Get Wet with a Watersports Club near You

Posted on June 5, 2018 @ 1:42 PM in AdventureCanoeing

GetWetNI has been a huge success already. People from all across Northern Ireland have been trying out water sports for the first time and developing a love they didn’t know was there. If you have missed any events so far, don’t worry! There are lots of exciting come and 'have a go' water sport sessions still happening over the next couple of weeks as part of Get Wet NI 2018.

With no experience necessary, all equipment provided and many of the activities suitable for individuals, families and groups of friends, there really is no excuse not to try something new out on the water this summer!

Sailing

With the weather having been so great recently, it's the perfect chance to experience Northern Ireland from the water. Whether you're part of a larger crew taking a yacht through it's paces, or learning the ropes on a small dinghy, you're guarnateed to come away having had a brilliant time.

Women On Water Sailing Programme, Lough Neagh Sailing Club, Craigavon, Sat 13th May

A great opportunity for the girls to try out sailing out in the Irish Sea.

Bright Night Sailing, Donaghadee Sailing Club, 20 Shore Street, Donaghadee, BT21 0DG, Every Friday throughout the Summer

For the kids only, this is a great introduction for boys and girls aged 8 – 16 to experience the excitement of sailing.

Women on Water Sailing Programme, Ballyholme Yacht Club, 262 Seacliff Road, Bangor, BT20 5HT, Tues 24th July

Set sail and learn the basics in this girl’s only programme in which everything will be provided.

 

Try Something New

Wakeboarding is one of the most exhilerating water sports around. A blend of water skiing, snowboarding and surfing, it's an amazing resource to have here in Northern Ireland!

Ladies Beginner Wakeboarding Lessons, Knockbracken Reservoir, Carryduff, BT8 8BP, Sat 28th and Sun 29th July 

Another event just for the girls, Cable and Wake will introduce you to the exhilarating world of wakeboarding!

 

Rowing

Rowing is wonderful in it's simplicity - pull as part of a team, get fitter and enjoy seeing Northern Ireland from a different perspective!

Go Rowing with the Lagan Currachs, Stranmillis Mooring Dock, Governor’s Bridge, Belfast BT7, Every Saturday during the Summer 

At just £5 per person, you and your friend can experience sailing the River Lagan and see Belfast from a different perspective.

Free Taster Youth Rowing Sessions on Strangford Lough, Strangford Lough, leaving from Cook Street, Portaferry, BT22 1LB, Sat 9th and Sun 10th June

A great introduction to rowing for young people aged 11 – 17. Get fit while learning to row on Strangford Lough.

4 Week Rowing Course for Beginners, Lockview Road, Belfast, Runs from Sun 5th Aug and Sun 2nd Sept

Aimed at improving your basic rowing skills and giving you the confidence to be on the water in a safe and fun way!

 

Canoeing / Kayaking

Paddling has exploded in popularity in Northern Ireland in recent years. Whether you're braving your first try or heading back to your favourite waterway for the 100th time, it's an experience to be savoured.

Summer Splash for Families, Creggan Country Park, Westway, Derry~Londonderry, Every Sat and Sun through the Summer

Hop in a canoe, race your friends and have a go on the giant inflatables anchored in the lake!

Lower Bann Recreation Paddle, Access point 3, Newferry East on the Lower Bann Trail, Sat 23rd June

Realise the beauty of the River Bann with a day out on the water alongside the Canoe Association of Northern Ireland.

 

To check out more events taking place, check out GetWetNI.com

Ethan Loughrey
Ethan Loughrey  Mountain Bike Officer

Hardest thing about Mountain Biking? Definitely the trees.

Have a Go at Watersports for £10 or Less

Posted on April 24, 2018 @ 4:57 PM in AdventureCanoeing

Make a splash and try something new this May as part of Get Wet NI 2018. Clubs from across Northern Ireland are offering watersport sessions for just £10 or less on Sat 19th & Sun 20th May. With no experience necessary and all of the equipment provided, there has never been a better time to get out on the water!


