Tourism NI has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland next week (May 4-10).

  • Daily Mirror May Day Race Meeting, Down Royal Racecourse, Maze, Lisburn, Co Antrim, May 4. Visit Down Royal, a racecourse steeped in history, on May Day for an afternoon of thrilling racing. Gates open at 12 noon. First race at 2.25pm.
  • Allianz Garden Show Ireland 2015, Antrim Castle Gardens, Randalstown Road, Co Antrim, May 8-10. Antrim Castle Gardens will be bursting with colour and sweet smelling flowers at this year’s Garden Show. A three day festival of flowers, food and fun awaits visitors who will get to enjoy some magnificent gardens.
  • The Shadow of a Gunman, Lyric Theatre, Belfast, May 3 – June 6. The first of Sean O ‘Casey’s Dublin plays, which is sure to be an exciting production, the Shadow of a Gunman is set during Ireland’s War of Independence.  The Lyric Theatre will host the performances in the first arts venue to receive a 5 star accreditation from Tourism NI. From 7.45pm Tuesday – Saturday with 2.30pm matinees on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Armagh Apple Blossom Fair, Loughgall Country Park, Armagh, Co Armagh, May 4. Visit the annual Armagh Apple Blossom Fair and delight in the chance to sample different apple produce and enjoy the rural ambience with stunning pink and white blossom providing a spectacular backdrop for this special event. There will be food and craft stalls, orchard tours and cookery demonstrations along with live music and a BBQ! From 10am to 6pm.
  • May Day Pony Trekking Special, Mount Pleasant Trekking Centre, Castlewellan, Co Down, May 4. Jump onto your horse and into summer at Mount Pleasant Trekking Centre. Enjoy a trek through the stunning scenery of Castlewellan Forest Park and after the trek the kids can enjoy a free pic-n-mix bag and free soft drink from the colourful candy table. Bring a picnic and enjoy the enclosed paddock with picnic tables and tea/coffee for adults. Available all day.
  • May Day Celebrations, Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, Cultra, Holywood, May 4. Have a go at stripping the willow in preparation for the Basket Maker to weave into traditional baskets and then get your feet tapping to the music of the traditional Strip the Willow set dance in the Parochial Hall. May Day will be thoroughly enjoyable at Ulster Folk & Transport Museum with storytelling and seasonal food available throughout the day. From 10am-5pm.
  • Bank Holiday Blow Out!, Carrowmena Activity Centre & Hostel, Limavady, Co Londonderry, May 4. Fancy a Family Bonding Day? Look no further and enjoy a day of action packed activities at Carrowmena Activity Centre where zip lining, climbing wall and archery are all on offer throughout the day. From 10am.
  • Lisa McHugh, Strule Arts Centre, Omagh, Co Tyrone, May 7. With enough determination and talent to last a lifetime, Lisa McHugh is a Glasweigan born star that’s more than ready to shine. Having gained thousands of fans, the 26 year old beauty has won many awards including ‘Female Vocalist of The Year’ 3 years running. Lisa will be joined on the night by special guest, Malachi Cush, for a great night of musical entertainment. From 8pm.
  • Geo Detectives and Fossil Fun, Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, May 4. Come along to the stunning Marble Arch Caves Visitor Centre and enjoy some hands-on fun and learn a bit about the fantastic fossils that make up the fascinating rocks beneath our feet. From 12-4pm.
  • Annual Vintage Rally, Ballymoney Showgrounds, Ballymoney, Co Antrim, May 9. Visit the Annual Vintage Rally where Hugo Duncan and Elvis Tribute, Andy Rodgers, along with live music by Steve Farlow will be providing plenty of entertainment throughout the day.  The entire family are welcome with amusements, free pony rides, face painting and an ice cream truck available to keep the kids happy. From 10.30am to 4pm.

Please note some of the events require pre-booking.

For more details on these and other events click on www.discovernorthernireland.com/events, visit your local tourist information centre or log onto www.facebook.com/discovernorthernireland.

