Great places to go wildlife spotting in Northern Ireland this summer!

FROM puffins and dolphins to butterflies and badgers, Northern Ireland’s countryside and coastlines are teeming with wildlife.

Summer is the time to see cute seal pups, bees buzzing in brightly coloured blooms and young birds making their first venture into the outside world. is full of ideas for a wildlife treasure hunt – so dig out the binoculars and take your little nature detectives on a safari close to home.


Castle Espie, County Down

The only wildlife and wetland centre in Ireland, Castle Espie is definitely geared up for the kids. Pick up a bag of seeds at reception and you’ll have some of the many species of rare and endangered ducks and geese eating from the palm of your hand. Throughout June and July, it becomes home to a huge number of cute ducklings, goslings and cygnets. There are special behind the scenes tours every weekend in June to see the indoor duckery, where the ducklings hatch and spend the first three weeks of their life. Then when they are three weeks visitors can see the cute sight of watching them adapt to the outside world. Den building is also a must at the wildwood natural play area.

Stay at: Castle Espie Cottage, 3*, Comber.


Ness Country Park, County Londonderry

Ness Country Park comes alive with birdsong from willow warblers, black caps and chiff chaffs as well as resident tits and thrushes. The Burntollet River runs through the park – a great place to watch dippers bobbing away or spot signs of secretive otters and traces of badgers. Go on a hunt for the unusual Purple Hairstreak butterfly and make sure you visit Ness waterfall – believed to be the highest in Northern Ireland.

Stay at: Derry Farm Cottages, 4*, Drumahoe


Rathlin Island, County Antrim

A haven for wildlife, the Rathlin adventure begins with a ferry ride from Ballycastle where you can spot gannets, gulls, dolphins and seals basking on the rocks. The four-mile Rathlin Trail (one of six walk trails) will take you to the RSPB seabird centre where volunteers will be on hand to help spot the comical antics of puffins and seabird chicks perched precariously on the cliff edges as well as guillemots, kittiwakes and razorbills. Connected to the centre you can also explore a real working lighthouse. Home to many Irish hares, see if you can spot the unusual “Golden Hare” native to the island.

Stay at: Manor House, Rathlin Island


Oxford Island, County Armagh

Oxford Island is a fantastic family day out on the shores of Lough Neagh, with four miles of walking trails passing woodland, ponds, wildflower meadows and picnic and play areas. Bounded on three sides by water, there are plenty of ducks and swans hoping to be fed.  Explore the five bird hides and see if you can spot Mute Swans, Mallards or Grey Herrons. Watch out for Sparrowhawks or Buzzards performing soaring display flights over the treetops from the closet hide. Take a browse in the craft shop and have a bite at the Loughside Cafe at the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre with panoramic views of the Lough or head down to the Kinnego Marina for a boat trip.

Stay at: Ballydougan Pottery Courtyard Cottages, 4*, Portadown


Ely Lodge Forest, County Fermanagh 

The Ely Lodge Forest is alive with wildlife and steeped in history.  Located six miles north-west of Enniskillen on the shores of Lower Lough Erne and part of the Marble Arch Caves Geopark, it’s home to an intricate network of waymarked walking routes. Some are pushchair accessible so even the youngest explorers can enjoy this scenic woodland. The kids will be in awe of the giant trees as well as carpets of bluebells in spring. Have a rest at one of the picnic areas on the lough shore and see who can spot great crested crebe, mute swans and a variety of ducks. Visit the Carrickreagh viewpoint for panoramic views over Lower Lough Erne.  Round off the day with a visit to the famous Marble Arch Caves, less than 30 minutes drive away.

Stay at: Castle Hume Court, 4*, Enniskillen


Mount Stewart, County Down

Listed in the top ten gardens of the world, Mount Stewart is a treasure trove of wildlife.  From bees buzzing in the brightly coloured blooms to ducks, swans and tadpoles starting life on the lake, the network of walk trails will keep your little ones fascinated.  The formal garden around the house is themed using an exotic choice of plants from around the world. The rhododendrons are a must-see until mid-August.  Keep your eyes peeled for red squirrels – and visit The Lookout, a wildlife interpretation centre overlooking Strangford Lough, to spot seals and birds. Staff are on hand to answer questions and provide telescopes and a remote camera so budding nature detectives can get a close up view of nesting seabirds.

