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.
October 10, 2016
September 29, 2016
September 7, 2016
September 2, 2016
September 1, 2016
Whether you live for frights or you’re a bit of a scaredy cat, there are spooky (and not so spooky) Halloween adventures for those brave enough to leave their houses this October. To help you out we have pulled together our list of top Halloween events happening across Northern Ireland this year.
Fright Night, Dates throughout October, The JungleNI, Moneymore, Co. Derry~Londonderry
An action packed night sure to freak out the toughest of horror fanatics! The original “Woodland Trail” returns with an entirely new route and even more horrible creatures, sure to satisfy the Fright Night devotees and the newbies looking for a good scare. Are you brave enough to meet the inbred creatures who promise to freak out the toughest of horror fanatics! Or visit the circus who has turned to the darkside. Check out OutdoorNI's Blog "OutdoorNI Does...The JungleNI's Fright Night" to find out more about the scare zones mentioned above as well as the murderous maze, zombie paintabll and more.
Carrowmena’s Halloween Howler, Thur 27th Oct - Sun 6th Nov, Limavady, Co. Derry~londonderry
Get ready to celebrate the half term holidays as a family taking part in a range of activities including climbing, zip lining, archery and canoeing. After an action packed day spend the evening around the campfire carving pumpkins before spending the night if you dare in a camping pod.
Spooky Halloween Sea Safari, Sun 30th Oct, Clearsky Adventure Centre, Strangford, Co. Down
A special Halloween high speed voyage around Strangford Lough with some special Halloween treats for the kids! With lots of suprises along the way and spooky stories this is one half term adventure not to be missed.
Halloween Outdoor Activity Afternoon, Tue 1st & Thur 3rd November, Breckenhill, Ballyclare, Co. Antrim
Have a half-term blast doing a range of activities with a spooky Halloween twist! There will be lots of activities to choose from including archery, giant catapults, night-line and splatmaster paintball. Finish your day off toasting marshamallows and drinking hot chocolate around the fire.
BAC Halloween Multi Activity Scheme, Mon 31st Oct- Fri 4th Nov, Belfast Activity Centre, Belfast, Co. Antrim
An action packed multi activity scheme during the half term holidays for children aged between 8 and 12 years old. A lot of fun is guaranteed with activities including caving, climbing, archery and so much more.
Kids Activity Halloween Sports Camp, Mon 31st Oct- Wed 2nd Nov, Bryson Lagan Sport, Belfast. Co. Antrim
Drop your kids off on your way into work for a fun few days water zorbing, kayaking, learning circus skills and more on the banks of the River Lagan. An early drop off service is also available.
Here at OutdoorNI we believe learning something new is for everyone not just those heading back to school! Forget about tests and grades and get out into the great outdoors where a whole host of outdoor courses will stimulate your mind, enrich your life and see you have a lot of fun along the way.
Stand Up Paddleboard Sessions, Sub 6, Ballintoy Harbour, Co. Antrim
You don’t have to travel thousands of miles to have a go at one of the most popular activities in Hawaii. Stand up paddle boarding is a lot of fun especially when you have a chance to explore the harbour made famous for its appearance in the award winning HBO TV series Game of Thrones. Kitted out with a board and a paddle your instructor will soon have you confidently paddling in no time.
One to One Paddlesport Session, Mobile Team Adventure, Various locations across Northern Ireland
A great opportunity to get out and explore the spectacular coastline and inland waterways of Northern Ireland. Learn new kayak/canoe skills during a one to one tailored session with an expert level 4 coach.
…Do Something Completely Different
Women Only Yoga & Mountain Biking Weekend, Dates throughout Sept & October, Outdoor Concepts, Mournes, Co. Down
This one's for the girls! An opportunity to push yourself physically and mentally on a mountain bike mixed with a chance to unwind and rebalance during some yoga sessions. Geared towards those who are at the beginning of their mountain biking journey.
Try a Dive, Aquaholics Dive Centre, Portstewart, Co. Antrim
An experience you won't forget in a hurry, discover the underwater world of the iconic Causeway Coast during a three hour dive lesson. With September & October providing some of the best diving conditions now is the perfect time to dive right in to this adventure.
Sea Kayak Skills Course, Xplore Outdoors, Coleraine, Co. Antrim
This half day course is aimed at newcomers and is a great safe, fun and informative session. By the end of the course you should be able to paddle your kayak confidently in open water.