Here is Jacqueline’s pick of what’s on this weekend across the North this Bank Holiday Weekend.


Next up for Ards and North Down Events is the annual May Day event which is taking place on Monday, May 4th in Holywood Town Centre. The popular annual festival will include top quality musical performances from The Monster Ceilidh Band and Folk Dance Remixed along with popular traditional favourites such as Maypole Dancing, local competitions, children’s entertainment and a huge array of stalls which will also keep all the family entertained throughout the day.


Discover Armagh’s rich apple-growing heritage with fun, food and frolics on Monday 4th May.  Fun, food and plenty of frolics are fully guaranteed on Monday May 4th when Armagh officially marks the start of a busy summer festival season with the return of this year’s Apple Blossom Fair. Held at the beautiful Loughgall Country Park on the first May bank holiday Monday, the annual Apple Blossom Fair brings together a huge range of exciting family-friendly activities and an unrivalled variety of stalls featuring some of the finest local artists and artisanal producers – all of which have joined together to celebrate Armagh’s rich apple-growing heritage in a fun and exciting way.


A new, international, multi-arts festival celebrating the life and times of Irish playwright, essayist and wit Oscar Wilde, A Wilde Weekend by Lough Ernest, is set to take place in Enniskillen and Fermanagh the May Day Bank holiday weekend, May 1 – 4th 2015.  A first of its kind in the world, the Festival is solely dedicated to celebrating Wilde through a full range of Wildean related art forms including prose and poetry  theatre, talks, music, film, literature, domestic and decorative arts and even garden tours.


Jamboree in the park returns to The Ecclesville Centre Fintona for one night only on Saturday 2nd May with Headline acts Derek Ryan, Mike Denver, Johnny Brady and Lisa McHugh.  Tickets are £20.


The City of Derry Jazz Festival- marks the official start of summer in Derry as thousands of music fans descend on the city to sing, swing and enjoy the very best local hospitality, with over 250 events taking place in over 60 venues. Organised by Derry City Council and supported by Diageo, the festival will take place from Thursday April 30th until Monday May 4th, and draws over 35,000 visitors to the city annually  This year Derry will welcome modern jazz sensation Jamie Cullum – the highlight event in five days of Jazz, Jump, Jive, Swing, and Blues delivered on note by some of the best artists in the business.


Clady Hall Portglenone is the venue this Saturday 2nd May for a Vintage Gathering and Family Fun Day! See the best vintage cars and tractors on display and enjoy the music, bouncy castles, face painters, archery, market stalls and even an “Unrideable Bike”.  Lots of fun to be had for all the family this Bank Holiday this weekend.


This May Day Bank Holiday weekend laughter becomes the loudest sound in Belfast City Centre and Cathedral Quarter.  Belfast’s favourite family friendly festival is back for the 12th year. The Festival of Fools brings a welcome rush of international silliness and smiles to the streets of Belfast with more than 120 free performances to enjoy from around the world from Friday 1st – Monday 4th May.

Add your events free at www.whatsonni.com. Follow us on twitter @whatsonNI and on facebook at fb.com/www.whatsonni.com for news, competitions and what’s on near you.

Merry May Day is this Monday in Holywood!

Come to Holywood this Bank Holiday Monday and enjoy the wonderful array of live music, market stalls and family entertainment when the town centre will be transformed for the annual May Day Festival!

This year’s May Queen Olivia Campbell being pampered at Lacy’s Day Spa ahead of this Monday’s Merry May Day Festival in Holywood. Olivia will be crowned May Queen at the event on May 4th.

This year the innovative and infectious Monster Ceilidh Band will be making a very special appearance at the festival. On a crusade to bring a powerfully modern approach to ceilidh music, the Monster Ceilidh Band have their feet in the heritage and tradition of the British Isles and are a treat not to be missed! The band will take to the stage from 2pm to 3.30pm.

The world’s only Folk/Drum n’ Bass act combines explosive and fiery folk with funky riffs, beats and live drums. Monster Ceilidh Band’s music embraces the old dance traditions whilst translating them into foot tapping crescendos for the modern audience – we dare you not to dance!!

