More things: 19-25 February 2024

More things: 19-25 February 2024

10 things to do in Northern Ireland

Here are ten exciting things to do 19-25 February

1. NI Science Festival 2024, Belfast, County Antrim, 19-24 February. This festival is celebrating its 10th year inspiring Northern Ireland in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths! There are hundreds of events, spread across more than 90 venues, offering a glimpse of cutting-edge research and what the future might hold. From a range of workshops, interactive activities to talks and tours, you will have the chance to hear from scientists on their latest work. There are fascinating events for all ages.

2. Belfast TradFest Winter Weekend, Belfast, County Antrim, 23-25 February. Hear this UNESCO City of Music come alive to the sounds of traditional music across a wide range of concerts, workshops, sessions, and talks across the city. This is the festival’s third outing and will showcase internationally renowned talent in traditional Irish and Scottish music, song and dance. The event is backed by Belfast City Council and the Arts Council among others.

3. Kilcreggan Urban Farm & Garden Centre, Carrickfergus, County Antrim. This relaxed community space has a small farm where individuals and families can visit for free and get up close with animals including goats, pigs, ponies, poultry, waterfowl and geese. Pop into the garden centre or have a break in the not-for-profit Dancing Goat café which serves a range of soups, sandwiches and sweet treats. This community farm is operated as a charity helping support local people with learning disabilities.

4. Garvagh Pyramid, Garvagh Forest, County Londonderry. A far cry from the sandy deserts of Egypt, this 21 ft pyramid was built in the 1800’s by Lord Garavagh, who was inspired by his grand tour of Egypt and planned to use the structure as his final resting place. It’s located at the south end of the village, on high ground, among mature woodland which is covered in bluebells in spring. It’s not only a curious spot, it is wonderfully peaceful.

5. Electric Escape, Belcoo, County Fermanagh. Explore the unspoilt wilderness of west Fermanagh in this guided tour across old bog roads and forest tracks and discover hidden megalithic tombs and sweeping views over Lough MacNean. Travelling on electric mountain bikes you’ll stop at Pollnagollum Cave, before a welcome break for refreshments at The Linnet Inn in the picturesque village of Boho. The route is suitable for all levels of fitness making it ideal for families and friend groups.

6. ‘The Lucky Seventh' – HMS Caroline Pump House, Belfast, County Antrim, 22 February. This lecture, in HMS Caroline’s Pump House, marks the 100th anniversary of the ship's arrival in Belfast. HMS Caroline has clocked up 100,000 miles and saw action in the North Sea throughout the First World War. She looked set for the breakers yard before ending up in Northern Ireland as a drill ship. Will Heppa, NMRN Curator of Artefacts, will explore the early history of the Ulster Division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and look at HMS Caroline's crucial role in the Second World War. Refreshments will be provided.

7. Harry Avery’s Castle, Newtownstewart, County Tyrone. This castle is thought to have been built around 1320 by a local chieftain of the O’Neill clan. It’s unusual in both design and the fact that chieftains of the time rarely built stone castles. Its two towers look like a gatehouse, similar to Carrickfergus Castle, but in reality it functioned as a medieval towerhouse. Explore the remains of this historic building along with breathtaking scenery that surrounds it.

8. Paddle Back in Time, Killinchy, County Down, 24-25 February. This award-winning kayak tour following a traditional smuggling route undertaken by Daft Eddie and the Merry Hearts. This exciting tour is led by Dr. Sarah Baccianti, a researcher in literature and history of medieval Scandinavia. At Mahee Island, Dr. Baccianti will guide you through the ruins of the monastic site of Nendrum, life in the monastery in the Middle Ages, and the role played by the Vikings in the Strangford Lough area between the 9th and 11th centuries. This tour includes a wetsuit and all the kit required for your adventure.

9. The Argory, Moy, County Armagh. This is a great time of year to see blankets of snowdrops at this gentile 19th century property or see if you can spot a Kingfisher on the River Blackwater which skirts the estate. The Argory is a tranquil spot for a wander through beautiful woodland, or along its Lime Tree Walk.

10. Castle Balfour, Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh. This castle sits at the edge of the parish graveyard just west of Main Street and was built around 1618 by Scottish planter, Sir James Balfour. It was in continuous occupation until the early 19th century. Conservation work was carried out on site in the 1960s and again in the 1990s. There is evidence on the site of an earlier ringfort which indicates the area had been inhabited long before the castle was built.

For more information on what’s on or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit

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