Sunday 21 December 2014

Promotion: Discover Northern Ireland

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Causeway Coastal Route
What can you say about one of the most celebrated scenic drives in Northern Europe? As you pass through quaint fishing villages, quiet beaches and mountain glens, take your time, have a relaxing picnic, breathe in the refreshing ocean breeze and lose yourself in thoughts and reflections.
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Glenarm Tulip Festival
There’s more to flowers than Valentine’s Day and your mum’s birthday as you’ll experience at the fifth annual Tulip Festival in Glenarm. The Walled Garden will form a tranquil and spectacular backdrop to gardening demonstrations for those of you with green fingers. Or just drop the kids off in the play area and enjoy the music and art displays.

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Avalon Guitar Factory
Take a guided tour of the world famous acoustic guitar factory and watch the expert craftsmen at work. You’ll be in good company as customers are a who’s who of contemporary musicians including Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, The Corrs, David Gray, Shawn Colvin, The Edge and Paul Brady.
Carrick-a-Rede
Step onto the rope bridge connecting Carrick-a-Rede to the mainland, if you dare, and experience the exhilarating panoramic view. You’ll be rewarded with stunning views of Rathlin and the Scottish Isles whilst being greeted by the friendly locals - a seabird colony!
St. Patrick’s Trail
Get the lowdown on the Patron Saint of Ireland and discover if he really banished all snakes from Ireland. Retrace his exciting life experiences on the trail at Saul Church, The Saint Patrick Centre and Saint Patrick's Trian Visitor Centre.
Armagh Apple Blossom Festival 7th – 8th May
Prepare to have your breath taken away in rural Armagh during the apple blossom season, when the delicate flowers of ancient trees burst into numerous shades of pink. Celebrate this beautiful time in the Orchard County with a range of events that breathe new life into Armagh City and surrounding area.
Armagh County Museum
The oldest county museum in Ireland is set in Armagh’s beautiful Georgian tree lined Mall. Take your time and get transported back through the centuries with displays, costumes, natural history specimens, memorabilia and household items from a bygone age.
Armagh Ancestry
Armagh Ancestry offers a comprehensive genealogical service to those whose ancestors came from Armagh. Retrace your family tree and discover your roots, maybe you’re related to one of Armagh’s famous historical figures, perhaps even St. Patrick himself! Pre-booking is essential.
Lough Neagh Angling
Lough Neagh is the largest freshwater lake in the British Isles and tributaries such as the Ballinderry and Moyola rivers are especially attractive for the trout angler. Spinning, worming or fly fishing, the area is abundant with life and offers anglers revitalizing evening sun sets in spectacular surroundings.
Peatlands Parkside Walk
Enjoy a family day out in the beautiful open green spaces and fresh air of this perfect picnic escape. Highlights include the duck pond, the railway and the bog garden. The invigorating spring air is bound to put a spring in your step.
Titanic - Made in Belfast Festival 3rd – 11th April
If you enjoyed the movie, then just imagine the goosebumps on your skin at the annual springtime festival of all things ‘Titanic’. Experience first hand stories of the luxury, glamour, engineering feats, tragedy and lost lives attached to the Titanic’s legacy at this moving and exhilarating festival.
Belfast Film Festival 15th – 30th April
If you love movies, then you’ll be in good company as the Film Festival takes over the city in various venues across the city including a series of premiere screenings. Celebrating its 10th birthday, there’ll be famous faces, red carpets and opportunities to chat to the movie directors and stars.
Spring Fair – Belfast 24th – 25th April
Stop the kids nagging you at home and let them loose on a wide range of activities from sports to face painting and art demonstrations as Barnett Demesne and Malone House play host to the annual Spring Fair. Look at it this way, while they’re running about having a laugh, you can sit down, relax & unwind – everyone’s a winner!
Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival 29th April – 9th May
Meet eclectic and like minded folk as culture vultures from all corners of the world descend on this annual Arts festival. Local, national and international artists will entertain and energize all before them with the very best in music, comedy, theatre, literature, visual arts and film.
Mournes
CS Lewis's magical land of Narnia from his popular children's books the Chronicles of Narnia were inspired from his experiences of the Mourne Mountains. And it’s easy to understand why. There’s magic in the air here befitting the outstanding natural beauty. Outdoor enthusiasts will feel right at home on the invigorating and inspirational slopes.
Coasts of Down Links Challenge 28th -30th April
We’re talking about some of the most famous links courses in the world, with some of the top golfers even finding them a challenge, so if you’re up for it, take on the challenge at Ardglass, Kirkistown and Royal County Down Golf Clubs. Don’t forget your sand wedge, there are bunkers everywhere!
Ramble and Roast at Mount Stewart House and Gardens
Visit the famous gardens at Mount Stewart, planted in the 1920s and containing many rare plants, and revel in the views over Strangford Lough. Go for a revitalizing ramble through the lesser known areas of the grounds with an experienced guide followed by a well earned relaxing meal in the Bay Restaurant.
Tollymore Forest Park
For a refreshing change, head to Tollymore and add atmosphere to your nature rambles. Discover a barn dressed up as a church, spooky gothic arches, rocky outcrops, bridges, grottos and caves. Not to mention Ireland’s oldest tree, a quarter of a millennium years old and still none too shabby!