Also appearing for the first time in Northern Ireland will be Folk Dance Remixed – a ground breaking company creating a unique fusion between folk and hip-hop dancing with live music. The band will be performing pop up jams, guaranteed to get the crowds dancing! As well as pop up jams, the group will also be providing Maypole Street Dance interactive workshops – a modern take on Maypole Dancing – come along and have a go!

Popular traditional favourites such as Maypole Dancing, local competitions and over 40 stalls will be dotted around the town, along with balloon modellers, face painters, street theatre and magicians – lots of entertainment for all the family! And don’t miss the Crowning of The May Queen which is taking place at 10.45am on the performance stage on High Street.

All the usual favourites have been organised by Holywood & District Community Council; Bonnie Baby Competition (10.30 am, Queen’s Leisure Complex) and Fancy Dress Competition (12.30 pm , outside The Library)– the fancy dress themes this year are Super Heroes, Princesses, Disney Characters and My Favourite Character From A Book.

To celebrate the event, local businesses have generously donated prizes to be given to lucky competition winners on the day. The following businesses have kindly donated prizes; Panini, The Anchorage, Urban Orchard, The Fish Café, Maud’s, Lacy’s Day Spa, Male/Female Room, Little Wing, Johnny The Jig, John Minnis, Templeton Robinson and Steward Miller. The Holywood District and Community Council would like to thank these businesses for their generosity.

Over 40 stalls represented by local charities and traders will be in place throughout High Street and Church Road.  Please note that Holywood Town Centre will be closed for most of the day.

The ever-popular Maypole Dancing will take place at 11am and 1pm. Young children can get their chance to dance around their own Maypole with Jump, Jiggle and Jive from 12 noon – 4.00 pm and if that just gets them going there will be 2 discos in Queen’s Leisure Complex – (p1-p3 1.00 – 2.00 pm) and (p4-P7 2.30 pm-3.30 pm).

For the older swingers in town there will be a Tea Dance – held in St Patrick’s Hall from 1.00 -3.00 pm.

And don’t forget if you fancy some shopping or a bite of lunch, most of Holywood’s shops and eateries will be open throughout the day.

So come on down to Holywood on Monday, 4th May from 10am – 4pm for a fun-filled day at this FREE EVENT!

For further information on this event please contact Bangor Visitor Information Centre on (028) 9127 0069 or go to: www.northdowntourism.com


Tourism Northern Ireland lists many great things to do across NI

This May Day Bank Holiday no one will be at a loss for something to do as Tourism Northern Ireland has listed some of the best action-packed reasons to get out and enjoy the long weekend with friends and family.

“With so much choice on offer, including jazz festivals, poetry readings, outdoor walks and body zorbing, everyone from book worms to dare-devils will find something they really want to do,” said Tourism NIs Destination PR Officer, Pauline Gormley.

Pauline continued:  “The May Day Bank Holiday is the perfect time to get out and explore Northern Ireland with friends and family and maybe even try something new and exciting.  For those with an adventurous side there are a wide range of fun outdoor activities and challenges to choose from and if you prefer something a little bit more laid back there are lots of places to visit where you can kick back and enjoy some rest and relaxation.”

To help make the most of the May Day bank holiday, Tourism Northern Ireland has highlighted a number of events happening across NI.


If you would like to laugh yourself silly over the May Bank Holiday then grab some of your best friends and head on down to Festival of Fools which runs at various locations in Belfast City Centre from May 1-4. The Festival starts off in Writers’ Square with ‘Cast Off’ which is the biggest street show ever to be produced by the Belfast Community Circus School. Events to watch out for include the ‘Community Circus Celebration’, ‘Lost on Earth’ and ‘The Big Finish’.

Comic book enthusiasts will be delighted to hear that MCM Comic Con is returning to the Kings Hall from May 2-3. From sci-fi stars to battling robots, comic creators, to costume competitions there will be a whole host of attractions for the whole family to enjoy.  Special guests confirmed include Sleepy Hollow, Fringe and Lord of the Rings star John Noble and Adventure Time voice actress Hynden Walch.

