Annual Motorcyle Egg Run, Sunday 6th April.

The Annual Motorcycle Egg Run, drawing bikers from all over Northern Ireland in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care takes place Sunday 6th April.

In its 21st year the run has raised almost £10,000 for Marie Curie in the last 5 years alone.

This year bikes are gathering at Pennybridge Industrial Estate where Ballymena Honda hope to play host to a range of activities including an amazing opportunity to win a pillion ride of the NW200 with one of the world’s top road racers. Find out on the day who the lucky winner will have the chance to ride pillion with in this hair raising competition

Leaving at 1.30pm sharp, participants take the now traditional tour past Slemish and through the Glens to Carnlough where there will be a short stop for refreshments. After a ride along the coast road, the run will return to Ballymena Showgrounds (Des Allen Suite) where a light lunch will be provided. Cost is a minimum of £5 per bike plus a voluntary Easter Egg donation (the Easter eggs will all be donated to local children’s charities)

Once again this outstanding event in conjunction with Braid Arts Centre has been organised by Ballymena Rider Training. Chief Instructor David McGuckin says, “I have been amazed at the support that our event has received in the past, and hope that this year it will again be an enormous success. Marie Curie Cancer Care is a Charity that supports patients with terminal cancer and other illnesses and all funds raised will help the charity to continue the work that it does in Northern Ireland

Thanks again to the generosity of local businesses; a number of prizes are on offer for the free raffle which will be held at the end of the run

Be a part of this momentous and magnificent spectacle-come and join us at Pennybridge this 6TH April, and whether you have a scooter or a racer, custom or classic, have a fantastic day out while helping to raise some money for charity

Those without motorcycles are more than welcome to come and cheer all the bikers on their way!

For more information on the event search “The Annual NI Easter Egg Run” on Facebook or contact David McGuckin from Ballymena Rider Training on 07712 935005, organisers Gary Olphert 07710 733292 or Walter Millar 07507639699

Happy Easter to Everybunny! From Castle Espie

Easter bunnies, Easter eggs and baby chicks, all these things signal the start of the Easter holidays and with it a packed programme of activities and events at WWT Castle Espie Wetland Centre.

Family fun activities will be running from Monday 14th April to Sunday 27th April, 10am – 5pm. So make a sweet eggscape this Easter and join us to Search for the large coloured bunnies hidden around the site. Map and clues will be provided and prizes for all children upon completion of the trail. Free themed crafts will be run every day including help from our Easter bunny staff between Saturday 19th to Wednesday 23rd April and that’s just for starters.  There will also be storytelling, pond dipping, mini beast hunts and roving ramblers to tell you all about the amazing wildlife or history of Castle Espie.  All events are included in cost of admission and free for WWT members.

A Few More Eggs for the basket

Visit our spring exhibition ‘Moments in Nature’ by wildlife artist John Moore, 15th March to 27th April

  • Dawn chorus – join our resident expert to explore the reserve at one of the most productive times of the year. Learn how to identify the beautiful calls and songs of each bird. Followed by breakfast in the Loughshore Café on Sunday 6th April at 6am.
  • Meet the Quackers – what whistles and doesn’t quack? Find out more about the fascinating birds in our captive collection. Every Saturday and Sunday, 12noon & 2pm.


Enjoy delicious home-made food and Fairtrade coffees and teas, whilst taking in the views from the Loughshore cafe. Why not visit our shop to purchase some unique Easter treats. And remember, if you join when you visit it will be free! For more information on opening times and event activities and timings please call 028 9187 4146 or visit Follow us on facebook and Twitter @wwtcastleespie.

Exciting line up for International Bread Festival at Castle Ward

The global bread tour at Castle Ward returns on Bank Holiday Monday 5 May as the International Bread Festival prepares to tantalise your taste buds with breads and foods from around the world.

The magnificent National Trust place will welcome for the first time, celebrity chefs Angela Harnett and Atul Kochhar. Angela is best known for being Gordon Ramsey’s protégé; she is one of the very few female chefs to have achieved a Michelin star. Atul was the first Indian Chef to gain a Michelin Star. His unique fusion of Indian cuisine has made him one of the most influential chefs currently working. Angela and Atul will be joined by the French master baker, Richard Bertinet, to help celebrate our unique bread culture. All three celebrities are regulars on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen.

The festival, now in its third year, brings together bakers and bakeries from near and far, great music and plenty of fun and games for all the family.

