Posted on June 23, 2010 @ 11:44 AM in
The summer is a great time to spend some quality time with the family but sometimes it can be a struggle to find things to do together that everybody enjoys.
You are fed up going to the cinema to watch animated films, the kids hide every time you mention a museum, boys love football and girls like shopping – ok a little stereotypical but I am sure you understand what I mean – trying to keep everybody happy can just cause stress rather than that fun day out you were looking for.
However, salvation can be found through the wide range of outdoor activities on offer in Northern Ireland.
- Hassle Free
- Value for Money
These are the four ‘musts’ for any family activity day out or holiday. Northern Ireland has a wide range of highly qualified outdoor activity providers just waiting to take your family on an outdoor adventure.
Be it an afternoon canoeing through St Patrick’s country or a morning coasteering along the Causeway Coast – family fun starts here!
So this summer why not transform your beach holiday and give surfing a go, explore the beauty of Strangford Lough by high speed RIB, experience the thrill of the Mourne Mountains like never before on a mountain board; or go for a splash on Fermanagh’s lakes by canoe
Take this opportunity to share the experience of a lifetime with your kids and show them that mum and dad aren’t too old to get outdoors and have some family fun.
Or if all that sounds a bit much and it is total relaxation you’re after, then why not leave the kids to be entertained whilst you enjoy some quiet time.
Here are just a few of our ‘Top Tips for Family Fun’
Action Outdoors Summer Sessions
From £3 / €3.50 pp
Operating in various sites including Delamont Country Park, The Quarry in Castlewellan and Bloody Bridge near Newcastle Action Outdoors Summer Sessions offer arguably the most diverse range of activities for all the family including bouldering, grass sledging, archery, canoeing and climbing.
Summer Extravaganza on Lough Erne
Share Holiday Village, Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh
From £6 / €7 pp
Operating daily throughout July and August this family friendly activity programme allows you to enjoy the thrills of a variety of land and water activities on and around Lough Erne; one hour, two hour or even a 2.5 hour taster sessions in sailing, kayaking, canoeing and banana skiing or archery, climbing and pedal go karting.
Strangford Sea Safari
Clearsky Adventure Centre, Strangford, County Down
From £10 / €11.50 pp
Experience Strangford Lough as never before aboard a high speed RIB. Just some of the highlights along the way include seal colonies at Cloughy Rocks Nature Reserve, great whirlpools at the famous ‘Routen Wheel’, Angus Rock Lighthouse and of course guaranteed exhilaration!
Trips every 40 minutes from Strangford Quay. 12 seats per trip. Minimum age - 4 years
Sundays 11th July, 25th July, 8th August & 22nd August.
Super Family Sundays on Carlingford Lough
East Coast Adventure Centre, Warrenpoint, County Down
From £10 / €11.50 pp
Lazy Sundays are a thing of the past with this great opportunity for some adventure on Carlingford Lough. Activities include, canoeing, kayaking, pier jumping, banana boating, jet ski rides and much more. Parents can take part or unwind in one of the many of the local bars and restaurants. Available every Sunday 2pm – 6pm.
Family Adventure Day
Clearsky Adventure Centre, Castle Ward Estate, Strangford, County Down
From £25 / €29 pp
Have fun days out trying various outdoor activities in the beautiful Castle Ward Estate. Watch Dad go red in the face, have a laugh at mum, encourage the little ones and capture the memories!
A 2.5 hour session will give you a taster of activities such as Canadian Canoeing, Archery and Orienteering. 13th & 27th June; 11th & 25th July; 8th & 22nd August; 12th September
This list is by no means it – check out our events page for more details
Be sure to book ahead to avoid disappointment
Posted on June 23, 2010 @ 11:10 AM in
This is OutdoorNI.com’s Summer Scheme blog for 2010 but don’t worry we’ve got a brand new blog with details of loads of exciting Summer Schemes for 2012 - click here to go to the new blog 'Northern Ireland's Top Summer Schemes 2012'
OutdoorNI.com’s Top Tips for Summer Scheme Fun
As the end of the school year approaches, the thought of a nine week holiday is bliss for kids but quite often a nightmare for parents.
The perennial question is - How are we going to keep the kids amused for that long?
To help provide some answers OutdoorNI.com has put together this guide to the outdoor activity summer schemes available in Northern Ireland during July and August.
Summer schemes provide kids with a great way to meet new friends, learn something new and have fun. Most importantly it gets them out of the house and into the outdoors whilst under the supervision of qualified instructors.
So in no particular order here are some of our top tips for summer scheme fun:
Day Adventure Camp – East Coast Adventure Centre, Warrenpoint, Co Down
Canoeing, climbing, orienteering and surfing are just some of the activities on offer on the shores of Carlingford Lough.
Camps run in five day blocks through July and August. Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. each day.
Kids from 8-16 years old are welcome and are split into groups according to age.
All abilities are welcome with no requirement to be able to swim.
Cost £99 per person per week – A residential rate of £199 per person per week is also available.
Summer Scheme - Share Holiday Village, Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh
Now in its eighth year, this highly successful Summer Scheme returns to attract new participants to Lough Erne throughout July and August
Kids between the age of 8 -16 years old can take part in a fun filled weeklong skills development course in either:
Cost £95 per person per week including a recognised qualification in a chosen activity.
Delamont Activity Summer Scheme - Action Outdoors, Delamont Country Park, Killyleagh, Co Down
This summer scheme is all about squeezing as much fun as possible into a week, with at least one activity every day, including canoeing, archery, climbing, grass sledging, orienteering and team games.
The activity programme on the shores of Strangford Lough is designed for kids aged between 6-13 years olds.