Below are just a few thrilling events you can try:

For the Adrenaline Junkies

Learn to Waterski / Wakeboard with the Experts, Meteor Water Ski Club, Lough Henney, Bresagh Road, Sun 20th May
Guaranteed to get the heart pounding, try water skiing or wake boarding in a safe and controlled environment. 

Ladies Beginner Wakeboarding LessonsKnockbracken Reservoir, Carryduff, BT8 8BP, Sat 19th & Sun 20th May
Get into wakeboarding during a one on one coaching session which will soon have you gliding across the longest cable wakeboarding run in Ireland!

Fun with Friends

Rowing Taster SessionsRiver Lagan, Stranmillis Mooring Dock, Governors Bridge, Belfast, Sat 19th and Sun 20th May
Row a community-built traditional currach and see Belfast and the river Lagan from a different perspective. Suitable for all ages and abilities. This session will teach you basic rowing techniques and you'll try your hand at steering. 

Have a go Rowing in Kircubbin, Kircubbin Sailing Club, 106 Shore Road, Kircubbin, Sat 19th and Sun 20th May
Improve your fitness and have the option of participating as a rower, cox or support member.

Have a go Rowing in Dundrum, Dundrum Inner Bay, Slipway opposite Dundrum Inn, Sat 19th and Sun 20th May
Row with the current world champions and see if coastal rowing could be your thing.

Skiff Rowing for Beginners, Killyleagh at the Netwalk, Sun 20th May
A fun filled session with excellent coaching from experienced team members. This event is a fantastic opportunity to meet new friends while learning to row and exploring Strangford Lough. Everyone that enjoys this activity will have an opportunity to train for the Strangford Skiff Festival.

Try Rowing with Lagan Scullers Club, River Lagan, Lockview Road, Belfast, Sun 20th May
Rowing / sculling taster session for beginners, with some sessions specifically for women over 16 years old. Learn the basics of rowing indoors before taking to the water to see Belfast from the river.

A Family Day Out


Summer Splash Event For FamiliesCreggan Country Park, Westway, Derry, Sat 19th & Sun 20th May
This family fun event will involve canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding and a session on inflatables. It's a great opportunity to get everyone out on the water at a special half price rate.

Dip Your Toe – Have a Go, Lough Erne, Broadmeadow, Lakeland Forum Leisure Centre, Sat 19th May
Get your family (or some friends) together to join a crew of 10 to row through Enniskillen aboard this fascinating bronze age boat currach boat.

Free Taster Youth Rowing Sessions on Strangford Lough, Strangford Lough, Leaving from Cook Street, Portaferry, (located along shore road BT22 1LB), Sat 19th & Sun 20th May
Free rowing sessions for boys and girls aged 11 to 17 years old on Strangford Lough.

Push the Boat Out


Push the Boat Out – Try Free Sailing, Kayaking and Coastal Rowing, County Antrim Yacht Club, 1 Marine Parade, Whitehead, BT38 9QP, Sat 19th May
County Antrim Yacht Club's annual taster day. Try a range of watersports with experienced guides during 20-30 minute sessions. A family fun day will also be taking place, including face painting and a BBQ.

Push the Boat Out with Strangford Lough Yacht Club, Strangford Lough Yacht Club, Whiterock, Sun 20th May
A fun and sociable introduction to sailing with the option of a BBQ afterwards.

Push the Boat Out – Introduction to Dinghy and Cruiser Sailing, Carlingford Lough Yacht Club Killowen Point, Rostrevor, Sun 20th May
A great opportunity to take a dinghy or a yacht out for an afternoon! You can even take a spin in a RIB or have a go stand up paddleboarding.

Follow us on Facebook to keep up to date with what's happening across Northern Ireland's waterways or check out our website, GetWetNI.com

Ethan Loughrey
Ethan Loughrey  Mountain Bike Officer

Hardest thing about Mountain Biking? Definitely the trees.

