10 things to do in Northern Ireland
Here are ten exciting things to do 8-14 January
1. Mourne Trails and Ales Tour, Newcastle, County Down, throughout January. Have you got a thirst for adventure? Then why not experience the trails, their tales and ultimately the ales of Mourne by Electric Bike. Over three hours you will explore the hidden highs and lows of the Annesley Estate, now Castlewellan Forest Park. You will be guided throughout and have the chance to try artisan ales from the Whitewater Brewery alongside some locally inspired trail cake. Check website for availability.
2. Castle Archdale Marina Boat Hire & Water Sports, Irvinestown, County Fermanagh, throughout January. There are a range of water activities to enjoy within the grounds of Castle Archdale Country Park from kayak hire, water trampolining, cycle hire and many other activities. There are two styles of boat available for hire - that can take up to 8 people! If you don’t fancy the water, you can stick to dry land and hire bikes and take in the beautiful woodland landscape or discover the shores of Lough Erne. Suitable for individuals, families, and groups of all ages.
3. Ulster Museum, Belfast, County Antrim. Come explore these rich collections of art, artefacts, and natural science all within the grounds of the city’s Botanic Gardens. Prepare to be dazzled by the sunken treasure from the Spanish Armada and intrigued by the ancient Egyptian mummies. There’s also an incredible video archive on the history of the troubles. It’s free entry, and there’s also a great onsite café with a hands-on interactive playroom space for little visitors. A great day out for any age.
4. Peace Maze, Castlewellan, County Down. This is one of the world's largest permanent hedge mazes comprising of 6,000 yew trees, planted by people from all over Northern Ireland. With a hedge length of over two miles, it’s a great fun and free family adventure. Visitors can attempt to solve their way to the peace bell in the centre of the maze. Give yourself an estimated forty minutes!
5. Ghosts of Winterly Manor, Belfast, County Antrim, 8-31January. W5 brings a brand-new experience for the winter months in this low-light walk-through experience that will see W5’s AMAZE space transformed into the haunted Winterly Manor. Encounters with a range of ghosts, ghouls, phantoms,and restless spirits await. Enter if you dare!
6. Dolly Parton and Shania Twain Tribute Show,Derry~Londonderry, County Londonderry, 13 January. A great night of entertainment for lovers of country music everywhere or just those who love fun spectacles. This tribute show will have you foot tapping your way into the dark days of January and beyond!
7. Drum Manor Forest Park, Cookstown, County Tyrone. There’s something to delight in any season, with scenic walks around the forest and wildfowl lake. Enjoy the Japanese garden, arboretum, ponds, and mixed woodlands. There’s a variety of trails which follow a circular route, pick the one that suits you best! There’s a lovely play park, good car parking and public toilets. This area is also wheelchair accessible.
8. George Best House Tour, Belfast, County Antrim, 12 January. Step inside the family home of footballing legend George Best, as it would’ve been in the summer of 1961 when a fifteen-year-old George left to follow his dreams in Manchester. An experienced local guide will tell you all about Best's early life in east Belfast’s Cregagh Estate and you will have a rare opportunity to flick through his old school reports and read letters he sent home to his parents. Check website for availability.
9. Armagh’s Ecclesiastical Trail, Armagh, County Armagh. Check out this new self-guided tour of city’s many important church sites in this city of saints and scholars. Go at your own pace and explore ten churches across the city offering a glimpse into the history, heritage, and architecture of this beautiful city. The map is available online and as a hardcopy in various venues across Armagh including Navan Fort and The County Museum.
10. Foyle Adventures, Derry~Londonderry, County Londonderry. This rib boat experience will give you a new perspective on The Walled City. Expert guides will take you on an unforgettable journey delving into the city and river’s rich history. This experience isn’t just for nature enthusiasts out there but is a fun and novel way to discover more about stake in the city. Check website for availability.
For more information on what’s on or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit https://discovernorthernireland.com/