MTB Skills Coaching Course, Life Adventure Centre, Castlewellan Forest Park, Co. Down
Created just for you! whether you want to learn basic mountian bike skills, safety and hazard awareness or navigation and trail use, this course is action packed with full coaching and all essential equipment provided. No experience necessary this course is ideal for beginners or those who have tried Mountain Biking before including individuals, groups or clubs wishing to move to the next level.
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With the bank holiday weekend approaching, making the most of the long weekend is super important. Check out our top ways to spend the bank holiday weekend this August.
Have a go at 10 amazing action packed activities throughout the day including body zorbing, zip lining, archery, climbing, ziplining and more. The perfect time to visit this action packed adventure centre, pay one entry fee on 29th August then have a go on your favourite activities as many times as you like! Where: Todds Leap Activity Centre, Ballygawley, Co. Tryone
You never know what you may discover when you go against the flow this summer. Pull on a wetsuit and experience the thrill and adrenaline of coasteering & bouldering! Discover natural waterslides and traverse your way along the coastline by scrambling, climbing and jumping off rocks into nature's very own plunge pools. Where: Life Adventure Centre, Castlewellan, Co. Down
Family Fun Day, Sun 28th & Mon 29th Aug, The JungleNI, Moneymore, Co. Derry~Londonderry
Grab some tickets and make the most of a day in the jungle with the kids. On Sunday 28th and Monday 29th August the JungleNI will come alive with activities including zorbing, segways, archery, paintballing and more. This is one day out the kids will be taking about for the rest of the summer!
Push the boat out with somehting unique and book a last minute glamping weekend away. Take a look at our Glamping Blog 'Have a Glamping Activity Holiday in Northern Ireland' for some inspiration!
Make this summer one to remember by learning to pop up and surf your way into the shore on some of Northern Ireland's most spectacular stretches of coastline. Whether you're a complete beginner or have had a go before have a laugh together learning the skills and techniques to get you up on the waves. Where: Long Line Surf School, Benone, Co. Derry~Londonderry or Troggs Surf School, Portrush, Co. Antrim.
Watersports in NI: For Everyone, With Anyone!
Watersports in Northern Ireland are often one of those ‘hidden gems’ that people often don’t realise how enjoyable they can be - until they’re actually in the water – or how they go about participating in one. Well, FlowNI is a great initiative to get you trying them out! With lots of clubs throughout Northern Ireland welcoming new people along and offering beginners courses, many at a reduced cost and some completely free, it’s the perfect time to see just what watersports there are near you! Below we’ve listed some of the activities on offer and who you can do them with.
1) Salty Friday’s at Quoile Yacht Club, Every Friday until 16th Sept, Downpatrick – Try it out with: The kids
Everyone jokes about owning a yacht; so why not see what all the fuss is about? This day is intended mostly for kids between the ages of 6 and 16 but adults are more than welcome as well and will be fitted out with their own keelboat.
2) Family Canoe Trips, Saturday 30th July, 6th, 13th & 20th Aug, Portadown – Try it out with: The whole family
The picture below sums up why heading to try out one of the Family Canoe trips can be the perfect day out. Peaceful but exciting; scenic but energetic. These canoe trips will take you along parts of the countryside not normally accessible, and are something that everyone will enjoy; young and old. To make it that little bit better, it’s incredibly cheap at only £5.00 per person.
3) Get Going – Come Rowing, Wednesday 3rd August, 10th, 17th & 24th Aug, Enniskillen – Try it out with: Your friends
Definitely up there with some of the most popular watersports, and it’s easy to understand why. This is the perfect chance to bring a group of friends together and try out rowing on a 10 Man Bronze age curach. Not only is it a remarkably cheap evening of guaranteed entertainment at only £5.00 per person, you’ll become proficient in new skills like handling the ropes and coming into jetties – and all while basking in the natural beauty of Fermanagh coming up to sunset.
4) Learn to Windsurf, Sunday 7th & 21st August, Craigavon Watersports Centre - Try it out with: Your friends
Windsurfing cannot be recommended enough. This course, which lasts just a few hours, will teach you everything you need to know about windsurfing. From the simple stuff of balancing on the board, to eventually sailing yourself up and around the harbour. Head along with a group of friends and enjoy laughing at each other’s attempts, before embracing the thrill of picking up a good pace and showing off.