Stay at: Merok Mill House, 4*, Bangor


Exploris Aquarium, County Down

Take a diver’s view of marine life at the amazing Exploris aquarium. Explore everything from the native fish of Strangford Lough to the colourful coral reefs of the tropical oceans – and brave the touch-tank to see if you can tantalise a tentacle or two. This is a busy time of year for the seal sanctuary at Exploris, with cute common seal pups being born during June and July.

Stay at: The Portaferry hotel, 3*, Portaferry.

For more information on any of these attractions, or to plan a short break visit 


Lough Lively Sessions coming to Portaferry!

Portico in Portaferry is the venue for an exciting new series of traditional and folk music events which will be taking place from this July to October.

The Lough Lively sessions comprises of six separate music events, all featuring top class acts, who will bring a different musical flavour to the beautiful historic building.  Bringing music to the heart of Portaferry, the monthly events are supported by Ards and North Down Borough Council and The Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The fantastic programme includes gems like The 4 of Us, Runabay, Emerald Armada, Saffyre and Rapparees – music lovers are in for a treat!

Kicking off the events on Friday, July 7 is all girls act Wookalily. This group are quirky, in a good way. Folk-gothic troubadour tales, new-time mountain music, glorious melodic hooks and a drum kit which guarantees purists cover their ears. Five women too girly to be a beat group, too funky to be a folk group, too good to miss.

Speaking about The Lough Lively Sessions, Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Arts and Heritage Manager, Emily Crawford said: “We are delighted to present this eclectic new music series in Portaferry in partnership with Portico. The beautiful venue in the heart of Portaferry is a super location for the new Lough Lively Sessions that feature some of Northern Ireland’s best live acts. The programme stay’s true to the cultural roots of the area with the best in traditional, folk and bluegrass bands that will have your toes tapping and heart singing.”

Also commenting on the programme, Dr Verity Peel, Heritage Officer at Portico said:

“We are delighted to be hosting these concerts in partnership with Ards and North Down Borough Council. This is fabulous entertainment for tourists as well as locals and adds to Portaferry’s many attractions.”

Tickets are on sale now and cost between £10 and £12 per event. A Lough Lively Sessions Pass can be bought for £40 and covers 5 concerts. For further information or for bookings, please visit: or Early booking is advisable.


Today EastSide Arts announced that, from 3 – 13 August, east Belfast will become a hive of creative energy as details of the EastSide Arts Festival 2017 programme were revealed.

The EastSide Arts Festival 2017 will hit the streets from 3 – 13 August, with east Belfast will becoming a hive of creative energy. Highlights for this year include; Free Festival Fun Day featuring a purpose-built People’s Pharmacy where creative prescriptions will be handed out; EastSide Family Circus at the Big Top on C.S. Lewis Square and music galore. Pictured are Ken Fanning and Tina Segner of Tumble Circus with Phil the Pharmacist aka Mary Jordan. Picture by Brian Morrison

Everyone is invited to come and explore the east of the city, its people and places during a fantastic 11-day festival packed with music and words, theatre, film, tours, visual arts, workshops and community events, all rounded off with the EastSide Family Circus and Big Top weekend.

The Festival will use a diverse range of venues across east Belfast including; C.S. Lewis Square, Strand Arts Centre, EastSide Visitor Centre, Maple Leaf Club, The Bath House,
Skainos Rooftop Garden, St Martin’s Church, Willowfield Parish Church, The Bank, and the Tumble Circus Big Top – to name but a few.

