OurdoorNI Award Winners 2014

Posted on January 8, 2015 @ 3:04 PM in Adventure

OutdoorNI Awards

Its time to roll out the red carpet on the 2014 OutdoorNI Awards in association with Surf Mountain. With over 1200 votes cast by the public on OutdoorNI.com's Facebook Page, the awards saw nominees battling it out throughout December to win the coveted titles. We are now pleased to annouce that the wait is finally over and without further ado we give you the 2014 OutdoorNI.com Award winners. 

Life Adventure Centre

With activities available for all ages from 5 years old from mountain biking to canoeing on the lake, Life Adventure Centre's Operational Director, John Keating, explained what he thinks the secret is to winning best family activity provider in this years awards;

“Our location within Castlewellan Forest Park along with our qualified team of expert instructors really does create the perfect environment for families to have fun together in the great outdoors. From exploring the Castlewellan mountain bike trails or learning to canoe on the picturesque lake to seeing who has the best aim on an archery session we strive to make all our sessions as fun and memorable as possible for all ages. We would like to thank everyone who voted for us and look forward to helping families create some fantastic memories in the outdoors during 2015.” 

Start planning your fun filled family adventure day in the great outdoors with Life Adventure Centre.

Game of Thrones Archery OutdoorNI Awards

Clearsky Adventure Centre scooped up the award for 'Best Unique Outdoor Experience' in this years award for their new Game of Thrones Archery ExperienceGroup Operations Manager for Clearsky, James McKay expressed his delight and shared what makes this experience so unique, “The fact that Game of Thrones was filmed on location at our centre in Castle Ward has allowed us to provide an experience unlike any other. We have put a lot of time and effort into ensuring the authenticity of the experience from realistic props to character costumes to help customers feel the part."

Click here for details of how you can experience the Game of Thrones Archery Experience frist hand.

The activities and tours mentioned above are independantly operated by Clearsky Adventure Centre. They are not sponsored, endorsed, or affiliated with HBO or anyone associated with 'Game of Thrones'.

Long Line OutdoorNI Awards

Holiding onto their title of 'Best Coastal Experience' Long Line Surf School, owner Dan Lavery was delighted to hear of the north coast surf school's win commenting; 

"Our team are passionate about making surfing accessible to everyone and we believe this, coupled with the fact that all our lessons take place in the fantastic Binevenagh Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is what has helped us achieve the  ‘best coastal experience’. We look forward to getting as many people as possible riding the waves, experiencing the lifestyle and enjoying the area with the Long Line team at both Benone and Portstewart in 2015. Many thanks to all who voted for us!"

Book a lesson with Long Line Surf School and start planning your next seaside adventure.

NSPCC Mourne HACK OutdoorNI Awards

Congratulations to NSPCC whose Mourne HACK (Hike Against Cruelty to Kids) has been awarded 'Best Charity Challenge'. Upon recieving the award a delighted Catherine Nuttall, head of fundraising at NSPCC NI shared with us why she believes they won this year's award;

"There is no doubt that the route is a challenge but we believe the fantastic scenery coupled with a great atmosphere amongst the walkers and the opportunity to raise vital funds is what drives people to complete the challenge." 

The date for this year’s event is set for Sat 19th September phone: +44(0)28 90351135 or email: northernirelandappeals@nspcc.org.uk for information.

Todds Leap OutdoorNI Awards

Todds Leap have claimed the title of 'Best Thrillseeking Experience' in Northern Ireland for over 16s. Delighted to hear that Todds Leap had secured the award for the second year running owner Benny Hanlon shared with us what he believes is the winning formula; 

"Todds Leap has over twenty five thrilling activities to choose from and we are constantly striving to bring innovative new activities to Northern Ireland including our unique 30ft free fall Drop Zone so we have a lot to offer when it comes to getting that adrenaline pumping. We would like to thank all our customers who voted for us and look forward to providing lots of thrills in 2015.”

Get your heart rate pumping at Todds Leap Activity Centre this year.

Mourne Way Marathon

Racing ahead for a second year to win 'Best Challenge Event' 26 Extreme proudly accepted the award. The Mourne Way Marathon takes place annually in June with participants able to choose from a 10k right up to a gruelling 52 mile ultra marathon all set within the Mournes Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

On winning the award Ian Cummings from 26 Extreme expresses his delight by commenting, "We at 26 Extreme believe that a combination of aspects set our event apart such as offering a variety of race distances, a dedicated support team on the day and simply unparalleled scenery here in the Mourne Mountains”.