Discover The Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark- Our Top 10 Walks

Posted on August 14, 2017 @ 10:42 AM in AdventureWalking

The Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark in Co. Fermanagh is well known for one of the finest show caves in Europe, but did you know there is more to this location than the caves?! The Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark contains some of the finest landscapes in the north of Ireland with wonderful walkins in Fermanagh and Cavan ranging from rugged uplands, lakes and forests through to gently rolling drumlins. The landscapes represent a complex earth history dating back as far as 895 million years ago and can be explored on foot. Here are some of our must visit walks in the Co. Fermanagh region of the Geopark.

Walks under 5 milesBelmore Forest

Belmore Forest (Pollnagollum Cave Walk), 4.3 miles circular
This walk is located in the Boho-Belmore Mountain area, right in the heart of Fermanagh’s cave country. Beneath your feet lies an extensive maze of caves which attract cavers and potholers from far and wide to west Fermanagh. The most extraordinary feature on this route is Pollnagollum Cave, Irish for "Hole of the doves". The cave is fed by a waterfall toppling down from the top of a limstone cliff and is swollen to a torrent during harsh weather. Depending on the time of day and year keep a watchful eye out for bats and birds around the cave entrance.

Big Dog Forest

Big Dog Forest (Big Dog Walk) 2.5 miles circular
Cloaked largely with conifers, this beautiful short walk allows you to explore some of Fermanagh’s best upland landscapes. The forest is inhabited by wildlife as varied as red deer, herons and dragonflies. One of the highlights of this walk is the short but rewarding climb to the summit of Little Dog where you will be rewarded with 360 degree panoramic views of the surrounding area.

Castle Archdale Toms Island

Castle Archdale Forest (Toms Island Walk) 1.8 miles circular
Located on the eastern shores of Lower Lough Erne, this walk takes in many differing landscapes and offers something for everyone. The magestic Tom's Island boasts great views across the lough to White Island and Davy's Island. This trail also skirts around the shoreline offering a quite place for reflection. The forest is a richly varied one and features ruined Castles, WWII docks & buildings as well as ancient woodland. Be sure to pack a picnic and enjoy the panoramic views. 

Castle Caldwell

Castle Caldwell Forest (Rossergole Point Walk) 2.5 miles circular
Spectacular views await those who explore Castle Caldwell Forest. One of three routes this walk follows the lake and shore and takes in man-made and natural wonders, including a lime-kiln which hints at the association of the Caldwell estate with the nearby Belleek Pottery and the eerie ruins of Castle Caldwell.

Jetty Walk Ely Lodge

Ely Lodge Forest (Carrickreagh Jetty Walk) 1.3 miles linear (one way)
Sweeping up from the shores of Lower Lough Erne, one of the largest freshwater lakes in Ireland. Ely Lodge Forest is important nationally for its broadleaf woodland and biodiversity. Taking its name from the nearby Ely Lodge, one of two gate lodges that would have adorned the gates of the demesne of the Marquis of Ely, Nicholas Loftus, the Estate was the largest in Co. Fermagh during Victorian times. One of three routes in the forest, the blue waymarked route will take you on a path through a wooded landscape to Carrickreagh Jetty where on a calm day the mirror reflections on the lough are breathtaking.


Gortmaconnell Viewpoint Walk 1.2 miles linear (one way)
The summit of Gortmaconnell Rock can be reached by a short but rewarding climb contouring around the hill. The viewpoint offers wonderful 360 degree panoramic views of Cuilcagh Mountain, MacNean Valley and the Erne Lowlands. From here you can also see the Owenbrean River, which flows down from Cuilcagh Mountain before sinking underground, eventually reaching the Marble Arch Caves system.