Co Antrim

The Cushendun Big Arts Weekend will run from May 1-4 and is sure to be a fun filled weekend for groups of friends and families alike. The ranges of events available include Jazz with Linley Hamilton and the Julian Bohn Trio, Live Music at Mary McBrides, The Big Picnic and hat making competition. Kids will love the sand sculpture competition and poem reading event with Elaine Gaston.

If you would to challenge yourself then The Causeway Coast Challenge Walk is the perfect event for you. The walk takes place on May 3 and the route travels past the world-famous Giant’s Causeway and onwards along the spectacular cliff-top path to Port Bradden before returning back to the starting point. The breathtaking views and stunning scenery will leave you refreshed and reinvigorated.

Co Armagh

The Armagh Apple Blossom Fair will be held in the picturesque village of Loughgall and is a great way for families to spend the May bank holiday. At the fair you will have a chance to sample different apple produce against a backdrop of rural ambience as well as browse the huge variety of locally produced items at the food and craft stalls. Foodies will enjoy the cookery demonstrations and dog lovers can bring their pooch along to enter into the dog competition – Scrufts Armagh!

If you would like to enjoy some drama then go to see Family Fever by Sam Cree at the Marketplace Theatre on May 2. The play is presented by the Glen Theatre Drama Group and will ensure you and your friends can enjoy some laugh out loud fun.

Co Down

Holywood town centre will be alive with fun, laughter and lots of events at the Merry May Day on May 4. The action-packed programme of events includes Crowning of the May Queen, Maypole Dancing, Fancy Dress Competition and music from the Monster Ceilidh Band.

If you would like a toe tapping fun night out and you are a fan of Tom Jones then get on down to the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa on May 1 to enjoy a tribute show in the legendary singers honour. You can sing and dance the night away to well known hits such as Delilah, It’s Not Unusual and She’s a Lady.

Co Fermanagh

If something more relaxing appeals to you this May Bank Holiday then why not treat your nearest and dearest to a pamper day at Orchard Acre Farm in Irivinestown on May 1. According to the Farm, the ancient Irish Tradition of washing one’s face with dew on the first May Day morning was to ensure lasting beauty and was first recorded in 1652 by Gerard Boate. To celebrate the tradition, you can enjoy yoga, movement and dance, poetry, song and beauty therapies as well as some delightful food.

Unleash the poet in you at the Wilde Weekend Festival from May 1 to 4 at various venues around Co Fermanagh including Castle Coole, Florence Court, Portora Royal School, the Masonic Hall and the Ardhowen Theatre.  Wilde related art forms include theatre, literary talks, prose-theatre, poetry-theatre, music, film and storytelling.

If you know a little budding geologist then take them along to the Marble Arch Caves on May 4 for the Geo Detective and Fossil Fun event. Families can enjoy some hands-on fun and learn all about the fantastic fossils that make up the rocks beneath our feet.

Co Londonderry

The Jungle in Moneymore is hosting a fantastic family fun day event on May 3 and 4 and you can take part in a colourful carnival of exciting activities, crafty happenings and tasty treats. Why not take part in some of the action-packed activities such as body zorbing, llama trekking, paintball target shooting, segways and the climbing wall.  A coffee shop and BBQ bar will be available for when you need to relax and refresh.

If you like Jazz music then the Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival from April 30 to May 4 at the City Hotel Derry will be the perfect tuneful event for you to sing and dance along with friends and family.  Acts on show will include the Derry Jazz Quartet, the Jazz Lads, Red Stripe Band and The Roaring 40’s.

Co Tyrone

Jamboree in the Park will return to the Ecclesville Centre in Fintona on May 2 and with headline acts such as Derek Ryan, Mike Denver, Johnny Brady and Lisa McHugh you are guaranteed a fun filled night out.

