Jayne Woodrow Marketing Executive
Jayne joined the marketing team of Outdoor Recreation NI in March 2014. She enjoys getting out and exploring the fantastic adventures on offer across Northern Ireland.
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You have reached the OutdoorNI.com My Bank Holiday blog for 2014 but don't worry there's still plenty of adventure activities happening this year too! Check out our latest blog May Bank Holiday Adventure for loads of events happening in 2015.
Activity providers across Northern Ireland have special events happening this weekend and here are just some of what is on offer over the May Bank Holiday.
There are plenty of options when it comes to family activities happening in Northern Ireland this weekend, here are just a few of our favourites:
Mayday Extravaganza, Share Discovery Village, Lisnaskea, 3rd to 5th May
From rock climbing to canoeing and banana boating to windsurfing to name only a few, experience the thrills of the outdoors with your family in a variety of land and water activities. Alternatively you can also Cruise Upper Lough Erne on 4th May. Hop aboard the Inishcruiser and weave through the intricate network of Upper Lough Erne’s many islands. You'll pass the ruins of the original Plantation Castle at Crom as well as the impressive 18th Century Castle which you may recognise from the recent BBC series ‘Blandings’ filmed in the grounds.
Bank Holiday Kids Camp, Long Line Surf School, Benone Beach, 3rd to 5th May
Surfs up this weekend during the May Bank Holiday Kid’s Camp! Children will be taught how to surf in a safe and fun environment surrounded by kids of their own age. This is an experience the children will remember forever.
Family Fun Day, The JungleNI, Moneymore, 4th & 5th May
The Jungle NI’s infamous Family Fun Day returns with a fantastically adventurous bang on May bank holiday weekend! With activities from only £3 including archery, segways and body zorbs, or 6 activities for £15 you can have loads of fun and enjoy some quality time with the family.
Strangford Sea Safari, Clearsky Adventure Centre, Strangford Lough, 4th May
See the Angus Rocks Lighthouse, surface whirlpools and some of the many seals at Cloughy Rocks Nature Reserve on this high speed boat ride. You might even get to see a pod of porpoises or even a basking shark!
There are so many great events happening across Northern Ireland that we couldn’t fit them all in so make sure you check out the kids & family events section for even more action packed fun!
From thrill seekers wanting to get their adrenaline pumping to friends looking for a fun day out together or those keen to learn a new sport Northern Ireland is the place to be this May Bank Holiday!
Check out the events section for a full list of adventures, here are just a few of our favourites to provide inspiration:
Sailing Courses, Craigavon Watersports Centre, Craigavon, 4th May
Set sail this weekend. Whether you are a complete beginner or have sailed before this course offers a sheltered harbour to learn in or a larger outer lake to improve and practice. There's no better feeling then gliding along the water with the wind in your sails!
Introduction to Sea Kayaking, Simply Sea Kayak, 3rd & 4th May
Try something completely new with this safe, fun and informative session. You’ll learn all the basics of paddling in the stunning setting of the North Coast.
Try Mountain Biking, Life Adventure Centre, Castlewellan, 3rd May
Have a go at the fantastic mountain biking trails in Castlewellan. You'll recieve 3 hours of instruction and mountain bike hire so you can try out this muddy marvellous activity and see why so many people in Northern Ireland have become addicted to mountain biking. Whether you are looking for an introduction to a lifelong passion or just want a fun session with friends this event will not disappoint.
Discover the Elements, Four Elements Adventure, Omagh, 3rd - 4th May
Dive right in to some adventurous activities during this action packed weekend course. Discover the water with some canoeing, get to grips with the earth in climbing/abseiling and hillwalking. Lots of fun and in the safe hands of the enthusiastic instructors.
Game of Thrones Archery Experience, Clearsky Adventure Centre, Castle Ward, 4th May
Have a go at archery in the very place where the BAFTA award winning TV show was filmed! Stand in the recreated Game of Thrones Archery film set tipi and dress in a Game of Thrones costume to look the part before taking aim.
Have a great May Bank Holiday Weekend!
With the Giro d’Italia coming to Northern Ireland next week the whole country is turning pink and getting out on their bikes. If the Giro has inspired you to get out cycling, CycleNI.com has picked out a few of their favourite routes to suit a range of abilities, both on and off road.
Co. Derry ~ Londonderry
For even more routes and also to see what events are happening around the Giro coming to Northern Ireland please visit CycleNI.com
great info as always, we have a strong ladies cycling for leisure team whom i train and they are keen to get out more and visit the trails - gentle ones that is - always look forward to a great ... Read more >
The 2014 Single Speed European Championships were billed as 'Wonderfully Weird and a little bit Wacky'. So when over 260 European mountain bikers descended upon the Castlewellan Mountain Bike Trails clad in everything from Scandinavian Viking Dress to Leprechauns and Clowns we knew the weekend was going to live up to it's ever growing reputation!
Of course, SSEC2014 was always going to be 'more about the party than the prizes' and so true to form the weekend showcased the best of European Single Speeding's fun-loving ethos!
Even the people of Castlewellan got into the action, taking the traditional 'Bike Mix Up' to a whole new level - great effort!
And then there was the now famous bike throwing competition... there's goes our trusty steed from SSEC2013. Hats off to David Mitchell who won a Surly Krampus with his colossal effort!
Of course, there was a whole chunk of riding thrown in for good measure with first place scooped up by Italy's Umberto Corti. Congratulations Umberto!!
Needless to say, Castlewellan was buzzing throughout the weekend with the pubs full of mountain bikers from no less than nineteen different countries across the world. Represent!
