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Family Adventures from £10 during Northern Ireland Adventureland 2015

Posted on February 27, 2015 @ 8:18 AM in Adventure

If you want to get outdoors more with the kids, are looking for new ways to keep them entertained or want an exciting family day out that everyone can enjoy Northern Ireland Adventureland Weekend has got it covered.    

For one weekend only on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th March a whole host of outdoor activities are being offered for just £10pp  or a massive 50% off normal prices meaning you can have a fantastic day out for less.

Northern Ireland Adventureland Weekend 2015

Here are just some of the family friendly outdoor events on offer:

Strangford Sea Safari Whirlpool Special - 50% Off
Clearsky Adventure Centre, Strangford, Co. Down, 29th March
An exhilarating sightseeing boat tour of Strangford Lough. See the SeaGen, Angus Rocks Lighthouse and some of the many seals at Cloughy Rocks Nature Reserve. This trip is run at the best time of day to see ‘The Narrows' unusual natural phenomenon - the surface whirlpools! 

Kayaking Adventure Taster Session - £10pp
Life Adventure Centre, Castlewellan Forest Park. Co. Down, 28th & 29th March
Explore Castlewellan Lake from a sit on top Kayak.  Friendly instructors will have the whole family paddling in sync in no time, just watch out for the kids splashing you! 

Family Surf Session - £10pp
Long Line Surf School, Portstewart, Co. Derry~Londonderry, 28th March, £10
Get the family together, put a wetsuit on and jump into the blue Atlantic Ocean; it’s time to learn how to surf the waves into the shore! This exhilarating and exciting experience is perfect for all families who love the beach and everything about it.

High Ropes - Climbing, Vertical Challenge and Abseiling - £10pp
Belfast Activity Centre, Belfast, 28th & 29th March
Have you got a head for heights? You will after this high ropes session!  Get your heart racing as you climb to the top of the outdoor course before feeling the rush abseiling back to solid ground in time to take on the vertical assault course. 

Family Wet Bouldering - 50% Off
Outdoor Concepts, Newcastle, Co. Down, 28th&29th March
Wet bouldering is all about the water – make your way up a river, jump into pools and climb up waterfalls on this wet and wild experience all under the supervision of fully qualified instructors.    

Bay to Bay Sea Tour - £10pp
Portrush Sea Tours, Portrush, Co. Antrim, 28th & 29th March
Experience the North Coast like never before as you take in the glorious sights of Ramore Head, Dunluce Castle and much more all whilst zooming across the water on a high speed boat. 

Rathlin Island Boat Trip - 50% Off
Aquasports, Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, 28th & 29th March
A fantastic and thrilling boat trip to Rathlin Island!  Your skipper and guide Alan Wilson will bring the Causeway Coast to life with fascinating descriptions of local landmarks & rare wildlife as you make your way on a high speed rigid inflatable boat (RIB) to the most northerly inhabited island off the coast of Ireland.

Sailing Taster Experience - 50% Off
Ballyholme Yacht Club, Bangor, Co. Down, Sat 5th April
Enjoy exclusive use of the boat for you and your family along with your very own instructor ensuring you will get plenty of hands on experience from the experts. 

Family Canoeing - £10pp
Mobile Team Adventure, Shaw’s Bridge, Belfast, 28th March
Have a splash on the water and try canoeing right in the heart of the stunning Lagan Valley Regional Park just minutes from Belfast City Centre.  Suitable for ages 4 and up this one is perfect for the whole family, even the little ones.  

Family Activity Fun Day - £10pp
Breckenhill, Ballyclare, Co. Antrim, 29th March
Breckenhill are bringing all the fun of the fair into the 21st century with their Family Activity Fun Day suitable for all ages.  This fantastic rural venue only 30 minutes from Belfast has everything needed to keep the whole family amused.

Go Wild Forest School - £10pp
Far and Wild, Drum Manor Forest Park, Cookstown, 29th March, £10 
A blend of exploration, adventure, myth and ecology, this outdoor session will have you foraging for food, scavenging in the undergrowth, wild cooking and taking on the Tarzan challenge!

Family Activity Trio - Climbing, Archery & Orienteering
Share Discovery Village, Lisnaskea, Co. Fermanagh, 29th March, £10 
Spend the first hour mastering the heights of the Climbing Wall before stepping into the shoes of Robin Hood for an archery session.  It will then be time to work together to find the checkpoints and develop your navigation skills on the orienteering challenge.

Archery Session at Mourne Park
East Coast Adventure Centre, Mourne Park, Kilkeel, Co. Down, 29th March, £10
Follow in the footsteps of Robin Hood, Katniss Everdeen or Jon Snow as you perfect your bow and arrow skills. With expert instruction on hand at all times you'll be hitting the bull’s-eye in no time!