Sessions run at 10 a.m. – 12.30 p.m. or 1 p.m. – 3.30 p.m.
Monday 19th – Friday 23rd July
Monday 16th – Friday 20th August
Cost £50 per week with each additional family member charged £45
Kids Summer Camp - Clearsky Adventure Centre, Castle Ward Estate, Downpatrick, Co Down
A fun packed week of activities for the kids including canoeing, coasteering, archery, climbing and orienteering in the picturesque Castle Ward Estate.
Camp runs 10 a.m. -4 p.m. Monday 26th July-Friday 6th August.
Suitable for those aged 8-15yrs old.
FREE shuttle bus services from Newcastle, Strangford and Downpatrick each day.
Cost £30 per person per day or £120 per person per five day week
Shaw’s Bridge Summer Scheme – Mobile Team Adventure, Shaw’s Bridge, Belfast
Mobile Team Adventure will be running four weeks of canoeing and multi activities in the heart of Belfast’s parklands. Activities will be organised in two age groups 7 – 11 years and 12 – 16 years.
Sessions run Monday – Friday 10am – 2.30pm
26th –30th July
2nd –6th August
9th –13th August
16th – 20th August
Cost £20pp per day / One week £80pp / Discount for multiple weeks and for siblings
Weekly price includes an exclusive summer scheme t-shirt.
Share Summer Adventure Camp – Share Holiday Village, Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh
This residential camp runs Sunday15th – Sunday 22nd August with activities, accommodation food and 24 hour supervision included.
Activities include archery, canoeing, climbing, orienteering, sailing and windsurfing.
Junior Camp - 10 - 15 year olds
Bushwacker Camp 15-18 year olds including overnight camps on Lough Erne Canoe Trail
Cost £195pp – 10% discount for two or more children booked.
Posted on June 17, 2010 @ 9:49 AM in
Already there has been lots of events happening for this years Bike Week which starts on 19th June…the main aim of Bike Week is ‘to promote cycling and show how cycling can easily be part of everyday life.’
Here are just a few of the events that are happening across Northern Ireland over this years Bike Week…so why not get out and enjoy the sun and take part in one (or more) of them!
Check out CycleNI.com for more events over Bike Week and all year round!
Posted on June 2, 2010 @ 5:16 PM in
We are fed up watching the news and hearing about ongoing flight disruptions due to volcanic ash and airline strikes; we don’t want to hear anymore about recessions or financial strife, after all it’s summer time and it’s nearly time to go on holiday!
Forget the doom and gloom - the solution to your problem is a ‘Staycation’. In previous summers I have spent holidays away in foreign countries enjoying all sorts of outdoor activities but in hindsight I couldn’t see the wood from the trees, the doom and gloom has only helped to prove how lucky we really are.
Two weekends ago I cycled around and canoed in Fermanagh’s lakes and last weekend I explored Rathlin Island by mountain bike and on foot. On both occasions I returned home exhausted, sun burnt (yes in Northern Ireland!) but absolutely exhilarated after having a great time.
Doom and gloom has helped me see the light -Northern Ireland has got so much to offer.
So whether you are based north or south of the border, then make 2010 your year to explore Northern Ireland:
- No flights are needed
- It’s only a short drive away
- Everybody speaks English
- It’s in the ‘sterling zone’
And there are a great range of outdoor activity experiences for you to choose from.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to be an adrenaline junkie, in fact the vast majority of activities on offer are for those with no prior experience and who just want to get out there and have some fun.
So whether it is with the family, a group of friends or as a couple, OutdoorNI.com’s mini destination guides are designed to highlight what’s on offer and here is just a snippet
The North Coast
Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-rede rope bridge and Bushmills Distillery are just some of the famous sights and attractions of this area and well worth a visit but why not step things up a gear by coasteering along the coast or learning how to surf on one of the Blue Flag beaches. A visit to Rathlin Island is a must; the adventure starts with the short ferry ride from Ballycastle and continues as you absorb the wildlife along the walking and cycling trails throughout the island.
Not only are The Sperrins home to some of Ireland’s most spectacular and stunning scenery but this area is also emerging as a high adrenaline destination. There are several unique activity centres dotted through this wild landscape. Race around on a single seater hovercraft or why not try zorbing and throw yourself down one of Sperrins’ rolling hills.
Fermanagh is famous for its lakes which provide a perfect watersports playground.
Canoeing, sailing and windsurfing are just a few of the great ways to experience this amazing waterway.
The lakes however are not the only attraction. The Marble Arch Caves are one of Northern Ireland's best known visitor attractions. As an alternative way of exploring Fermanagh's subterranean world then why not don a boiler suit, helmet and torch and join Corralea Activity Centre who provide caving guides and all the necessary equipment.
The Mourne Mountains provide the perfect combination of sea and mountains which mean you can either choose full on adventure or a more laid back approach to the outdoors.
The Mourne Mountains themselves are simply spectacular. Rising dramatically from the sea, 12 summits of this range are all above 600 metres and include Slieve Donard, Northern Ireland’s highest mountain at 853m but never fear there are many ways to enjoy this beautiful area without venturing too far into the hills – unless you want to.
Mountain boarding, horse riding and canoeing are just some of the activities of the activities you can try out with the Mourne Mountains as your back drop.
Strangford Lough is the largest sea Lough in the British Isles and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
This was St Patrick's first landing place so why not follow in the footsteps of this famous legend and try out at all the exciting outdoor activities on offer? - we promise it will not involve any snakes!
St Patrick didn’t have the option of canoeing, cycling and sea safaris but these are just some the fantastic ways of exploring this impressive area.
So pick your location, pick your activities and let the ‘staycation’ begin!