5 Adventurous Things To Do This August Bank Holiday

Posted on August 5, 2016 @ 12:26 PM in Adventure

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.

1. August Open Day at Todds Leap

Zorb Football Northern Ireland

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

2. Go Against the Flow!

Bouldering Northern Ireland

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

3. Family Fun Day at the Jungle NI

Zorbing Northern Ireland

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!

4. Plan a weekend away (With a difference!)

Glamping Northern Ireland

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!

5. Ride your first wave!

Surfing Northern Ireland

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.

Don't forget to tell us about your summer adventures on Facebook & Twitter.

Jayne Woodrow
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.

Who & How to Try Out Watersports in Northern Ireland!

Posted on July 28, 2016 @ 1:09 PM in AdventureCanoeing

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!

Ethan Loughrey
Ethan Loughrey  Mountain Bike Officer

Hardest thing about Mountain Biking? Definitely the trees.

First Step towards Adventure - Mountain Bike Skills with Tollymore National Outdoor Centre

Posted on July 28, 2016 @ 10:57 AM in AdventureCycling

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.

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…

Mountain Biking Northern Ireland

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! 

Mountain Biking Northern Ireland

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'

Beverley Pierson
Beverley Pierson  Senior Marketing Officer

Beverley used to be a keen horse rider but since joining a local cycle club in 2013 she has developed a passion for 2 wheels instead of 4 hoofs! Meaning she can often be found on a bike exploring the roads and mountain bike trails across the country!

Experiences To Make Your Summer

Posted on July 6, 2016 @ 5:14 PM in Adventure

Northern Ireland holds nothing back when it comes to fun and excitement this summer...

Whether you're zipping through the air on Ireland's longest zip line or following in the footsteps of your favourite characters from Game of Thrones, there is a unique experience to be had for the thrill-seeker and explorer in you. So get ready to put down your tablet and turn off the TV with this handy guide to the ultimate summer adventures!

Adventures Northern Ireland

Adrenaline Punching Adventure

Intense? Yes. Scary? Possibly. Awesome? Absolutely. A day out at Todds Leap this summer promises not to disappoint when it comes to getting your heart racing and a rush of adrenaline into your blood stream. Home to Ireland's longest zip line, a giant swing, a muddy marvellous off road course and much much more! what are you waiting for?
Location: Todds Leap Activity Centre, Ballygawley, Co. Tyrone

Make A Splash

Put on a wetsuit and get tready to experience the thrill and adrenaline of Coasteering/ Bouldering! Popular with hen & stag parties alike, this activity is fantastic fun and gets better each time you try it! Traverse, climb and scramble you way up river or along the coastline to jump into deep pools and uncover natural waterslides.
Location: Life Adventure Centre, Castlewellan, Co. Down

Surfs Up This Summer

If your summer isn't being spent on a topical beach or you're looking to get over your holiday blues join Troggs Surf School who will have you riding waves better than you ever imagined! With private and group lessons available for all skill levels there'll be nothing stopping you.
Location: Troggs Surf School, Portrush, Co. Antrim

Adventures Northern Ireland

Step Into Winterfell This Summer

It may be summer but "winter is coming"! Game of Thones fans among you may recognise Clearsky Adventure Centre's Courtyard from the award winning HBO TV series. Dressed as a member of the night's watch take aim at the bullsey in the very place where young Bran was taught to shoot a bow and arrow by Jon Snow.
Location: Clearsky Adventure Centre, Castle Ward, Co. Down 

Luxury Bell Tent Camping

Fancy the idea of camping without having to put up your own tent? Now you can in Carrowmena Activity Centre's 'Luxury Off the Grid Solar Powered Bell Tents'. The perfect place to rest your head after an action packed day canoeing on the River Roe. 
Location: Carrowmena Activitiy Centre, Limavady, Co. Derry~Londonderry  

Get The Best View of The Causeway Coastline

Renowned for its spectacular coastline, head off the tourist trail this summer and discover a lesser know (but even more breathtaking!) views of coastline with Xplore Outdoors. Whether you are new to kayaking or keen to progress your skills further these tailored guided tours are perfect for individuals and groups.
Location: Explore Outdoors, Coleraine, Co. Antrim

Tell us about your summer adventures on Facebook & Twitter.

Jayne Woodrow
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.

Unique Birthday Party Ideas For Kids

Posted on June 6, 2016 @ 12:15 PM in Adventure

If you’re looking to do something different this year for your kids birthday party but are lacking in ideas, take inspiration from our selection of kids unique birthday party ideas on offer to little adventure seekers across Northern Ireland.

Birthday Parties Northern Ireland

Muddy Little Kicks Birthday Party, Todds Leap, Ballygawley, Co. Tyrone
For those kids who want the ultimate adrenaline fix this is a party sure to get everyone talking! With specially adapted Land Rover's meaning the kids aged 4+ years old can drive (yes you read that right!) their day will start behind the wheel negotiating the obstacles with an instructor. The day will finish up by seeing who can stay on two feet during a body zorbing session.
Min group size: 6 people 

Surfing Birthday Party, Long Line Surf School, Benone, Co. Derry~Londonderry
The ultimate beach party! Enjoy a private surf lesson before a BBQ and use of the beach hangout zone which includes a beach volleyball court, small marquee and slack line!! Available for children aged 6 and up (including adults) so you too can celebrate.
Min group size: 6 people 

Kids Activity Birthday Parties, Breckenhill, Ballyclare, Co. Antrim
A great day out for your little adventure seekers as they have a go at a range of activities including low ropes, orienteering and 2 person trikes during a 2 hours of activities with fully qualified instructors. The day wraps up in the party room where you can enjoy some yummy party food, cake and party games before heading home.
Min group size: 10 people  

Kids Birthday Parties Northern Ireland

Birthday Adventure Package, Carrowmena Activity Centre, Limavady, Co. Derry~Londonderry
Plan a party filled with action, adrenaline and adventure! The choice of what activities to take part in is yours and you'll be provided with a free birthday cake, decorated birthday table and carrowmena merchandise for the birthday boy/girl. Suitable for kids aged 6-16 years old depending on activities. 
Min group size: 10 people

Teen Birthday Blast, Life Adventure Centre, Castlewellan, Co. Down
The perfect solution to planning an epic birthday party for your teenager (12-17 year olds). With sessions in kayaking, climbing, archery and bouldering this is one action packed day out they won't forget about in a hurry.
Min group size: 8 people 

Kids Adventure Games, The JungleNI, Moneymore, Co. Derry~Londonderry
An adventure playground for kids aged 5-15 years old, make their party one they'll not forget in a hurry. Begin the party with some warm up activities before adding some bigger adventures incluiding body zorbs, paintballing, climbing walls and adventure hunts depending on how much time you have.
Min group size: 6 people

Tell us about your kids unique birthday party adventures on Facebook & Twitter.

Jayne Woodrow
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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