If you are looking for a more unusual way to spend your free time then take in a performance of Tutus and Beyond, at the Alley Theatre in Strabane on May 3. The ballet pays tribute to the purity of classical ballet and charts the journey of ballet from the late 19th century into the 21st.

Find out what May has in store in Ards and North Down!

Sat 2 May to Fri 8 May

Saturday 2 May, Copeland Island Bird Observatory Tour

North Down Museum.

Tickets: £12/£10 (Children under 14 accompanied by adult £6), pre-booking essential. Starts 1pm.

This trip to ‘Bird Isle’, home of the Bird Observatory, is a treat for amateur ornithologists, wildlife enthusiasts, and plant lovers alike.

Bangor Visitor Information Centre, (028) 9127 0069

Ards Visitor Information Centre, (028) 9182 6846

Book online

Saturday 2 & Sunday 3 May, Family Fun at Cockle Row Cottages

Groomsport Harbour

Free entertainment, 2pm-4pm.

Sat 2: Science Show: ‘Gold and Gem Panning’, Children’s Crafts

Sun 3: Plant and Play: ‘Make your own Fairy Garden’ Workshop

Cottages open to the public 11am-5pm. Free admission

Info: Bangor Visitor Information Centre, (028) 9127 0069, bangorvic@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk, visitardsandnorthdown.com

Sunday 3 May, Hysterical Historics Newtownards Walking Tour

Tickets: £6/£5 concession (Children under 14 accompanied by adult £3), pre-booking essential. Starts 2pm.

Take a ‘hysterical history’ lesson for the whole family as you encounter murky and macabre characters from across the centuries in unexpected corners

of Newtownards Town Centre. Kids and grown-ups alike will love this hysterical twist on tales from the Ards.

Bangor Visitor Information Centre, (028) 9127 0069

Ards Visitor Information Centre, (028) 9182 6846

Book online

Sunday 3 May, Historic Holywood and Ulster-Scots Walk

Tickets: £3, pre-booking essential. Starts 2.30pm.

Enjoy an informative stroll through Holywood’s colourful history.

Bangor Visitor Information Centre, (028) 9127 0069

Ards Visitor Information Centre, (028) 9182 6846

Book online

Monday 4 May – Bank Holiday Monday

Merry May Day, Holywood Town Centre

Free event, 10am-4pm

Family fun for all! Traditional Maypole Dancing, Children’s Fancy Dress Competition, Food and Charity Stalls, highlight of the event is a performance by the Monster Ceilidh Band perform an

infectious blend that fuses UK folk, with drum & bass.

Info: Bangor Visitor Information Centre, (028) 9127 0069, bangorvic@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk, visitardsandnorthdown.com

Monday 4 May, ‘Happy Bank Holiday’ – Fun children’s Activities

Portaferry Visitor Information Centre

Free event, 2pm-4pm

Keep the children entertained on May Bank Holiday with free art and crafts activities for children.

Info: Portaferry Visitor Information Centre, (028) 4272 9882, ardsvic@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk, visitardsandnorthdown.com

Monday 4 May, WW1 Children’s Craft Workshops

North Down Museum, Bangor

Free, 12noon-2pm. Pre-booking essential.

Design your own postcards to send home from the trenches and create a special gift to send to your loved ones.

Info: North Down Museum, (028) 9127 1200, museum@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk, northdownmuseum.com

Sat 9 May to Fri 15 May

Saturday 9 May, VE Day Commemorations


11am                     Short wreath laying service at Ward Park

2.30pm                 Parade of over 500 veterans and servicing officers led by the Band of The Royal Irish Regiment, taking route from the Town Hall

Info: Bangor Visitor Information Centre, (028) 9127 0069, bangorvic@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk, visitardsandnorthdown.com

Saturday 9 May, WW1 Children’s Craft Workshops

North Down Museum, Bangor

Free, 12noon-2pm. Pre-booking essential.

Design your own postcards to send home from the trenches and create a special gift to send to your loved ones.