The Cafes were busy too ...here's the scene outside Coffee Dock in Castlewellan on the Saturday morning!!!
So as we wrap up this year's Single Speed European Championships all that's left to say is a huge thank you to Down District Council for funding this iconic event on the Castlewellan Mountain Bike Trails. Thank you to our co-organisers and incredible volunteer team from the Northern Ireland Mountain Biking Alliance and THANK YOU to everyone who took part in SSEC2014 for making it an unforgettable weekend!
Looking forward to seeing everyone in Sicily for SSEC2015!
Legendary work guys, just magic! Certainly one of the best MTB events on the calendar, and a real coup for N.I. to host this amazing event. The reception from the locals was warm and welcoming for ... Read more >
It's hard to believe but Northern Ireland's National MTB Trail Centres in Rostrevor, Castlewellan and Davagh Forest (pictured below) are now almost a year old! To celebrate MountainBikeNI.com has teamed up with local videographer Andy Yoong, Honcho Media, to produce a series of short edits from each trail centre - hope you enjoy!
Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails
On the shores of Carlingford Lough, Rostrevor offers some of the most challenging mountain biking in all of Ireland where efforts are rewarded with incredible coastal views and lightning quick singletrack descents. When you add not just one but two purpose-built downhill trails to the mix, there’s no denying it… Rostrevor is a mountain biker’s haven. Check out #KodakCorner.
Castlewellan Mountain Bike Trails
The Castlewellan Mountain Bike Trails consist of a range of green, blue and red grade (including black options) singletrack routes just minutes from the lively village of Castlewellan. As well as delivering their fair share of adrenaline, these trails offer unparalleled ‘mountainscape’ views of the Mourne Mountains. The Castlewellan Mountain Bike Trails are also hosting the unique Single Speed European Championships on 25th - 27th April 2014. Check out #CastleWheelin.
Davagh Forest Trails
Davagh Forest is tucked away in the untouched rural landscape of the Sperrin Mountains and offers exhilarating XC trails that’ll tick everyone’s boxes. There is a family-friendly green trail and an easy going blue trail with some sections of more technical singletrack. There is a pump track and short skills course located at the trailhead however if you’re after a fast trail that’ll keep you on your toes then the Red Trail at Davagh Forest will be sure to hit the spot. Check out #DavaghRocks.
Fancy checking out these trail centres for yourself? Here's some info on the Latest Ferry Offers from mainland GB! Trust us, they're worth the trip!
If you’re struggling to think of something to keep the kids and teens amused over the Easter break that doesn’t involve a T.V. then don’t worry we’ve got a fantastic list of great outdoor family events that are sure to inspire. Join in on the fun or leave the kids to it at one of the many adventure camps taking place over the easter school holidays.
Make the most of your time off together with the kids, here are just a few of the many things for families to do outdoors this easter:
Create your own adventure with 2 hours of mountain biking and 2 hours of canoe hire as well as an orienteering challenge all on the brilliant Castlewellan trails. Why not make a day of it, pack a picnic and see who can find their way in the famous hedge maze?!
Set sail and try the exciting sport of dinghy sailing with experienced Instructors. This taster session is an ideal way for families to have their first experience of sailing on the seas. All equipment including wetsuits and buoyancy aids will be provided so all you have to do is turn up and have fun!
Enjoy a half or full day of activities for all the family. Race to the top of the climbing wall, zoom along the zipline, practice your aim at archery or have a splash canoeing. If you’re having too much fun to leave then take advantage of their special glamping offer and spend the night in the great outdoors with a bit of added comfort!
Hop aboard the sea tour for an exciting tour with a twist! You’ll take in the fabulous sights from the sea including the Giant’s Causeway, the Skerries, the stunning white rocks beach and historic Dunluce Castle whilst hearing some fun facts along the way. Watch out for the seals before whizzing round the harbour on your return.
Take a trip to the beach and learn to surf the waves of the North Coast together. Equipment and tuition are included as well as a free easter egg for everyone! Mention OutdoorNI when booking to get £5 off.
Hunt for the easter bunnies on a fun orienteering egg hunt to win your very own easter egg before cruising on the Lough Erne with plenty of fun games and activities to keep the kids amused.
Easter Eggstravanganza, Jungle NI, Moneymore, Co. Derry~Londonderry, 21st & 22nd April
There’s plenty for everyone at the easter themed family fun day at the Jungle. Climbing wall, archery, llama trekking, boat rides and of course an all important easter egg hunt!
If you don’t want to cramp their style, drop the kids off and leave them in the safe hands of instructors who will make sure they have a fantastic time with kids their own age during these great kids camps:
There’ll be no need to worry about who’s going to look after the kids with activities galore in the fabulous setting of Castle Ward including pier jumping, climbing, canoeing, archery and mountain biking to name a few. With a free bus service running from Newcastle, Downpatrick and Strangford there will be need to call on the taxi of mum and dad! Suitable for ages 8-15.
Sure to be an experience the children will remember forever, they’ll get to have 2 hours of fun on the beach everyday whilst learning about the sport, lifestyle, culture, history and safety aspects of surfing.
With rafted canoeing, rock climbing, archery, orienteering, abseiling, team building games and survival skills, there won’t be a cry of ‘I’m bored!’ in sight on this adventure camp. Suitable for ages 5-14 years (split into two age groups) nobody has to miss out on the fun.
Drop your kids off on the way to work for five fun filled days of activities in the heart of the city. Enthusiastic and experienced instructors will ensure they have an exciting week of activities including canoeing, kayaking, orienteering, archery and water roller zorbs.
Check out OutdoorNI.com for even more family days out this Easter.