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Fireworks, Carnivals & Night Enduros

Posted on October 22, 2014 @ 2:43 PM in Mountainbiking

With the summer well and truly behind us and pumpkin season now just around the corner, we thought we'd suggest a weekend of Fireworks, Carnivals and Night Enduros in the North West of Northern Ireland this Halloween! 

90 minutes drive from Belfast (3hrs from Dublin), Northern Ireland's second city Derry~Londonderry has re-branded itself as the 'City of Bones' this Halloween and is hosting a 17 day festival of night time markets, spectacular light shows, fireworks and Europe's largest street carnival. With the hugely popular Davagh Forest Trails located en route (1hr from Derry~Londonderry) Halloween is arguably the best time of the year to check out why the limelight is continuing to shine on this corner of Northern Ireland.

Derry~Londonderry Fireworks

Already famed for its cultural identity, Derry~Londonderry is raising the bar even further this year with an incredible programme of events genuinely catering for people from all walks of life. Just a quick glance through the city's extensive Halloween Events Listings will give you an idea of how much is being packed into this year's festival.

Our pick of the bunch is Halloween night itself, Friday 31st October, which sees night time markets on Guildhall Street, the Awakening of the Walls (a theatrical show of light, fire, sculpture and circus), the City of Bones Street Carnival Parade and the always fabulous Halloween Fireworks Display over the banks of the River Foyle. If you're after a bit of luxury, check out Beech Hill Country House Hotel, four star accommodation just outside the city.

Beech Hill Country House Hotel

On the Saturday morning, we suggest you enjoy Beech Hill's stunning surroundings on a easy going off-road cycling trail before heading down to Davagh Forest to check out the mountain bike trail centre that Singletrack Magazine reckon might just boast "...the best section of singletrack trail. Anywhere." Not bad praise from one of the sport’s most respected publications.

Davagh Forest Trails

Pop into nearby Cookstown for some early afternoon carb-loading before heading back to Davagh Forest to take part in much anticipated Davagh Enduro Night Rider.

Davagh Night Rider Enduro

This event takes place from 5pm – 9pm on Saturday 1st November and is expected to attract riders from all over Ireland. Catering for more intermediate to advanced mountain bikers with night riding experience, this unique enduro race will consist of five timed stages within the Davagh Forest Trails and can be taken as seriously or as light-hearted as you like!

After all that adrenaline, you'll need a comfortable place to lay your head. Located just 6 miles from Davagh Forest, The Apparo is the perfect base for mountain bikers with modern accommodation and a MTB-Friendly restaurant which prides itself on using the freshest local produce. This is a great spot to relax and replenish all that spent energy from a long day out on the bikes. 

Depending on where you call home, you might consider splitting up your drive back on Sunday by checking out the new trails in Blessingbourne in Fivemiletown, Castlewellan or Rostrevor in the Mountains of Mourne.

Chris Armstrong
Chris Armstrong  Mountain Bike Officer

Chris looks after all things mountain biking in Northern Ireland's a tough job but someone's gotta do it!

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