Info: North Down Museum, (028) 9127 1200, museum@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk, northdownmuseum.com

Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 May, Family Fun at Cockle Row Cottages

Groomsport Harbour

Free entertainment, 2pm-4pm.

Sat 9: Aldo’s Magic Show

Sun 10: Clayrazy, Face Painting

Cottages open to the public 11am-5pm. Free admission

Info: Bangor Visitor Information Centre, (028) 9127 0069, bangorvic@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk, visitardsandnorthdown.com

Thursday 14 May, ‘The Unremarkable Death of Marilyn Monroe’ by Dyad Productions

Web Theatre, Newtownards

Tickets £10, Starts 8pm

To book: 028 9181 0803, Book online (ticketsource.co.uk/visitstrangfordlough)

Thursday 14 to Monday 18 May, Continental Market

McKee Clock Arena, Bangor

Thursday to Saturday 9am – 6pm, Sunday 10am – 4pm, Monday 9am – 6pm

A selection of stalls offering a wonderful range of foods and crafts from across Europe.

Info: Bangor Visitor Information Centre, (028) 9127 0069, bangorvic@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk, visitardsandnorthdown.com

Tickets on sale now…

Wednesday 8 July and Thursday 9 July, Heartbreak Productions presents David Walliams’ ‘Mr Stink’

Bangor Castle Walled Garden

Shows: 2pm & 6pm

Cost: Tickets £7 (Ad), £5 (Ch). Pre-booking essential

Watch the fabulous characters from the celebrated novel by David Walliams come to life in Heartbreak Productions’ adaptation of Mr. Stink for the outdoor stage, working together with Ards and North Down Borough Council.

To book: Bangor Visitor Information Centre, 028 9127 0069; Ards Visitor Information Centre, 028 9182 6846; Book online (ticketsource.co.uk/visitstrangfordlough)


Ards Crafts & Visitor Information Centre

31 Regent Street, Newtownards BT23 4AD

T: 028 9182 6846. Admission Free

Saturday 2 – Saturday 30 May

Meet the Maker: ‘Green Wood Works’

Green Woodworker Alexey Janes

North Down Museum, Bangor

Castle Park Avenue, located by Bangor Castle (Town Hall) BT20 4BT

T: 028 9127 1200. Admission Free

Tuesday 31 March – Thursday 30 April

Paintings: U3A Art Groups

Saturday 2 – Sunday 31 May

Historical Storyboard: Mining Heritage

Until Sunday 17 May

Exhibit: En-gauge with the past, history of the railway

Friday 1 May – Thursday 28 May

The Great War: Through the words of the County Down Spectator & Newtownards Chronicle

Portaferry Visitor Information Centre

The Stables, Castle Street BT22 1NZ

T: 028 4272 9882. Admission Free

Saturday 2 – Saturday 30 May

Art in the Loft: ‘Follow the Thread – From Ewe to You’ Fibre art by the Ulster Guild of Spinners, Weavers & Dyers

Downloadable Guides

2015 Ards and North Down Events Guide

2015 Experience Ards and North Down Tours

Vikings & Monks Family Fun Day

On Sunday 3rd May, take a step back to a time when Armagh was a seat of great learning, when monastic settlements were producing valuable manuscripts and when Armagh was under threat of invasion from the Vikings.

Experience life as a monk using a quill and ink to copy text from the Book of Armagh. The chief scribe will teach you of life in in the 5th century, on work in the scriptorium and on the how the scribes were under the constant threat of the Vikings.

See life from the eyes of the Vikings as you make your Viking shield ready for battle and join the Vikings in their settlement.  Experience life as a Viking child, a life which involved hard graft and sometimes slavery.  Test your Viking bravery as take part in our interactive theatre reliving life on a Viking ship, a ship which is heading straight for battle!

Follow the Viking and Monks trail and try to find artefacts from the time.

Shows at 11.00am, 1.00pm and 3.00pm.  Cost just £6.50 per person, under 4’s free.