Blackslee Waterfall

Lough Navar Forest (Blackslee Waterfall Walk) 4 miles circular
Lough Navar Forest is undoubtedly one of the jewels in the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark. With 4 routes to choose from this walk along forest roads makes its way through the oldest part of Lough Navar Forest leading to the Blackslee Waterfall, where water cascades over a 20 metre cliff before continuing its journey down an undercut rocky gorge.

Walks over 5 milesCuilcagh Boardwalk

Culicagh Way (Legnabrocky Trail) 4.5 miles linear (one way)
Famous for its boardwalk and stairway to heaven, this route has been highly popular with walkers since it opened. This section of the greater 33km Cuilcagh Way meanders through one of the largest expanses of blanket bog in Northern Ireland. The trail follows quiet farmland track before traversing a wooden boardwalk that consists of a steady climb to the mountain face. Here a stepped boardwalk climbs through steep terrain and boulders fields before reaching the summit plateau. A rough mountain path negotiates the wild summit plateau for a few kilometres before reaching an ancient cairn. The imposing mountain flanks of Cuilcagh give this walk a very atmospheric feeling providing breathing views, the most impressive view is of Lough Atona, a lake nestled at the foot of the mountain which was carved out by the glacier during the last Ice Age approximately 13,000 years ago

Ballintempo Forest

Ballintempo Forest Aghanaglack Walk  7 miles circular
One of the largest sections of continuous forestry tracks in Northern Ireland, this forest is steeped in geology, local myths & wildlife; so there is something for everyone. The walk passes a classic Dual Court Tomb from the Neolithic period, an elevated site amongst the conifers, it was constructed when there were fewer surrounding trees, allowing for spectacular views across the area. As you walk, keep a look out for upland birds such as merlin and hen harrier, have a rest at the Brimstone Rock and take in stunning views of nearby Cuilcagh Mountain.

Carrigan Forest Lough Formal Walk

Carrigan Forest Lough Formal Walk 7 miles circular
This brisk walk is a chance to fill your lungs with mountain forest air while enjoying the views from the summit of Formal More. The route is almost all on forestry tracks with a short path through the heather. Spend some time taking in the views which include features of geological interest, you may be surprised at how much wildlife comes to you in this seemingly barren woodland. The most intriguing feature in the forest is Lough Formal, sitting at 240 metres above sea level this small mountain lake sits astride a fault (or crack) in the Earth`s crust.

Visit WalkNI for even more walks in the Geopark.

Latest comment posted by WalkNI on November 28, 2017 @ 2:18 PM

Hi Ken, Either visit WalkNI for more detail by clicking on the links above or alternatively see the Marble Arch Geopark website http://www.marblearchcavesgeopark.com/activity/hiking/ for a list of ... Read more >

Jayne Woodrow
Jayne Woodrow  Marketing Officer & Active Clubs Coordinator for Walking

Jayne joined the marketing team of Outdoor Recreation NI in March 2014. She oversees the marketing and communication on WalkNI, OutdoorNI and Walking in Your Community Project. Most recently she has been working with Parkrun Ireland & UK to introduce the 'Walk @ parkrun' initiative.

Walk Where You’ve Never Walked Before

Posted on June 19, 2017 @ 3:37 PM in AdventureWalking

For those in search of an epic Instagram photo or somewhere new to walk this summer, we share some exciting new trails which have opened in the spectacular Causeway Coast & Glens. Your chance to enjoy previously inaccessible spectacular views near Ballycastle and Cushendun, Co. Antrim this summer. 

Fairhead
Fairhead Northern Ireland

Those who come to explore the new trails at Fairhead are in for a treat this summer, with over 13 miles of trails to discover, you can expect stunning coastal views towards Ballycastle, Rathlin Island and the picturesque Murlough Bay from this ruggedly beautiful, wild and remote location.