As preparations get underway for the big event, Jacqui Baird, Visitor Services Manager for Castle Ward, said:

“The Bread Festival is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our amazing bread culture in Northern Ireland. It will showcase the best of bread from across the country such as barmbrack, soda breads and our famous potato breads. There will also be a strong international theme with breads and foods from India, Europe, America and UK as well as some traditional food from Ireland.

“We are very excited this year to offer our visitors a unique chance to see what Castle Ward would have been like 150 years ago, as we bring our farmyard area to life. This area was once the heart of the estate with the Ward family leading the way on being self-sufficient. During the day we will have our very own corn mill in action showing you how the corn was ground, as well as demonstrations from the Ulster American Folk Park and other traditional crafts and food producers.

“It is guaranteed to be a wonderful day for all the family and I would like to thank NITB and Food NI for their generous support of this international event.”

Russell Whitaker, Events Executive NITB commented:

“Northern Ireland Tourist Board is pleased to sponsor the International Bread Festival, an event providing an outstanding visitor experience. This event draws visitors of all ages to the picturesque setting of Castle Ward estate, showcasing all types of breads and bakers. We wish the National Trust every success for the event in 2014.”

Michelle Shirlow, CEO of Food NI added:

“From a Food NI perspective, the Bread Festival is a showcase for good local food here in Northern Ireland. We are passionate about our breads and are proud to share our love with others. The event at Castle Ward offers our food producers an opportunity to sell directly to customers and to get feedback on their products.”

During the Bread Festival there will be something for everyone to enjoy from live music, children’s activities, demonstrations and talks as well as a chance to see what life is like behind the doors of the mansion house.

The Bread festival runs from 10am – 6pm on Monday 5 May 2014. For further information please check the or call Castle Ward on 028 4488 1204.


Regeneration of town centre gives Ballycastle new lease of life

Ballycastle Town Partnership is encouraging everyone from Ballycastle and further afield around the Moyle District to come along to an exciting day of free family fun on Saturday 29th March in order to celebrate the recent revitalisation of the town centre.

Internationally acclaimed children’s theatre company Cahoots NI will perform a show called The Family Hoffman’s Mystery Palace* from 12pm to 5pm at twenty minute intervals throughout the day at the former Brady’s Supermarket, Castle Street.  Admission to the show is completely free and attendees will experience captivating fun for all the family, including storytelling, live music, magic and illusion, combining elements of cabaret and vaudeville.  The show uses an innovative approach to theatre that is full of surprises and sure to ignite and stimulate the imagination of young and old alike.

Visitors can also choose from a wide range of other entertainment that will be available on the day including live music, craft demonstrations and much much more.

Cllr Cara McShane, Council Chairperson explains why the event in Ballycastle will be the perfect day out for locals and visitors alike.

“Ballycastle has lots to offer visitors and is well known for its diverse heritage and culture as well as the friendliness of its people and strong community spirit.  We are delighted to host such a fantastic event in Ballycastle and I would encourage everyone from the town and around the Moyle District to come along and join in the excitement.”

“This is a great opportunity for people to get together and enjoy some old fashioned family fun and we would ask everyone to spread the word far and wide to invite others to join in the entertainment as well,” Cara added.

Locals have been working hard to showcase all that Ballycastle has to offer over the coming months, explains Cllr Donal Cunningham, Chair of the Revitalise Ballycastle Steering Group.

“The Revitalise Ballycastle Steering Group which is funded by the Department for Social Development has worked to improve the appearance of shop fronts in Ballycastle and the town is looking better than ever.”

“Our aim as a group, is to promote the social, economic and environmental development of Ballycastle and market the town to show visitors what a great place it is with an array of unique, independently owned shops, cafes and restaurants with delicious food, relaxing ambiance and of course world renowned stunning scenery with a plethora of rugged walks and outdoor activities,” Cara added.

There is a lot to see and do in Ballycastle this year from the Ould Lammas Fair in August to the world renowned Giro d’Italia which comes to Ballycastle on Saturday 10th May.

* Tickets for Family Hoffman’s Mystery Palace must be pre booked and are available from various locations including Noel’s Pound Coiner, Castle St and Ballycastle Tourist Information Centre, Bayview Rd, Ballycastle.

Timeless “Tail” makes Perfect Mother’s Day Gift

Plunge into the dramatic dance re-telling of classic fairy-tale ‘The Little Mermaid’ at Theatre at The Mill on Wednesday 7th May.

See Ballet Theatre UK perform the story of a mermaid and her love for a human prince.

