10 things to do in Northern Ireland
Here are ten exciting things to do 1 – 7 May
1. Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, Belfast, 27 – 7 May. The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival (CQAF) is an annual festival of music, comedy, theatre, art, and literature that you won’t want to miss. There are over 100 live events taking place across Belfast including Sister Sledge, Children of Zeus, Badly Drawn Boy and many more talent acts.
2. May Bank Holiday Weekend at HMS Caroline, Belfast 1 May. Bring the children to HMS Caroline during the May bank holiday weekends and they will enjoy specially themed activities. Help the HMS Caroline Curator look after a museum collection by discovering what types of pests hide on board a historic ship. Drop-in, family-led activities including crafts, dress ups, puzzles, games and colouring activities are also available.
3. Round to the Rue, Ballycastle, County Antrim, 6 May. Enjoy a refreshing walk that will consist of minor roads and grassy trails, traversing headlands, and skirting shorelines. Expert guide Kevin will introduce the island's history, heritage and story through commentary and visual storytelling. The Rue point is the closest point between Rathlin and the Mainland and was for many years a vibrant port with a history of smuggling and now is home to a colony of seals observable from a safe distance.
4. North West 200, Coleraine, County Londonderry, 7 May. Northern Ireland is the home of motorcycle racing on closed public roads and every May the beautiful Causeway Coast plays host to one of the sport's most spectacular events. The International North West 200 attracts the finest line-up of road racers of any race on the planet, drawing thousands of visitors to the superfast 8.9 mile circuit that links the towns of Portrush, Portstewart and Coleraine.
5. Fermanagh Classic Fishing Festival, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, 8 – 12 May. In its 46th year, the Classic has returned for all fishing experts to enjoy. The King of the Erne competition (organised by Erne Anglers) will fish on Monday and Thursday. Around 200 anglers each year gather from Great Britain, Republic of Ireland and Europe, each competing for an overall prize pot of over £20,000 including a top prize of £5,000.Classic Week begins on Sunday evening with an Opening Gala where anglers can gather to register and meet with other competitors. Fishing takes place on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and closes with a Prize Giving Gala.
6. The Lake Kilrea, County Londonderry, see website for opening times. Situated in the picture perfect heart of Northern Ireland, the Lake Kilrea is a must visit destination for a fun filled day for the whole family. The Lake offers a water based inflatable adventure park, canoeing, kayaking and SUP, with pedalos available to enjoy the lake as well as a number of land based activities, such as a high ropes course, zip line and climbing wall.
7. Orienteering the Cosmos, Armagh Planetarium, County Armagh, 5 May. Join Professor Michael Burton as he gives a special planetarium show for the orienteers coming to this year’s British Championships in Armagh. Michael has been orienteering for more years than he has been an astronomer and his show will feature a tour of the cosmos.
8. Féile na Bealtaine, Mullaghbawn, County Armagh, 29 April – 5 May. The first of May marks the beginning of the ancient festival of Bealtaine, Féile na Bealtaine, and is the halfway point between the spring equinox and summer solstice. On his farm, nestled on the magnificent Ring of Gullion landscape, Brian from Mountain Ways Ireland is ready to show you a walk on the wild side and introduce you to the magical world of foraging for wild plants. What a wonderful time of year to immerse yourself in nature at Slieve Gullion.
9. Ballycastle Seafront Artisan Market, Ballycastle, County Antrim, 7 May. The flagship artisan market by Naturally North Coast & Glens takes place on the beautiful Ballycastle Seafront. This is an excellent showcase of local food, culture, heritage, and traditions, and it is an ideal destination for anyone looking for an authentic experience. These markets provide theopportunity to meet some of Northern Ireland's many producers and creative small businesses.
10. A Taste Of Symphonia, Moy, County Tyrone, see website for tour times. Looking for a unique and memorable experience in Northern Ireland? Look no further than Symphonia Spirits, a craft distillery that specialises in premium, sustainable, small-batch gin and rum. These distillery tours provide an opportunity to learn about the scientific approach to an award-winning gin and rum production, and tastings of spirits as their signature serves allow you to sample the tastes of locally sourced and exotic botanicals.
Booking is essential for most activities. Book in advance to avoid disappointment. Subject to availability.
For more information on what’s on or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit https://discovernorthernireland.com/blog/read/2023/04/bank-holiday-ideas-for-families-b262