Ballycopeland Windmill
Feel at home and uncover the fascinating history of Ireland’s love affair with windmills at this restored and fully functional site. From video demos, audio visual theatre and the visitors centre, no stone is unturned. If the weathers up for it, you may even get to mill your own barley and cook up some delicious home made bread.
Fermanagh Lakelands
Trail blaze in Fermanagh ... every route leads to a great time. Hire a bicycle and explore its quiet byways and breathtaking sunsets. Or hire a boat and escape the daily doldrums on the tranquil waterways that Fermanagh is famous for. You can even travel underground through the Marble Arch Caves if you really want to find a secluded spot!
Belleek Pottery Visitor Centre
2009 was a landmark year for Belleek Pottery’s Visitor Centre, which welcomed its 2.5millionth visitor and celebrated the Centre’s 20th anniversary. And what keeps the visitors flocking here are the guided tours, showrooms, museum, audio visual theatre and gift shop. Take the family and see if you can help make it 3 million!
Marble Arch Caves
Explore a fascinating, natural underworld of rivers, waterfalls, winding passages and lofty chambers. Listen to the eerie echo of your footsteps as you pass the ghosts of our early ancestors who sought refuge here thousands of years ago.
Enniskillen Castle Museums
Put yourself into the shoes of the Maguire’s, the resident founders or into the shoes of their immediate threats, the O’Rourke and the O’Donnell clans and imagine the tension and feuds as history is brought to life in the guided tours and exhibitions of this magnificent castle.
Angling on Lough Erne
Awash with all varieties of fish from Pike, Perch, Rudd and Bream to Roach, Brown Trout and Eels, Lough Erne is a maze of channels and islands with vast shallows and rocky areas, perfect for the eager fisherman. Hire a boat to reach some of the Loughs hotspots or just hug the shoreline. Either way it’s a perfectly relaxed and unhurried afternoon escape.
Walled City of Derry (Londonderry)
Immerse yourself in a fascinating tour of the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland and one of the finest examples of Walled Cities in Europe. Nowhere else has the same historical and political significance as this compelling, compact and exhilarating experience.
Art Exhibition by John Behan RHA 31st Mar - 24th Apr
If you’ve got an interest in culture and art you won’t want to miss the opportunity to see one of Ireland’s best known sculptors, who is credited with playing a major part in the development of sculpture in Ireland over the course of the last forty years.
City of Derry Jazz Festival 29th Apr - 3rd May
There’s something both relaxing and exhilarating about Jazz that transports you to another place and time. If you’re an aficionado of the genre, or if you just enjoy music, then hop down to Northern Ireland’s biggest Jazz Festival in Derry this May.
Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne
Don’t forget your camera as both the Temple and surrounding views are among the most photographed scenes in Ireland with its dramatic wild coastal landscape, that’s bound to inspire and re-energize your batteries. You could even tie the knot here as the Temple is now available for civil wedding ceremonies!
Spring Fair at Ulster American Folk Park 3rd April
Stroll down Shipbuoy Street this Easter and experience the sights, smells and sounds of a typical Spring Fair Day of the late 19th century. Treat the kids to an exhilarating horse and cart ride or sample the local market stalls.
Sperrins Cycling Routes
Experience the wind rush and exhilaration of a unique landscape, rich in archaeological heritage and folklore on any of the 12 circular waymarked cycle routes of the Sperrins. Each route hosts points of interest along the way, where you can stop to explore, have a rest or a bite to eat.
Baronscourt Estate
Explore an oasis of peace and tranquillity in the sheltered foothills of the Sperrin Mountains at Baronscourt. The carefully tended woods frame wonderful vistas, that together with the lakes create a truly enchanted location in which to relax away from the pressures of modern living. It’s like a fairytale book come to life.
Omagh Historic Walking Trail
Experience a sense of place and history as Omagh’s secrets are revealed on this enthralling and energizing walking trail. You’ll enjoy the quiet charm and the good humour of its people when you stop off in any of its characteristic watering holes.
Ulster Museum
There are a few new faces waiting to meet you at the newly refurbished Ulster Museum. Takabuti, the Egyptian Mummy. Peter, the polar bear. And Edmontosaurus, the um, Edmontosaurus! It’s just one of the many fascinating museums scattered across Northern Ireland. So take a step back in time and discover something new – or old – this spring.
Sperrin Mountains
Put the spring back in your step and go for a rejuvenating and exhilarating hike up one of Ireland’s most beautiful wildernesses, the Sperrin Mountains. It’s a breath of fresh air from city life and home to a wide range of outdoor pursuits such as horse-riding, golf and water sports, not to mention the spectacular cycle and driving routes.
Spa Breaks
Go on, you deserve it. Escape from it all, put your feet up, sink into a mud bath, jump into a jacuzzi, sizzle in a sauna, feel the stress of city life melt away with a relaxing massage and afterwards go for a gentle nature trail stroll. Spa breaks in Northern Ireland – a match made in heaven.
Strangford Lough Canoeing
The glistening waters of Strangford Lough make for a memorable family day out if water sports are your thing. Hire a canoe and retrace the Viking invasion of yesteryear. Bring your fishing rod with you and plunder the depths of the Lough for it’s abundance of fish.

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