Check out the Northern Ireland Adventureland Website for loads more activities on offer for just £10 or 50% Off and to book online today. 

Sarah Nelson
Sarah Nelson  Marketing Officer

Sarah joined the marketing team of Outdoor Recreation NI in 2011. A firm believer in giving anything a go at least once (unless it involves jumping out of a plane at 6,000ft!) she is always looking for new adventures in the outdoors and can often be found wandering the Mournes or Glens of Antrim attempting not to get lost!

N.Ireland: A Mountain Biker’s Paradise

Posted on February 13, 2015 @ 11:32 AM in Mountainbiking

With over 110km of purpose-built trails opened across five trail centres in the last two years, Northern Ireland is fast becoming the UK's most talked about mountain bike destination. 

Northern Ireland: A Mountain Biker's Paradise

With stacks of MTB-friendly accommodation options near each trail centre and a great selection of cafes and restaurants where you can load up on your carbs before your ride and replenish all that spent energy in the evenings, this corner of the UK is a true mountain biker’s paradise! 

MTB-Friendly Cafe

Never biked in Northern Ireland before? We thought we’d put together some local recommendations of MTB-friendly places to stay, eat and drink near each of Northern Ireland’s stunning new mountain bike trail centres.  

Davagh Forest Trails 

The Davagh Forest Trails are tucked away in the untouched rural landscape of the Sperrin Mountains and offer exhilarating cross-country trails that’ll tick everyone’s boxes. The family-friendly green trail is perfect for those giving mountain biking a go for the very first time whereas the easy going blue trail boasts some sections of more technical singletrack for those with a bit more experience. There is also 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 Davagh’s Red Trail is for you.

What the experts say…

Possibly the best bit of purpose-built trail we’ve ridden. Anywhere.” Singletrack Magazine

Davagh Forest Trails

Other things to do nearby…

Ulster American Folk Park
This unique museum allows you to immerse yourself in the fascinating story of the Irish migration to America in the 17th, 18th & 19th Centuries. Walking through the park, you can follow their journey from the thatched cottages of Ulster to full scale emigrant sailing ships and the log cabins of the American Frontier. Definitely well worth a visit if you are planning a day off the bikes.

MTB-Friendly Places to Eat, Drink and Stay…

Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails 

On the shores of Carlingford Lough, the Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails offer 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.

What the experts say…

“A superb array of riding perfectly sculpted to its scenic surroundings.” Mountain Biking UK

Rostrevor Trails

Other things to do nearby…

Whitewater Brewery Tour
All fans of real ale and locally brewed lagers should not miss a trip to Whitewater, one of Northern Ireland’s most loved microbreweries. Also located in Kilkeel, Whitewater produce handcrafted beers from the finest ingredients with no additives and a tour of the brewery will teach you the various processes each bottle goes through before ending up in pubs and bars across Northern Ireland.

MTB-Friendly Places to Eat, Drink and Stay…

Castlewellan Mountain Bike Trails 

The Castlewellan Mountain Bike Trails consist of a range of fast, flowy cross-country trails just minutes from the lively village of Castlewellan. As well as delivering their fair share of adrenaline, these trails allow visitors to soak up unparalleled ‘mountainscape’ views of the Mournes. With green, blue and red grade trails (including black options) Castlewellan is a must-visit trail centre for mountain bikers of all ages and abilities.

What the experts say…
Twisty, technical trails that just feel like they are happy to have you there.” Singletrack Magazine 

Castlewellan Trails

Other things to do nearby…

Soak Seaweed Baths
This multi award winning alternative seaweed bath house and spa is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a tough day on the trails. Located on the seafront in Newcastle, Soak offers a place to be spoiled in silky hot seaweed baths or enjoy rejuvenating spa treatments. Open all year round, there is a small café and even some self-catering apartments if you fancy basing yourself here.

MTB-Friendly Places to Eat, Drink and Stay…

Blessingbourne Trails

With a gentle winding blue trail, a purpose-built pump track and an exhilarating red trail offering a mix of technical black options, the welcoming Blessingbourne Trails are geared up for everyone from families to experienced mountain bikers looking for a relaxed trail centre set in a beautiful rural estate.

What the experts say…

“A roller coaster of a trail. Sure there are no crazy climbs but it’s packed full of technical features.” Outsider

Blessingbourne Trails

Other things to do nearby…

Blessingbourne Coach and Carriage Museum
Take an imaginary ride into the past with this enchanting collection of coaches, carriages, cabs and buggies as well as horse-drawn farm machinery. Among the numerous coaches on display is an 1825 London – Oxford stagecoach. Aeronautical enthusiasts will love the museum’s former UN helicopter!