Check out 26 Extreme for more information and details of how to sign up to the 2015 event

 Castle Ward Glamping Pods

Winning the award for 'Best Glamping Experience' the Camping Pods set in the heart of Castle Ward estate, have quickly become a firm favourite for those looking for a campout with a difference in Northern Irleand.

Jacqueline Baird , Visitor Services Manger from the National Trust explained why she believed the pods have been so popular, " Our glamping pods not only offer visitors a unique way to spend a night or short break but also allow those who stay in them to have an unforgettable experience in the great outdoors, without having to give up all of their home comforts.  With a twenty-one mile network of multi-use trails, the stunning Strangford Lough and an 18th-century mansion all on the doorstep of the camping pods, we believe it is the unique setting which helps make them so popular”.

Click here for details of how you can spend a mini break with a difference in Castle Ward camping pods.

Congratulations to all this years winners! 

Jayne Woodrow
Jayne Woodrow  Marketing Executive

Jayne joined the marketing team of Outdoor Recreation NI in March 2014. She is interested to see if marketing outdoor activities on a daily basis and being surrounded by sporty colleagues rubs off, and stirs up a love for the outdoors (once she conquers her fear of heights of course!).

Christmas Gift Ideas for Her

Posted on December 5, 2014 @ 12:09 PM in Adventure

Still looking for the perfect gift for your mum, sister or other half?! Get her something completely different this Christmas and give her a thrilling activity experience she'll never forget...all while avoiding the busy shops! Check out some of our top picks for 2014:

Christmas Gift Ideas for Her

Rathlin Island Sea Tour, Portrush Sea Tours, Portrush, Co. Antrim

A fantastic boat tour around the fabulous North Coast and Rathlin Island. Experience the North Coast from a whole new perspective taking in spectacular sights from the sea including the Giant’s Causeway, the Skerries, the historic Dunluce Castle and much more!

The 'High Tea at Sea' voyage, Clearsky Adventure Centre, Strangford Lough, Co. Down

Arrange an afternoon tea with a difference! See the sights of Strangford Lough before stopping at a beautiful spot to enjoy a nice cup of tea and homemade scones. 

Segway Tour, Segway Express, Benone, Co. Derry~Londonderry 

Get ready to race along the beach on two wheels before taking in the historic sites of Benone! The ideal experience for those looking for something a bit different. 

Sunset Sail, Causeway Coast Sailing, Ballycastle, North Coast

Treat her in style with her own private yacht, head out toward Rathlin Island with friends to watch the sunset below the Atlantic Horizon. This is a fantastic way to take advantage of the views and includes a complementary glass of wine or coffee/tea. There will also be the opportunity to help sail the boat out into the bay.

Horse Riding Experience, Sheans Horse Farm, Armoy, North Coast

Saddle up and spend the afternoon trekking along the trails of the North Antrim Hills on horseback. Guided by an expert instructor she can enjoy 1½ hours of horse riding at her own level off road.

Hov a Go, Foyle Hovercrafting and Leisure, Limavady, Co. Derry~Londonderry
Experience the thrill of floating over the ground at speed.  After expert tuition take on fast straights and hairpin bends on the purpose built tracks on your very own hovercraft. 

Titanic Segway Tour, SegwayNI, Belfast

Guaranteed to be the most exciting sightseeing tour in Belfast, visit all the key sites where the famous Titanic was built and discover its fascinating history all whilst gliding along on your very own Segway!

Pod Glamping Adventure Package, Clearsky Adventure Centre, Castle Ward, Co. Down

Give a minibreak with a difference this year. Set in the heart of the spectacular Castle Ward Estate, enjoy a one night stay in the quirky heated camping pods, bike hire and a choice of an activity to do together from either archery or canoeing. Add an additional twist with the Game of Thrones Glamping Mini Break ideal for those who are fans of the show. Bed down for a night deep in the forests of ‘Winterfell’ before exploring the sprawling Demesne and its many filming location hotspots.

Rock Climbing for women, Far & Wild, Co. Derry~Londonderrry

The idea session for a woman looking to build her confidence and develop climbing technique. Whether she has climbed before or is new to the activity this women-specific session is designed to move at a pace that best suits her needs, accomplish her own personal challenges and quite literally reach new heights!

