David FlanaganEd McCannAndrea Harrower
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OutdoorNI.com is making a stand against doom and gloom.

Posted on June 2, 2010 @ 5:16 PM in Adventure

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.


Mourne Mountains 


Mountain Boarding


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.




Sea Safari

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!


Chris Scott
Chris Scott

When not boring everyone about his little kids’ latest antics, Chris enjoys sailing and cycling, if only to offset his love of eating out and Marlborough Cabernet Sauvignon..

3 comments have been posted in reply to this article

Posted by Travel Medical Insurance on February 4, 2011 @ 3:38 AM

Northern Ireland looks like a great place to visit. It is on my list of must places to go before I get too old to enjoy them. I wonder if it is better to go in the summer or fall. I think I will go in early fall next year.

Posted by Cyclist Jerseys Brian on April 22, 2011 @ 2:08 PM

I love surfing. I wan to visit that place someday. Thanks for posting.

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