Booking essential on www.armagh.co.uk/vikings

For information contact, Navan Centre & Fort, 81 Killylea Road, Armagh.  BT60 4LD Tel 028 3752 9644


Discover Armagh’s rich apple-growing heritage with fun, food and frolics on Monday 4th May

Fun, food and plenty of frolics are fully guaranteed on Monday May 4th when Armagh officially marks the start of a busy summer festival season with the return of this year’s Apple Blossom Fair.

Held at the beautiful Loughgall Country Park on the first May bank holiday Monday, the annual Apple Blossom Fair brings together a huge range of exciting family-friendly activities and an unrivalled variety of stalls featuring some of the finest local artists and artisanal producers – all of which have joined together to celebrate Armagh’s rich apple-growing heritage in a fun and exciting way.

Famous for its ‘Orchard County’ status, Armagh has long been recognised for growing some of the finest apples in the world, and the annual Apple Blossom Fair is specially-designed to celebrate that tremendous success while showcasing all the top quality of local food and produce available to locals and visitors alike.

There are plenty of activities for children too with traditional country games, a mad-hatters picnic, children’s musical entertainment and much, much more.

There will also be the choice of two specially-designed tours available – the first at Ardress House, a stunning National Trust property set in the heart of an orchard, where visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the farmhouse and savour some home-made apple tart, and the second, at the Armagh Apple Farm owned by Armagh Cider Company.

As part of the fair, Armagh’s orchards will be brought to life with special ‘tasting & pressing tours’, which will combine the unique stores of the local industry and the chance for everyone to sample the produce and get directly involved.

Meanwhile, the award-winning Armagh Cider Company will delight everyone with an exclusive ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse into what goes on at a real working apple orchard, before offering visitors the chance to have a go at pressing their own apple juice and sampling the ciders and juices they make.

And, if that wasn’t enough to whet your appetite, there will also be a traditional afternoon tea, an apple tart competition and a barbeque – just in time for everyone to sit back, relax and enjoy the live musical entertainment on offer.

Lord Mayor, Darryn Causby, said:

“The annual Apple Blossom Fair is an integral part of Armagh’s bank holiday and summertime fun, and, after last year’s tremendous success, I’m thrilled that the event will be even bigger in 2015, with a fantastic and exciting mix of live entertainment, food, tours and demonstrations planned to ensure that everyone has a great day out.”


The Apple Blossom Fair starts at 10:30am on Monday 4th May and runs until 6:00pm. Admission is only £4 per person – and under 4’s are free. Apple Pressing and Tasting Tours are accessible for an additional fee.

For more information contact Armagh Visitor Information Centre on 028 3752 1800 or visit www.armagh.co.uk/appleblossom


Winner of ‘Best New Play’ at the Irish Times Theatre Awards and the sell-out success of Dublin Fringe Festival, Rise Productions returns to Armagh’s Market Place Theatre with ‘The Games People Play’, a radical re-working of the Tír na nÓg myth.

Meet Oisin and Niamh: married in their early thirties, parents of a young son and daughter, struggling to pay for groceries and knee deep in negative equity. Gavin Kostick’s ‘The Games People Play’ is both a timeless story about two people lost inside a marriage, and a very contemporary Irish horror story of debt, desire and emigration. The drama revolves around an overpriced games set from Argos that Oisin is constructing in advance of his son Oscar’s birthday party. As he puts the finishing touches on it, a discussion with Niamh over white wine on everything from their honeymoon and sex life to the menu for the next day’s birthday party turns into an existential conversation on their future together.

Touching family drama meets epic Celtic mythology, distilled into a Dublin Semi-D and presented in the trademark ‘TheatreStrongStyle’ of Rise Productions.

‘The Games People Play’ will be staged at The Market Place Theatre in Armagh on Wednesday 6th May at 8pm. Tickets are priced £12.50 or £10.50 (concession), and can be booked through the Box Office on [028] 3752 1821, or online at www.marketplacearmagh.com

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

It’s Tourism NI’s Offers of the Week!

Northern Ireland has a unique collection of irresistible places to stay including quirky B&Bs, luxurious spa hotels and hidden gem properties for the perfect short break and Discover NI has selected the best offers of the week for you to choose from.