Highlights for this year include; Free Festival Fun Day featuring a purpose-built People’s Pharmacy where creative prescriptions will be handed out to passers-by to brighten their day; EastSide Family Circus at the Big Top on C.S. Lewis Square offering entertainment for the whole family; Big Top Weekend featuring a cabaret evening and performances from both Gareth Dunlop and Ciaran Lavery; other music highlights include Ken Haddock and the Arco String Quartet recording a new album, Anthony Toner, Kaz Hawkins, The Illegals with Niamh Kavanagh and Belfast Community Gospel Choir; poetry from Jan Carson, Poetry NI and Glenn Patterson; comedy and magic from Midweek Magic Club to the return of Murder She Got Wrote Off ; theatre including Sam McCready’s adaptation of Robert Harbinson’s No Surrender; Terra Nova’s new anti-racism play, Me You Us Them; a diverse range of cinema screenings at Strand Arts Centre and a special pop-up screening of A Patch of Fog at Wyse Byse Warehouse which was a location for the film; bus, walking, cemetery tours and the  Van Morrison and George Best tours; a host of visual arts, classes and workshops including courses at The Bank with the Belfast Bankers.

During the festival, east and west Belfast will connect with the Translink East West Bus Tour, specially commissioned for the festival, and Féile Unplugged where EastSide Emerging artists will perform.

Belfast Lord Mayor, Councillor Nuala McAllister said;

“Belfast City Council is delighted to be funding the EastSide Arts Festival again this year – and to see it continue to grow in vision, stature and reach.  A central goal of our Belfast Agenda is to make Belfast a vibrant and attractive city – and thanks to EastSide Arts Festival, we can all look forward to being inspired, entertained, intrigued and uplifted by the arts this August, whatever our age, interests or background.”
Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive of Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said;

“The Arts Council, as principal funder of EastSide Arts congratulates the festival organisers who continue so successfully to expand opportunities for people to access a wide range of high-quality arts in this part of the city. It is important that we acknowledge how the arts, with support from National Lottery and public funding, continue to make a major contribution to the creative, cultural and economic life of Belfast. We hope many residents, visitors and tourists alike take the opportunity this coming August to visit the east of the city and participate in this year’s excellent festival programme.”

Rachel Kennedy, Director of EastSide Arts Festival, added;

“This year’s EastSide Arts Festival is a noisy celebration of the creative energy of the people of east Belfast. We find ourselves in a flourishing time, an exciting time for artists and communities and we have the pleasure of inviting you to come and explore this part of the city, its people and places for yourself, over the eleven days of the festival. We would like to thank our principal funder, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and funders Belfast City Council and The Executive Office for their vital continuing support. Sincere thanks also to our key sponsors, Arts & Business Northern Ireland, The British Council, Translink, Hewitt & Gilpin, Connswater Shopping Centre and Retail Park, Forestside Shopping Centre and McCadden for their brilliant support and enthusiasm in being a part of this year’s EastSide Arts Festival.”


For full festival programme including tickets visit or Facebook/EastSideArtsBel and Twitter @EastSideArtsBel  #ESAFest17.

Pirates Off Portrush!

Just when you thought it was safe the word is out that Pirates Off Portrush is back bigger and scarier than every before!


Word has reached this publication of a Viking invasion and with the projected tides and wind forecast they’re due to land on the West Strand beach in Portrush at 12.30 on Saturday 1st July!  Will our very own Tavish Dhu make an appearance to save us; and if he does, will he be defeated by the Viking King Magnus Barelegs?  And will Magnus Barelegs manage to capture our Mayor and the main sponsors?  These and many other terrifying possibilities can only be answered by being in Portrush.  The drama all starts at 11.00am with a Pirate Treasure Hunt and all are invited to participate free of charge but make sure you’re in your best pirate outfit as you sail around the town in search of pirate answers!

No-one could have foreseen just how popular this event would become and five years later it’s one of the most popular fixtures in the resort’s diary.  Perhaps the beauty of it is that it can be enjoyed by all the family and it’s absolutely free!  The organisers, script writers and all in the background of this wonderful promotion have surpassed themselves with this year’s production and it’s described as Tavish Dhu’s most dangerous ever adventure!   Be prepared to “shiver your timbers” and “brace your mainbrace” for another day of swashbuckling madness, adventure and laughs!

