EVERY week Northern Ireland has a host of exciting events, must-see attractions and a range of experiences to get out and enjoy and Tourism Northern Ireland (TNI) has detailed one that will be a big hit with little monsters – ‘Spellbound Festival’.
Feeling brave? This Hallowe’en half term, visitors to Castle Espie Wetland Centre can enjoy a whole host of Hallowe’en activities for little monsters at the Spellbound Festival this week (finishing Saturday 31).
There’s the chance to get crafty making spooky spiders, have a go at the hilarious games such as lob the ghost, catch the witch or traditional apple games and concoct a witch’s potion on the Recipe for Disaster Trail around the reserve.
The frighteningly good fun continues on Friday 30 and Saturday 31 October with Hallowe’en treats including face painting, giant creepy crawlies with Mantella Environmental and Monster Mash Discos packed with spooky hits and fireside storytelling in the roundhouse.
Throughout the Spellbound Festival week there’ll be spot prizes for the best dressed little monsters and visitors to Castle Espie can enter into a prize draw to win a family pass to meet the Giant LEGO Brick Animals and LEGO Brick Workshop tickets in February and March 2016.
Entrance to the Spellbound Festival is included in the cost of admission to Castle Espie and free to WWT members and under 4’s. For a full event programme including timings for individual activities go to wwt.org.uk/castleespie/spellbound or contact Castle Espie on 028 9187 4146. WWT Castle Espie Wetland Centre is open every day from 10am to 5.00pm, parking is free of charge.
There are some fantastic things to see and do in the area including:
Mount Stewart – Visitors can explore the stunning house and gardens at Mount Stewart at their leisure through free flow tours. Throughout their journey the story of Edith, Lady Londonderry and the Londonderry family will be interpreted and visitors can view a unique exhibition revealing the story of the Restoration Project and its legacy. There is a picnic area and cafe available on the grounds for refreshments.
Ballywalter Beach – Ballywalter Beach is a long, sandy beach which is perfect spot for an autumn walk. Bathers and walkers can make use of this expansive stretch at Ballywalter Beach, along with its rock pools ready for children to explore. A small playground is located nearby, along with public toilets. At the Lime Kilns, a raised area provides great views of the Irish Sea coastline. www.visitstrangfordlough.co.uk
The Ark Open Farm – The Ark Open Farm has grown in size and popularity over the years, most recently there has been a new woodland walk developed complete with picnic site. There are various animals who call The Ark Open Farm home such as meerkats, reindeer, kangaroo’s, pigs, donkeys and many more who are all ready to meet visitors. www.thearkopenfarm.co.uk/