Local myth states that it was at the iconic cliffs of Fairhead above the famous Sea of Moyle where the Children of Lir, were put under an evil spell, transforming them into swans to spend 900 years in exile from humanity. Composed of a rock called dolerite, the great cliffs of Fairhead were born out of volcanic activity some 60 million years ago. The upper half of the cliff is formed of gigantic columns which are up to 12 metres in diameter, some of which are separated from the rest of the cliff but still stand, despite their precarious nature.

The walks begin from a farm car park clearly signposted off the Fairhead Rd. With a range of walks to choose from ranging from 1.5 to 3.4 miles (all offering spectacular clifftop views) these fully waymarked trails are named according to their Irish placenames. Several interpretative panels are dotted along the routes to provide you with more information on the history and geology of the area. Choose between 5 routes

  • Lough Dubh Walk (Red Route) 1.5 mile
  • Casan an Loch Walk (Purple Route) 2.2 miles
  • An Belach Runda Walk (Green Route) 3.1 miles
  • Loch na Crannoige Walk (Blue Route) 3.3 miles
  • Murlough View Walk (Yellow Route) 2.9miles 

The walks are all interlinked meaning that you can return to the start at various points. Please be aware that sections of these walks are situated near a cliff edge and due care must be taken particularly during windy conditions and in poor visibility.  Weather conditions along the coast can change very quickly - so be prepared.  Although the walks are waymarked it is advised that you equip yourself with a map.  The walking routes pass through areas of open land and working farmland. Livestock may be present and ground conditions are often uneven, wet and mucky underfoot and as such walking boots are strongly recommended.  

Ronan's Way
Ronan's Way

Ronan's Way is a rare opportunity to access some of the most stunning scenery in the Glens of Antrim on foot. With over 8 miles of new trails developed this is a fantastic opportunity to experience the breathtaking scenery of the inspiring Glens landscape.  

The walks are located on the McAuley Farm, on a stretch of land in memory of Ronan McAuley, a true Glens man who had a dream that more people would explore and enjoy Glendun and the exquisite views of the land that he called home. A couple of benches situated along the routes mean you can sit back and admire the breathtaking views. The diversity of natural habitat (woodland, peatland, farmland and the river) in Glendun means that there is an abundance of wildlife to see. 

A truly inspiring landscape, there are four routes of varying lengths to explore each providing an opportunity to view across one of the nine Glens of Antrim and over the channel to the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland. Located in a glen all of the walks have climbs, but the views are worth it! Walking boots are strongly recommended as the ground can become mucky underfoot. All walks begin at the carpark off the Glendun Rd where a trailhead panel and waymarker posts will direct you to the following walking routes;

  • Green Loop, 0.9 miles
  • Yellow Loop, 1.2 miles
  • Blue Loop, 2.3 miles
  • Red Loop, 3.4 miles

Those looking to extend their time walking in the Glens can visit the nearby Cregagh Wood; a short 0.9 mile woodland walk worth a visit. The wood's tranquil and peaceful surroundings make this location an excellent home for Red Squirrels who can often be spotted running from branch to branch.   

Waterfoot Beach Walk
Waterfoot Beach

For those who do love to be beside the seaside, the new 1.6 mile beach boardwalk at Waterfoot near Cushendun is well worth exploring on a sunny day. 

Depending on tide levels, you can take a walk back on the beach or retrace your steps along the coastal path when you reach the end of the route. With two playparks along the way for the kids to explore this is an ideal family walk this summer before tucking into a BBQ/ picnic on the beach and paddling in the sea.

The walk looks out towards Red Bay Castle which projects out onto the headland just north of Glenariff and passes species rich grasslands. Feel free to walk through the wildflower meadow where you can spot yellow-rattle flower and small copper butterfly.

Don't forget to share your photos with us on social media using #WalkNI.