Through fluid movement, the dancers articulate the tale of how the kind-hearted ‘Little Mermaid’ rescues the prince during a storm at sea, and begins a journey that takes her far from her home beneath the waves. Determined to pursue her love on the shore, she makes a bargain with an evil Sea Witch, but it comes at a heavy price.

Ballet Theatre UK’s charming and poignant ballet explores the nature of longing, how making choices have lasting consequences and how goodness can be rewarded in unexpected ways.

This timeless tale will be an ideal treat for Mother’s Day gift and delightful entertainment for the whole family.

Come along for this unmissable and breath-taking performance at Theatre at The Mill on Wednesday 7th May.  Tickets which cost £20, £18, £16 & £14 can be booked online at or though Box Office on 028 9034 0202.

Theatre at The Mill spends ‘Two Nights with George’

Actress Donna O’Connor enjoys the company of Mr Clooney once again at Theatre at The Mill on Friday 4 and Sat 5 April as she continues to disclose her tales to her hunky confidante in ‘Two Nights With George’.

Reprising her role as Bridie Murphy, Donna O’Connor stars in the new sequel to the award winning comedy ‘A Night With George’ since one evening with George Clooney is never enough for any woman.

Bridie returns to her Ballymurphy living room, bold, brash and on the voddies again and reunites with her old flame. Much has happened to Bridie in the last few years and she shares this with companion George, as well as a few very large Belfast Martinis. With her unique brand of humour and language that would shock a sailor, Bridie’s rollercoaster life continues and she tells it warts and all to George and lets him in on some of her past secrets, and one shocker in particular.

Tickets for this unmissable comedy which cost £16, £14 & £12 are available online from the Theatre’s website at or by phoning Box Office on 028 9034 0202.

Jacqueline’s Pick of What’s On This Weekend Across NI.


Operation Lipstick is back and TinyLife are looking for ladies who like fun and adventure!  TinyLife is on the search for teams of 6 ladies to take part in a full day of practical, physical and mental challenges in the gorgeous setting of Castlewellan Forest Park on Saturday 22nd March 2014.


The Royal Hotel Cookstown are hosting their Wedding Fair this Friday 21st March from 6-9pm with a wide range of exhibitors and a Bridal Fashion Show.


Paddlefest 2014 21st to 23rd March at the Share Centre will be a fun packed weekend of skills clinics, quality coaching, great trips, inspiring evening talks and of course a social each evening.  The Share Centre was chosen for Paddlefest as it is located on the shores of Lough Erne and is close to many options for sea, river and surf.  Booking essential.


Join the LegenDerry Ladies in the Corinthian Ballroom City Hotel and check out the wide range of services and products that this talented collective of local business groups can provide! Crafts, cakes, mother’s day gifts, jewellery, handmade soaps, candles, home décor, fashion and much more will be on offer.


Calling all bookworms! Browse through the hundreds of second hand books at the Spring Books Fair, The Argory on Saturday and Sunday.  Stock up on all your summer reads. Donations of unwanted books, CDs and DVDs are welcome prior to the event.


There will be a free family fun day in the Market Place, Carrickfergus on Saturday 22nd March 2pm to 5pm with music, face painters, balloon modellers, stilt performers and much more!


The Merchant Hotel’s fabulous Fashion Teas Saturday 22nd March and Sunday 23rd March. A  series of gloriously decadent Champagne Afternoon Teas with a fabulous fashion show and amazing pop-up boutiques. Relax in the elegant Art Deco surroundings of The Rita Duffy Room, sip Champagne, savour melt in the mouth patisseries, and let the very best in fashion for the new season come to you.

For more details on these and other events across Northern Ireland, news and competitions see, follow us @whatsonni and like us at Add your  events FREE OF CHARGE at www.whatsonni.

10 Things to do Next Week in NI!

The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland over the next week (March 24 – 30).

  • World War I: And the Truth Keeps Marching On, Linen Hall Library, Belfast, March 26.  The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) continues their series of scintillating talks as Ian Montgomery shows a range of fascinating World War I records available to the public one hundred years after it started
  • Eduardo Niebla in Concert, Ballymoney Town Hall, Ballymoney, Co. Antrim, March 26.  World class Spanish guitarist and composer, Eduardo Niebla will offer a spellbinding evening of passion, verve and fleet fingered virtuosity from one of the most potent forces in flamenco jazz fusion.

  • Space Alien Creatures, The Market Place Theatre & Arts Centre, Armagh City, Co. Armagh, March 29. Children can get creative by designing their very own 3-D space alien creature using papier-mâché techniques and recycled materials.

