic festivals and cruises around Carlingford Lough in the summer season.
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