Brian Moore, who acts as host and Compere of the Amphitheatre Events says of the event, “it’s the perfect combination of slapstick, imagination, music and lots of very innocent fun.  Last year we had people from all around the world in the audience and it’s an absolute joy to be a part of – if you’re only going to visit Portrush once this summer make sure it’s for Pirates Off Portrush!”

Sunday 2nd July – Heritage Fair

Day Two of PIRATES OFF PORTRUSH feature a Heritage Fair at Antrim Gardens in the town.  Again it’s absolutely free and features everything from the 42 piece Northern Ireland Concert Band to musket firing demonstrations!  Food will also play a major part with artisan offerings and a plethora of stands, stalls, demonstrations and competitions guaranteed to enthral all.  The gates open at midday for you to enjoy everything from storytelling to medieval shenanigans!



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

Europa Hotel Titanic Package, Belfast, from £130 per room

Book an overnight stay at Hastings Europa Hotel with full Irish breakfast and entrance ticket to Titanic Belfast. Titanic Belfast, recently voted World’s Leading Tourist Attraction, extends over nine interactive galleries, drawing together special effects, dark rides, full-scale reconstructions and innovative interactive features to explore the Titanic story in a fresh and insightful way. Offer is subject to availability. Transportation to Titanic Belfast is not included in the package. Offer available until 28 August on selected dates.

Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel & Lodges: Summer Midweek Getaway, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh from £119pps

This offer includes: Enjoy a two night stay with a full cooked breakfast each morning, as well as a 4 course dinner on the evening of your choice. Guests availing of this offer can also enjoy full use of the Killyhevlin Health Club complete with indoor swimming pool, outdoor hot tub, gym and range of daily fitness classes that you can join in on complimentary. Why not book a treatment in our Kalm Elemis Spa and relax in style during your stay? Available Sunday-Thursday, until 1st September.

Marine Hotel, Super Saver Sunday (July & August) Co. Antrim from £89 per couple

Enjoy a coastal break with bed and full breakfast on a Sunday night throughout July and August for £89 per couple. Take in the sights along the Causeway Coast and Glens including The Giants Causeway, Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge, The Dark Hedges and Dunluce Castle (admission charges may apply).


All offers are subject to availability.  For further information visit

Sarah Millican brings new show to the Forum!

The Millennium Forum has just announced that popular comedian, Sarah Millican, will make a welcome return to the city on Friday 19th October 2018.

Tickets go on sale from the Box Office at 10am on Friday 30th June and are priced at £28.50.

Sarah Millican is not a control freak, she’s a control enthusiast. She even controls her own insults, see?

Do you arrange the nights out? Are you in charge of passports on holiday? Then so are you!

Whether you’re sorting the tickets for this show or turning up when you’re told to, welcome. You’ll learn about Rescue Men, what can happen at a bra fitting, the benefits of casserole, plus tips on how to talk to shop assistants and the correct way to eat a biscuit.

Funny, frank and unapologetically filthy.

Sara Millican performs at the Millennium Forum on Friday 19th October 2018.  Tickets go on sale from the Box Office at 10am on Friday 30th June and are priced at £28.50.   Telephone 71 264455 or visit

NB Not suitable for under 16s.  Maximum number of tickets per transaction is 8.


Ed Sheeran Announces 2018 Ireland Stadium Tour!




GALWAY, Pearse Stadium

Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 May 2018


DUBLIN, Phoenix Park

Wednesday 16 & Friday 18 May 2018







Following his triumphant Glastonbury Festival headline performance, Ed Sheeran is delighted to announce his Nationwide 2018 Ireland stadium tour. Kicking-off at Corks’s Páirc Uí Chaoimh on 4 & 5 May, Boucher Road Playing Fields in Belfast on 9 May, Galway’s Pearse Stadium  on 12 & 13 May followed by Phoenix Park Dublin on 16 & 18 May.

General sale commences on Saturday 8th July at 9am at and all usual outlets Nationwide.