  • 14th Belfast Film Festival, various, Belfast, March 27 – April 6. The 14th annual festival will showcase the newest and best in local and international talent including short films, a documentary competition, classic retrospectives, industry master classes, workshops and special events.
  • Steel Magnolias, Riverside Theatre, Coleraine, Co. Londonderry, March 27-29. Ballywillan Drama Group presents a beautiful, bittersweet comedy, written by Robert Harling about the bond among six very special friends as they share the cycles of life, birth and death to emerge stronger, closer and still laughing.

  • Bap Kennedy, Ardhowen Theatre, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, March 28.  Belfast singer-songwriter, Bap Kennedy is back on home ground having toured around America and Europe and will perform a collection of classic original songs.

  • Movies and Musicals, Down Arts Centre, Downpatrick, Co. Down, March 28.  A fabulous celebration of the best songs from stage and screen performed and hosted by acclaimed Northern Ireland singer Michelle Baird and her Elluna Musical Ensemble.

  • Donard Challenge Mountain Race, Donard Park, Newcastle, Co. Down, March 29.  A new course designed to provide a testing short mountain race specifically for the 2014 British Championship Series ascending over Millstone Mountain before climbing to the summit of Slieve Donard, offering a worthwhile journey for the adventurous fell runners.
  • An Evening with Clanmore Choir, Square Box, Ranfurly House Arts & Visitor Centre, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, March 29.  Enjoy an evening of music courtesy of the Clonmore Choir as they showcase the talent of local singers.
  • Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea, Larchfield Estate, Lisburn, Co. Antrim, March 30.  Treat your mother to an afternoon tea at Larchfield Estate with live music followed by a leisurely stroll around the four acre walled garden.


The Market Place Theatre will be rocked to the core as never before when the Superstars of The American Wrestling Roadshow invade Armagh City.

Coming from successful tours in France, Spain, Japan, Germany, USA, Mexico and beyond, this night promises to leave your hair standing, heart pumping and your blood boiling!

Sport? Entertainment? We make no bones about it; our business is all about the adrenaline rush, the emotional journey and feelings, which you will experience during this epic night! We’ll take you on a high; make you feel alive, as you cheer on the fan favourites. But don’t be fooled, there are plenty of bad guys in toll to keep you on the edge of your seat!

Similar to the pantomime there is plenty of noise, adrenaline, shouting, screaming and roaring. What’s more; we fully encourage it! Like any great play there’s always an abundance of drama, as the Good Guys take on the Baddies. Prepare to get involved, even if you don’t want to!

The American Wrestling Roadshow will be staged on Saturday 22nd March at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced £10 each, and can be booked by contacting the Box Office on [028] 3752 1821, or online at

And to keep up-to-date with the latest news at the Market Place Theatre, you can follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter ( where you will find all the latest information, special offers and video previews.

Belfast Youth in the Arts Celebrate 75th Anniversary of Oz

Follow the yellow brick road to Theatre at The Mill this spring! To commemorate its 75th Anniversary Belfast Youth in the Arts presents ‘The Wizard of Oz’ from Tues 25 – Sat 29 March.

This enactment of the familiar story chronicles the adventures of the young girl Dorothy Gale from Kansas and her encounters in the Land of Oz as she befriends enchanted characters and takes on the Wicked Witch of the West, all to make her way home.

Belfast Youth in the Arts’ production of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ is suitable for all ages and incorporates exciting displays of magic and promises to be spell-binding performance. Join Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion and Toto for a trip down the yellow brick road and become enchanted by favourites such as ‘Over the Rainbow’, ‘If I Only Had a Brain’ and ‘We’re Off to See the Wizard’.

At the recent Academy Awards, the 75th Anniversary of this beloved story was celebrated by the stars with Judy Garland’s children Liza Minnelli, Lorna Luft and Joey Luft attending the ceremony’s tribute to ‘The Wizard of Oz’. As well as a cover performance of the timeless tune ‘Over the Rainbow’ by pop singer Pink.

Belfast Youth in the Arts is a cross community, non-profit making youth theatre company in Belfast which works in the community engaging young people (13 – 19 years old) from all backgrounds through the medium of performing arts regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or political background.

The organisation provides opportunities for young people to explore different areas within the arts through different projects and programmes. Belfast Youth in the Arts focuses on achieving arts excellence, but also place a huge emphasis on the enjoyment of the arts and encourage young people to learn, develop and grow within the arts in a fun and nurturing way.

Tickets for this magical musical are available online at or by calling Box Office on 028 9034 0202.