Tarzan Tree Top Adventure Course, The JungleNI, Moneymore, Co. Derry~Londonderry

Give her the opportunity to feel like Jane of the Jungle as she negotiates her way through 50 elements up to 40ft high including zip lines, bridges, scramble nets and a death defying powerfan descent. The Jungle NI's Adult Tree Top Adventure Course is sure to test his imagination and nerve! 

North Coast Sea Kayaking, Simply Sea Kayak, Co. Antrim

A fantastic opportunity to sample one of the iconic North Coast sea kayaking trails.  This truly unique experience includes a skills session and guided paddle, taking in the stunning views of the North Coast from the water and exploring locations only accessible by kayak!

Adventure Blast, Life Adventure Centre, Castlewellan, Co. Down

Combine two activities to make for a great day out. Hit the trails on a mountain bike and explore some of the 27.5km of green, blue and red grade trails before heading out in a kayak or canoe for a relaxing paddle on the lake. 

Try a Dive in the Sea, Aquaholics Dive Centre, Portstewart, Co. Antrim

This is one experience she will never forget as she explores the underwater world with Aquaholics and discovers a whole other side to the North Coast.

Diving Northern Ireland

For even more gift voucher experiences for her check out OutdoorNI.com

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Jayne Woodrow
Jayne Woodrow  Marketing Executive

Jayne joined the marketing team of Outdoor Recreation NI in March 2014. She is interested to see if marketing outdoor activities on a daily basis and being surrounded by sporty colleagues rubs off, and stirs up a love for the outdoors (once she conquers her fear of heights of course!).

Christmas Gift Ideas for Couples

Posted on November 27, 2014 @ 11:54 AM in Adventure

Can't think of what to get the in-laws or looking to give your other half something different you can enjoy together? With so many gift voucher experiences tailor-made for couples to enjoy here are a few of our top picks for 2014:

Christmas Gift Ideas for Couples

Couples Mountain Bike and Kayak Rental Package, Life Adventure Centre, Castlewellan, Co. Down

Enjoy some quality time together in the great outdoors, exploring some of the 27.5km of green, blue and red grade MTB trails. Finishing the off in a kayak with a more relaxing paddle on Castlewellan lake.

Bay to Bay Sea Tour for Two, Portrush Sea Tours, Portrush, Co. Antrim

Speed across the water on a high speed boat taking in the spectacular scenery of the North Coast. Take in the glorious sights of Ramore Head, the Skerries, Dunluce Castle and Island Doo and witness the stunning sandy beaches of Portrush from the sea as you zoom across the water onboard the high speed boat.

Christmas Gift Ideas for Couples

Stand Up Paddle Boarding for 2, Long Line Water Trails, Limavady, Co. Derry~Londonderry

Learn the basics of Stand Up Paddle Boarding together before taking a tour along the remote parts of the idyllic River Roe.

Couples Thrill Seeking Experience, Todds Leap, Ballygawley, Co. Tyrone

 Find out who really is the better driver as you take it in turns behind the wheel.  The experience also includes a 500m Zip line and a heart racing white knuckle hill rally ride.

Christmas Gift Ideas for Couples

Couples Pod Camping Adventure Package, Clearsky Adventure Centre, Castle Ward, Co. Down

Give a minibreak with a difference this year. Set in the heart of the spectacular Castle Ward Estate, enjoy a one night stay in the quirky heated camping pods, bike hire and a choice of an activity to do together from either archery or canoeing. Add an additional twist with the Game of Thrones Glamping Mini Break ideal for those who are fans of the show. Bed down for a night deep in the forests of ‘Winterfell’ before exploring the sprawling Demesne and its many filming location hotspots.

Island Explorer for 2, Mobile Team Adventure, Strangford Lough, Co. Down

Suitable for all abilities from beginners to enthusiasts this is the perfect getaway for any couple. Take a guided kayaking trip along the stunning Strangford Lough stopping to visit the oyster farm and Ballydorn Lighthouse Ship.

Christmas Gift Ideas for Couples

Couples Treat, SegwayNI, Craigavon, Co. Armagh

Explore the off-road course on a segway negotiating obstacles and speeding along the straights. This is a fantastic way to get out in the outdoors and spend some time together doing something totally unique, action packed and fun!

Couples Boating Trip, Manor House Marine Day Boats, Killadeas, Co. Fermanagh

Arrange a romantic trip out on the lower Lower Lough Erne. In your own boat explore the idyllic uncrowded waterways, fishing spots and numerous places of interest along the way. Visit an ancient monastic site or sit back, relax and enjoy the splendid scenery.

