‘Knot to be missed’ Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival returns

‘Knot to be missed’ Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival returns

Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival has announced its eclectic festival programme, as it returns from May 26th – June 4th with 10 days of exciting seafaring fun. This year the festival is pleased to announce ‘The Phoenix’ tall ship will be part of the celebrations. 

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is collaborating with Ballycastle Community Development Group and Rathlin Development and Community Association to bring you this hugely popular celebration, with a packed programme of activities on both dry-land and at sea, inspired by the Rathlin Sound – the body of water connecting Rathlin Island to the mainland in Ballycastle.

Visitors can look forward to a diverse programme of live music performances, dance displays, ‘have a go’ activities, crafts, walks, talks, cookery demonstrations and lots of artisan produce at the Naturally North Coast and Glens Market, all of which celebrate the area’s rich local history, culture, music, and food.

The Phoenix tall ship is well known for its appearances in many films and television shows including Hornblower, Chronicles of Narnia and Voyage of Discovery. Visitors can experience the unique ship, with one-hour tours as well as day trips.

This is the first year The Phoenix will be part of the festival, so it’s a brilliant opportunity for locals and visitors to experience it.

The 10-day festival offers something for everyone, whether you want to find out more about traditional boat making, enjoy some family fun on the beach or have a go at paddle boarding.

To add to the expanding festival, a new addition this year will be on the pier activities to include music, dance and entertainment. Corracle boat making will also be a unique experience to find out more about these tradition vessels.   

In other programme highlights, look out for the blessing of the boats, traditional rope making, maritime themed children’s crafts, colourful kite display, sand sculpture demonstration and a children’s sandcastle competition on Ballycastle Beach.

Looking ahead to the festival, Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens, Councillor Ivor Wallace, said: “Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival is about inspiring a passion for the sea, as well as celebrating Ballycastle and Rathlin Island’s shared nautical heritage. It is a fantastic showcase of the area’s unrivalled tourism offering and it brings a unique vibrancy which has been enjoyed by thousands of visitors since the festival began 10 years ago.

“I know it is highly anticipated every year as a highlight of our Borough’s events calendar, and Council is very grateful to the local community volunteers who play a crucial role in its success.”

The full programme is available on the festival’s website so please visit www.rathlinsoundmaritimefestival.com for the latest updates or contact Ballycastle Visitor Information Centre by ringing 028 2076 2024. Trips on The Phoenix must be booked in advance. Details for bookings can be found via the festival’s website.

Please note, details are subject to change due to tides and weather conditions, so visitors are advised to follow the Festival’s Facebook (@RathlinSoundMaritimeFestival) and Twitter (@RathlinSoundMF) channels for the most up-to-date announcements.

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