5) Womens Only Fly Fishing Course Sunday 14th August, & 3rd Sept, Ballyclare - Try it out with: The girls
Our final suggestion is for the girls only. This is an all-day event intended to give a group the skills to be able to go out when they want and organise their own day of fishing. Whether it’s for a friend’s birthday, a notion to try something new or with the hope of eventually joining the International Ladies Fly Fishing Team (who will be hosting the day), we know you’ll enjoy this ‘something different’ watersport.
There are lots of other training events listed on the FlowNI website for you to try including events in canoeing, sailing, water skiing, wake boarding, rowing, angling, stand up paddle boarding and diving and with no previous experience necessary there has never been a better time to get wet!
With mountain biking becoming increasingly popular in Northern Ireland, isn't it about time you got a handle of it?! Find out how OutdoorNI’s Bev Pierson got on when she spent a day learning the basics at Tollymore National Outdoor Centre.
Having bought a shiny new mountain bike last year (but not really knowing how to ride it properly) I booked myself onto Tollymore National Outdoor Centre’s First Step Mountain Bike Skills Course, which is an introductory course to the skills required to ride mountain bike trails safely.
Tollymore National Outdoor Centre is located on the edge of Tollymore Forest Park with a beautiful backdrop of the Mourne Mountains. Making the setting even more spectacular was the fact that on the day of my course there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the sun shined all day!
After arriving at the centre and waiting for the others to arrive, I was able to have a quick chat and a coffee with others who had arrived before me as I was curious to see why they had booked onto the course. Some of them had heard about the new mountain bike trails and wanted to give them a go and thought this course would give them the confidence, one lady had been bought the course for mother’s day and some of the women just wanted to get out and try something new. Our two instructors for the day were Emma and Amy, who were both excellent at delivering and tailoring the course to the group but were also very approachable making the day really relaxed and comfortable.
But before we were able to do any mountain biking it was off to the stores to get sized up for some essentials…a bike, a helmet and some gloves.
We started the day off in the centre’s car park practising the position of the pedals on a bike (which should be in the same position of the arms on a clock if they were placed at 9am and 3pm) and shifting our weight back and forward on the bike to improve our balance. To put our skills into action we were given a limbo kind of exercise to try, instead of having to explain it I made sure I took a photo of one of the ladies doing it…
Next up was to give the weight shifting a go on the centre’s skills course, which has been designed for this exact reason. I found it’s really only once you get onto this type of terrain that you really feel the difference when you apply the skills you’ve just learnt. Before our mid-morning coffee break we spent some time learning to ‘pop up’ onto kerbs in order to gain the skills to help get over rocks and obstacles whilst out mountain biking. The next item on the agenda was to master the art of braking and cornering as these are very important skills to have when out on the trails and again we practised them in the car park before using our new found skills out on the skills course. This took us all the way up to lunch where we rewarded with a delicious bowl of homemade soup and sandwiches. Though what I was really looking forward to was the famous chocolate brownies that the instructors had been talking about all morning which we enjoyed on the terrace of the centre with a cup of coffee whilst the sun beamed down on us.
After lunch it was time to pull everything together that we had just learnt and put it all into practise on the trails around the centre. This was definitely the highlight of the day for me as we got to mountain bike through the dense and dark forest with the sun glimmering down through the trees and at one point even encountered some buzzards circling above us. The trails we were riding really tested us on all the skills we had learnt that day especially when having to shift our weight backwards so we could tackle a steep downhill section - which we all tried and succeeded in not falling off!
Once back at the centre everyone was raving about their day and were even enquiring about the next course they could do. I think everyone on the course will agree with me when I say that I learnt far more than what I expected to from the day and tackled obstacles and drops off that I never thought I would have been able to! All thanks to Emma and Amy!
Beginner, intermediate and advanced courses are available at Tollymore National Outdoor Centre whether you are coming alone or looking to book in a group for a session. As well as mountain biking the centre deliver a range of courses including, canoeing, navigation and climbing. So don't miss out and contact the centre directly to find out more.
Click here to read part 2 of this blog series and find out how OutdoorNI's Sarah Nelson got on when she attended one of Tollymore's First Steps Canoeing Skills courses- 'First steps towards Adventure- Canoeing Skills with Tollymore National Outdoor Centre'