Christmas Gift Ideas for Couples

Couples Glamping, Carrowmena Activity Centre, Limavady, Co. Derry~ Londonderry

Fancy the idea of camping…without the tent? Now you can give a mini break with a difference in one of Carrowmena's eco friendly 'Camping Cocoon'. ‘Glamping' or glamorous camping combines camping with some of the amenities of a home/hotel. Situated in the Binevenagh Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with picnic tables for that al fresco dining experience this is a great way to enjoy the outdoors in style. 

Couples 'Brunch on a boat' voyage, Clearsky Adventure Centre, Strangford Lough, Co. Down 

Spoil them with this unusual weekend treat! Skip the hussle and bussle of breakfast and explore the stunning Strangford Lough on a high speed boat before enjoying brunch on one of the hidden islands.

Check out OutdoorNI.com for even more fantastic gift voucher experiences for couples.

Jayne Woodrow
Jayne Woodrow  Marketing Executive

Jayne joined the marketing team of Outdoor Recreation NI in March 2014. She is interested to see if marketing outdoor activities on a daily basis and being surrounded by sporty colleagues rubs off, and stirs up a love for the outdoors (once she conquers her fear of heights of course!).

Christmas Gift Ideas for Men 2014

Posted on November 18, 2014 @ 1:26 PM in Adventure

With so many fantastic gift experiences to choose from we’ve got Christmas wrapped up when it comes to finding the perfect gift for the men in your life, by selecting our top picks for the ultimate Christmas present.

With over 70 gift experiences for men available to buy from clay pigeon shooting and off- road driving to hovercrafting you won’t have any problems finding something exciting and memorable to give him this Christmas.  Gift Vouchers for him Northern Ireland

Segway Off-Road Experience, Segway NI, Portadown, Co. Armagh

Get ready to race along off-road tracks on two wheels! The ideal experience for those looking for some high speed fun as he navigates obstacles and learns how to successfully keep his balance on the downhill descents!

Wild Photography, Far & Wild, Various Locations

Get up close and personal with wild-life through the camera lens. Take a gentle hike with an expert through remote countryside in search of locations and wild-life sure to produce the most intriguing shots.

Clay Pigeon Shooting, The JungleNI, Moneymore, Co. Derry~Londonderry 

Whether he is a complete beginner or a seasoned professional this activity will have him blasting clays out of the skies in no time. This experience will include all equipment and expert instruction before stepping up to have a go for himself. 

The ‘Narrows’ Sea Safari Voyage, Clearsky Adventure Centre, Strangford Lough, Co. Down

A high speed boat tour around the spectacular Strangford Lough taking in sights including; Clough Rocks Nature Reserve, Whirlpools and more! 

Christmas Gift Vouchers for Him

Fly 'N' Drive Combo, Foyle Hovercrafting and Leisure, Limavady, Co. Derry~Londonderry

Experience the thrill of blasting over land and water at speed on a hovercraft, before racing around the track in his very own high speed powerturn buggy.

Surfing, Long Line Surf School & Troggs Surf School, North Coast 

Whether they are a complete beginner or a seasoned pro at catching a wave a surf lesson with one of Northern Ireland's top surf schools is a guaranteed great day out. Receive expert tuition to learn the basics or improve skills and build confidence out on the water.

Rathlin Sea Safari, Portrush Sea Tours, Portrush, North Coast

Enjoy a fantastic boat tour around the spectacular North Coast and Rathlin Island. Experience the North Coast from a whole new perspective as he takes in the sights of Rathlin Island from the sea as well as the Giant’s Causeway, the Skerries, the historic Dunluce Castle and much more!

Causeway Coast Sailing, Ballycastle, North Coast

Whether he wants to enjoy a full day or half day's sailing along the picturesque North Coast aboard a 24' yacht or learn the ropes with some hands on experience, he is sure to have a fantastic time. Departing from either Ballycastle Marina or Rathlin Island he may even decide to bring you as this voucher is for up to three people so he can bring family and friends along. 

Gift Vouchers for Him

Off-Road Driving Taster Experience, Todds Leap, Ballygawley, Co. Tyrone

Conquer muddy climbs, drops and hazards along the 8 mile course before being taken back across a stage of the course at rally competition speed!

Mountain Bike & Kayak Rental Package, Life Adventure Centre, Castlewellan, Co. Down

Combine two activities to make for a great day out. Hit the trails on a mountain bike and explore some of the 27.5km of green, blue and red grade trails before heading out in a kayak or canoe for a relaxing paddle on the lake. 