Latest comment posted by Valerie campion on July 3, 2017 @ 11:23 AM

I am visiting the area in sept for a weekend of walking , I am looking forward to taking some of the above walks . The area looks spectatulor . Read more >

Jayne Woodrow
Jayne Woodrow  Marketing Officer & Active Clubs Coordinator for Walking

Jayne joined the marketing team of Outdoor Recreation NI in March 2014. She oversees the marketing and communication on WalkNI, OutdoorNI and Walking in Your Community Project. Most recently she has been working with Parkrun Ireland & UK to introduce the 'Walk @ parkrun' initiative.

Get into Watersports with Get Wet NI this Summer

Posted on May 31, 2017 @ 12:22 PM in Adventure

Continue the fun out on the water through the summer months with Get Wet NI's Participation Events. Come and have a go at something new with your local watersports club, uncover a new passion or improve your skills and confidence.

Get Wet Northern ireland

Co. Down

Coastal Rowing Summer Sessions For Juniors, Portaferry Coastal Rowing Club, Strangford Lough, Sat 8th & Sun 9th July.  A fantastic opportunity for kids aged between 11 & 18 yrs to have a go at rowing on the Gilpin Skiff. Each session will be led by a qualified cox from Portaferry Coastal Rowing Club

Bright Night Sailing For JuniorsDonaghadee Sailing Club, Various dates throughout May, June & July. An opportunity for those aged between 8 & 17 yrs old to get out on the water and learn some of the basics of sailing while having great fun with like-minded juniors.

Dinghy Ducks Sailing Programme, East Down Yacht Club, Downpatrick, Various dates throughout May & June. Get out on the water and learn to sail a Dinghy during these popular Friday night training sessions ideal for individuals, families and groups of friends.

Learn to Waterski/ Wakeboard with the experts, Meteor Water Ski Club, Various dates throughout May, June & July. Learn to ski on a beautiful picturesque lake. An adrenaline fuelled session with expert coaches. 

Get Wet Northern ireland

Co. Antrim

Go Rowing With Lagan Curraghs, Lagan Curraghs, River Lagan, Belfast, Various Dates throughout May, June & July.  Experience rowing a traditional currach on the River Lagan and Belfast Lough. Learn basic rowing techniques and try your hand on the steering oar.

4 Week Rowing Course for Beginners, Lagan Scullers, River Lagan, Belfast, 4 week course with various start dates from May to October. This four week course for beginners is aimed at improving your basic rowing skills and confidence in a fun and safe way.

Get Wet Northern ireland

Co. Fermanagh

Sunset Paddle, Share Discovery Village, Lisnaskea, Fri 2nd June. Sunset Paddles are an excellent way to be introduced to the sport of canoeing. You don’t need to have any previous canoeing experience, specialist kit or skills…just come and have a go!

Recreational Paddle, Erne Paddlers, Castle Archdale, Sun 4th June. A great way to see and experience the beautiful vistas and ancient sites of Lough Erne. Joine Erne Paddlers and explore some hidden gems only accessible by boat including.

Get Wet Northern ireland

Co. Armagh

Learn To Sail Beginners Sessions, Craigavon Watersports Centre, Various dates throughout May, June, July, August & September. Learn how to confidently sail in sheltered waters. This first step session is aimed at beginners and is an ideal way to learn the basics of sailing.

Canoe & Kayak Starter Sessions, Newry & Mourne Sea Kayak & Canoe Club, Camlough Lake, Sat 10th June. An ideal opportunity to get out on the water and try canoeing & kayaking with expert instructors.

Check out GetWetNI.com for even more fantastic events on offer throughout the Summer.

Jayne Woodrow
Jayne Woodrow  Marketing Officer & Active Clubs Coordinator for Walking

Jayne joined the marketing team of Outdoor Recreation NI in March 2014. She oversees the marketing and communication on WalkNI, OutdoorNI and Walking in Your Community Project. Most recently she has been working with Parkrun Ireland & UK to introduce the 'Walk @ parkrun' initiative.

older articles >
Northern Ireland's Outdoor Adventure Blog outdoorni.com walkni.com cycleni.com canoeni.com