10 things to do in Northern Ireland
Here are ten exciting things to do 9-15 October
1. Belfast international Arts Festival, Belfast, 12 October- 5 November. Celebrating 61 years of entertaining the city, this year’s festival offers something for all audiences. The programme features the very best international and homegrown artists in theatre, dance, music, visual arts, literature, and film in over 30 venues across the city.
2. Jail of Horror, Belfast, County Antrim, 13 October. Get into the spirit of Halloween with one of Belfast’s most fearsome attractions. Come along to Crumlin Road Jail, if you dare! Prepare to face your fears and ones you haven’t thought of, on this scare fest, with only one way out. The adventure will include the famous basement of D-wing. The one-of-a-kind 'Jail of Horror' three-hour evening tour through Belfast's oldest prison is guaranteed to be an experience to remember.
3. The Derry Girls Experience, Derry~Londonderry, County Londonderry, throughout October. Visit the Quinn’s kitchen and see some great props and costumes from the hit TV show in a special exhibition within the city’s Tower Museum. You can also take in the other exhibitions like The Story of Derry
4. Seacourt Autumn Evenings, Bangor, County Down, 12 October. Have you ever wanted to learn a new skill? This taster session offers the chance in an informal relaxed setting, you can spend the evening training a range of techniques and come home with a keepsake print. It covers techniques of Letterpress, Screen Print and printing with plants.
5. If Buildings Could Talk Tour, Belfast, County Antrim, 7 October. In this two-hour tour walk through the city centre you will hear stories of interesting, unusual and entertaining events that have happened over the last 150 years. Your guide Barney Gribben, a Belfast native, with the gift of the gab has a wealth of anecdotes which will be news to many of the people born and bred here!
6. The Mythology and Ecology of a Celtic Rainforest,County Tyrone, October 15th. Offered by Foyle Trails, this fascinating driving/walking tour explores the mythology and ecology of a mysterious Celtic Woodland. The experience includes a regenerative element where participants can contribute to the conservation of this unique area. Pre-book for parties over three people.
7. Castlewellan Forest Park - Annesley Garden Walk, Castlewellan, County Down, throughout October. Why not enjoy the autumn leaf change at this beautiful arboretum? This trail, which is just over two miles, is a lovely day out passing lakes and ponds within the forest. There are some steep bits along way, but it is well worth the effort!
8. Armagh Robinson Library, Armagh, County Armagh, throughout October. This isn’t just about stepping into an 18-century library, it’s the oldest in Northern Ireland, founded in 1771. Among its treasures are Jonathan Swifts’ personal copy of Gulliver travels, complete with his own handwritten corrections. His publisher made changes to avoid legal action! He was a great admirer of the orchard county and stayed at what is now Gosford Forest Park, a place that inspired many of his poems.
9. Belleek Pottery Visitor Centre, Belleek, County Fermanagh, 29 September. This is one of Northern Ireland’s oldest attractions, with visitors coming to discover the secrets of Irish Craftmanship since 1857. There are a range of pottery tours where you can see the 16 steps of how this world-famous product is created. You can see how the moulding, flowering, painting, and basket weaving is done. Visitor participation is encouraged throughout the tour, glazing product and breaking pieces that do not meet the required standard. Check website for availability.
10. Tracey's Farmhouse Kitchen, Killinchy, County Down, 6 October. Join Tracey in her kitchen on the shores of Strangford Lough in County Down, just 30 minutes from Belfast, to make breads the traditional way, then sit down to enjoy the fruits of your labour! Check website for availability.
Booking is essential for most activities. Book in advance to avoid disappointment. Subject to availability.