Make sure you check out our Christmas Gift voucher section for even more fantastic Christmas gift ideas for him.

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Jayne Woodrow
Jayne Woodrow  Marketing Executive

Jayne joined the marketing team of Outdoor Recreation NI in March 2014. She is interested to see if marketing outdoor activities on a daily basis and being surrounded by sporty colleagues rubs off, and stirs up a love for the outdoors (once she conquers her fear of heights of course!).

Bring Game of Thrones to life with an Outdoor Adventure

Posted on November 11, 2014 @ 10:34 AM in Adventure

Step into Winterfell at Castle Ward or sail past the Iron Island's in the North Coast. Whether you are planning on exploring the Game of Thrones film locations in Northern Ireland for yourself or looking to give the perfect experience gift voucher to a loved one, OutdoorNI.com has it covered as we list some of our top suggestions of the best outdoor activities to bring the epic fantasy of Game of Thrones to life. 

Set Sail for the Iron Island's

Game of Thrones

Head north and take a high speed voyage of discovery as you experience the sights of some of the most iconic Game of Thrones film locations from the sea with Aquaholics on their Causeway Coast Sea Safari.

Departing from Portstewart harbour visit key locations including: Cushendun Caves (The Stormlands), Ballyintoy Harbour (Phyke, The Iron Islands), Carrick-a-Rede (The Stormlands, Larrybane), Downhill Beach (Drgonstone) and Murlough Bay (Storm’s End). 

Gift Vouchers for this activity can be purchased online at OutdoorNI: http://bit.ly/1pM1iim

Step into Winterfell

Game of Thrones

Get into character and transport yourself back into the world of Westeros with Clearsky Adventure Centre based in Castle Ward, Co. Down.

Begin your day with the Game of Thrones Archery Experience, where you will be kitted out in Stark Family Costumes and prepare yourself to enter Winterfell for the first time and experience the feeling of being on your very own movie set. It is here you will receive instruction from your archery instructor as you shoot medieval arrows with ancient bows.

After your archery lesson hire a bike (or bring your own) and take some time out exploring the grounds. The self-guided Game of Thrones Cycle Tour takes you to where many pivotal Game of Throne’s scenes took place, including ‘Winterfell’, ‘King Roberts Arrival’, ‘The Twins’, ‘Robb’s Camp’ and the ‘Lannister Camp’ to name but a few. To ensure you have great fun out in the wilds of Westeros you will be given a Game of Thrones ‘Stark Sack’. Enclosed you will find a ‘Medieval Scroll’ of the Filming Locations map (you can keep this as a memento!) plus some supporting images and text from each filming location, Game of Thrones Stark Family Costume Capes and Game of Thrones Stark Family ‘LARP swords’.

For the ultimate Game of Thrones outdoor adventure see the sights from the sea during your own private Castles of Westeros Boat Tour. The tour is a must for all Game of Thrones fans as you are sure to enjoy stunning views from the water of the various Westeros Castles, cross the mouth of Strangford Lough Aka ‘The Narrow Sea’ and other shoreline locations used by HBO in the filming of the show.

Gift Vouchers for these activities can be purchased online at OutdoorNI: http://bit.ly/1tBTgTW

Join the Night's Watch

Game of Thrones Adventures

Wrap up warm and join the Night’s Watch in Tollymore Forest Park, Newcastle, Co. Down

Featured in the first episode of Season 1 you might remember this haunting forest from the scene in which a member of the Night’s Watch rides through the snowy forest and stumbles upon Wildling bodies. This romantic and yet haunting forest is home to trees, woodlands, streams grottos and caves as well as offering panoramic views of the sea at nearby Newcastle.

With its far reaching views, stunning landscapes and authentic medieval buildings you don’t have to travel far in Northern Ireland to see why HBO film location scouts chose Northern Ireland as the perfect place to film Game of Thrones. 

The tours and activities mentioned above are independantly operated by Clearsky Adventure Centre & Aquaholics Sea Safari and Dive Centre. They are not sponsored, endorsed, or affiliated with HBO or anyone associated with 'Game of Thrones'

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Jayne Woodrow
Jayne Woodrow  Marketing Executive

Jayne joined the marketing team of Outdoor Recreation NI in March 2014. She is interested to see if marketing outdoor activities on a daily basis and being surrounded by sporty colleagues rubs off, and stirs up a love for the outdoors (once she conquers her fear of heights of course!).

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