MTB-Friendly Places to Eat, Drink and Stay…

Barnett Demesne Trails & Jumps Park 

On the outskirts of Belfast, the Barnett Demesne Trails & Jumps Park offer a compact network of cross-country trails and the only official dirt jumps park in Northern Ireland. The trails alone are a great addition to your Belfast City Break however if it’s ‘air’ you are after then the jumps park should be your first port of call.

What the experts say…

Every single feature flows together as you weave through the tightly spaced trees.” Mountain Bike Rider 

Barnett Demesne Trails

Other things to do nearby…

Ulster Museum
Located only 30 minutes cycle (along the River Lagan Towpath) from the Barnett Demesne Trails & Jumps Park, the Ulster Museum is a treasure house of the past and the present and home to a rich collection of art, history and natural sciences. The revitalised museum tells the story of the people of the north of Ireland from earliest times to the present day. Impressive galleries and interactive discovery zones bring history, science and art collections to life for visitors of all ages.

MTB-Friendly Places to Eat, Drink and Stay…

Check out for more information on each of these new mountain bike trail centres as well as a full list of MTB-friendly accommodation providers, cafes, pubs and restaurants in Northern Ireland.  

Latest comment posted by Gareth Stirling on April 17, 2015 @ 11:18 AM

Hi Chris, Over Easter I was at Castlewellan on the bike trails. I am just a beginner and found them difficult enough but good craic. I was hoping you can help. I am currently recruiting for a ... Read more >

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!

Different Ways to Spend Valentine’s Day in Northern Ireland

Posted on February 5, 2015 @ 11:35 AM in Adventure

When it comes down to it, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all about the clichéd flowers and candlelit dinners.  It’s about making the time to be together, creating memories and most importantly having a laugh with the one you love.  Good thing then that there are plenty of outdoor experiences you can enjoy together for a Valentine’s day with a difference in Northern Ireland. 

Check out our 6 non clichéd ways to spend this February 14th:

Valentine’s Special, Jungle NI, Moneymore, Co. Derry~Londonderry, Sat 14th Feb
To celebrate Valentine's Day The Jungle NI are offering 10% off their activities on Sat 14th Feb. Swing from the tree tops together on a high ropes course, race each other through the forest on Segways or buckle up and roll downhill in a giant zorbing ball together. 

Have A Go Sea Kayaking, Simply Sea Kayak, North Coast, Co. Antrim, Sat 14th Feb
Try something new together with the iconic North Coast as your backdrop.  Perfect for first time paddlers you’ll be kitted out and learn the basics in sheltered waters before heading out on the North Coast Sea Kayak Trail taking in sights and scenery only accessible by kayak.

Valentines, Glamping Trip, East Coast Adventure, Mournes, Co. Down, Sat 14th Feb
Spend the Night under the stars in Rostrevor with the views of Knockbarragh Valley in East Coast Adventures brand new glamping pods. Located in the foothills of the Mourne Mountains, within 4 miles of the picturesque village of Rostrevor head out for a hike or hit the Mountain Bike trails in Rostrevor or Castlewellan, just a 20 minute drive away. Enjoy a meal or a drink or two in nearby Rostrevor or Warrenpoint before snuggling up for the night.

Valentines Ideas

Valentine’s Game of Thrones Archery Experience, Clearsky Adventure Centre, Castle Ward, Co. Down, Sat 14th & Sun 15th Feb
If you love Game of Thrones as much as you love each other then this is the perfect date for Valentines. Channel your inner Ygritte & Jon and take aim in the very place where the BAFTA award winning TV show was filmed. You’ll get to dress up, and receive expert instruction in the recreated Winterfell set. Afterwards why not take time to explore the 12km of off road cycling and walking trails at Castle Ward on the stunning shores of Strangford Lough?

Valentine’s Night Lovers Walk, Far and Wild, Co. Derry~Londonderry, Sat 14th Feb
What could be more romantic than a walk under a star-lit sky?  This guided wild wander will take place on countryside paths through some of Derry’s best kept secret locations before ending in a cosy country pub where you can enjoy a drink or two together.

Valentine’s Activity Day, Share Discovery Village, Co. Fermanagh, Sat 14th Feb
Choose between archery, climbing or mountain biking from only £9pp for a one hour session.  Take aim together, encourage each other to the top of the climbing wall or head out on the bikes and race each other on the outdoor trails.  

Whatever you get up to have a great Valentine’s Day in Northern Ireland!   

Latest comment posted by on @

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Sarah Nelson
Sarah Nelson  Marketing Officer

Sarah joined the marketing team of Outdoor Recreation NI in 2011. A firm believer in giving anything a go at least once (unless it involves jumping out of a plane at 6,000ft!) she is always looking for new adventures in the outdoors and can often be found wandering the Mournes or Glens of Antrim attempting not to get lost!

Northern Ireland's Outdoor Adventure Blog