  • Celebrate in Style, The Merchant Hotel, Belfast.  From £330 per couple per night. If you have something to celebrate, The Merchant provides a wonderful package to make that moment memorable.  The concierge will escort you to your room where you will find chilled Champagne and handmade chocolates. You are them invited to start your evening by retreating to the spa where you can enjoy our hydrotherapy pool and relaxation area. At your leisure indulge in our full tasting menu surrounded by the grandeur of The Great Room where a selection of wines is included. After a restful night in your sumptuous room, wake up to a complimentary newspaper and a delicious full breakfast served in The Great Room Restaurant. Available until 30 Dec, Mon – Sat. To book call (028) 9023 4888.
  • Country House Escape, Beech Hill Country House Hotel, Londonderry~Derry. From £129pps. Revitalise yourself by taking a luxurious two night short break at Beech Hill. Amble through the 32 acres of woodland and landscaped gardens. Enjoy a gourmet evening meal on an evening of your choice in our award winning Ardmore restaurant. Breakfast is included both mornings. Available until 30 Nov. To book call (028) 9023 4888.

  • Ladies Golf Retreat, Lough Erne Resort, Enniskillen. From £190pps. Join lady golf professionals Lynn McCool and Hazel Kavanagh and enjoy Northern Ireland’s fun ladies golf event. Price includes lunch served on arrival, half day Golf School with lady golf professionals and gala dinner. One night luxury accommodation with breakfast followed by 18 hole tournament on the Faldo Course and prize presentation. Available on selected dates. To book call (028) 6632 3230.
  • Dinner, Bed and Breakfast in the Percy French, Slieve Donard Resort & Spa, Newcastle, From £70pps. Enjoy one night’s luxurious accommodation including 3 course dinner in the Percy French Restaurant and full cooked breakfast the following morning. Available until Jun 30. To book call (028) 4372 1066.

For further information, contact TNI on 028 9023 1221 or view on www.discovernorthernireland.com/offers.

Mr Stink in Bangor’s Walled Garden

Ards and North Down Borough Council are delighted to announce that this year’s Theatre In The Walled Garden will feature a fabulous production of the celebrated children’s novel by David Walliams – Mr Stink.

The event will run over two days 8 & 9 July in Bangor’s beautiful Walled Garden. To suit this more family audience, the timings for the shows will be 2pm and 6pm each day.

Watch the fabulous characters from the novel by David Walliams come to life in Heartbreak Productions’ adaptation of Mr. Stink for the outdoor stage.

Mrs Crumb (or “Croooombe” as she would have it) is throwing a garden party for her high-achieving daughter, Annabelle. Desperate to appear as posh as possible, Mrs Crumb has organised sweet stalls, croquet and old fashioned party games with the aim to impress everyone. All ages are invited to come along, join in the organised fun and get to know the Crumb family and their community.

One party-goer, however, has not been invited and he happens to be an extremely stinky, homeless gentleman. This doesn’t put off Mrs Crumb’s eldest daughter Chloe. Often overlooked, Chloe and her inquisitive imagination soon put the wheels in motion for an unforgettable tale of friendship.

On a perfectly average afternoon, two restless souls unite on a bench in an average English town – one of them the lonely 12 year old Chloe and the other an incredibly smelly homeless man. Oh, and let’s not forget his loyal dog, the Duchess. Acting upon her curiosity and responding to her kindness, Chloe and Mr Stink forge an extraordinary and rewarding friendship that takes them to the heady heights of live television and Downing Street via a garden shed.

An outdoor show packed with fun, humour and a heart-warming message, Heartbreak Productions’ adaptation of Mr Stink is suitable for the whole family to enjoy together. Pack a picnic to make it extra special!

Tickets for this wonderful event are on sale now from www.northdowntourism.com or from Bangor Visitor Centre, Ards Visitor Centre and North Down Museum. Tickets cost £7 for adults and £5 for children. Book now to avoid disappointment!