NB – there are no presales for this tour. All tickets will only become available on Saturday 8th July at 9am

Ed’s 2018 tour news closely follows the troubadour’s phenomenal Glastonbury headline performance. Commanding thousands at the Pyramid Stage on Sunday evening, pulling in one of the festival’s biggest-ever crowds, and with over 3 million viewers tuning in from home, Ed continues his rise as one of the world’s most successful and unique musical talents.

Released in March this year, Ed’s third studio album ÷ (pronounced “divide”) reigns as 2017’s biggest-selling album of the year thus far, having sold over 8 million copies, globally, in the space of three months. The album is currently 7 times Platinum in Ireland and Ed’s gigantic comeback single “Shape of You” has surpassed 1.5 BILLION streams in less than six months!

It was recently announced that Ed, who was recently awarded a Songwriters Hall of Fame 2017 Hal David Starlight Award for his contribution to music, is soon to be honoured with an MBE for his services to music and charity.


Friday 4 May                         CORK                                      Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Saturday 5 May                   CORK                                      Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Wednesday 9 May              BELFAST                                Boucher Road Playing Fields

Saturday 12 May                 GALWAY                                Pearse Stadium 

Sunday 13 May                    GALWAY                                Pearse Stadium 

Wednesday 16 May            DUBLIN                                  Phoenix Park

Friday 18 May                      DUBLIN                                  Phoenix Park


Ed and his team have a strict stance against anyone using secondary ticketing websites for profit. On this tour, any tickets that are resold will not be valid – this means no profit to touts and no one getting ripped off. On all the stadium dates you will be required to bring your tickets, booking confirmation and credit card, plus a valid form of ID or you will not be granted entry to the show.


Tickets for ED SHEERAN’S Irish Tour 2018 go on sale Saturday 8 July at 9.00am from:-

All Ticketmaster Outlets Nationwide

24hr Credit Card Bookings:-

0818 719300 (ROI)

0844 277 4455 (NI)

Book on line

For more concert information check


NOT only will this year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation be one of the biggest sporting events on the island of Ireland, its reputation as a true festival of golf for all ages has been enhanced with the announcement that the practice day on Tuesday will be open to the general public.

With the golfing spectacle now moved to July – when schools have shut for the summer – ‘Family Tuesday’ (July 4) offers a particularly great day out for families to go and see their golf heroes up close and enjoy the many family activities ahead of what is expected to be the biggest Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in the tournament’s 90-year history.

With adult tickets for ‘Family Tuesday’ costing just £15 and kids enjoying free entry up to the age of 16 all week, an entire family can enjoy a fun day out from just £30.

As well as watching reigning champion Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Justin Rose and many more of the world’s best golfers prepare for the main competition, which tees off on the Thursday (July 6), the tented village will play host to a variety of family-themed activities and entertainment.

Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Championship Director Simon Alliss said:  “The Northern Irish golf fans have become renowned as some of the best in the world and have always shown up in such huge numbers every day of the week in past editions of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

“Family Tuesday gives fans an opportunity to see their heroes up close and personal as they play their practice rounds, and we think that £15 for parents and free entry for children up to the age of 16 represents incredible value for golf-mad families.

“With lots of entertainment lined up for Tuesday, it really promises to be a fun day out for all the family as part of what has become an ever-growing festival of golf in recent years.”

‘Family Tuesday’ will kick-start six days of top class golfing entertainment. Wednesday will see the tournament’s Pro-Am take place with the opening ceremony that evening featuring a live performance on the music stage from local heroes Two Door Cinema Club, who will be playing their only Northern Ireland show this year.

Then the serious business of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open will get under way the following morning with play beginning on Thursday July 6 and finishing on Sunday July 9 before the event wraps up with a closing performance from English band Scouting For Girls.

As part of the Rolex Series, with an increased prize fund of US$7 million, fans at this year’s event can expect to see Rory McIlroy defend his title for the first time against some of the world’s best golfers, with Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Jon Rahm, Shane Lowry, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Lee Westwood, Padraig Harrington, Danny Willett, Graeme McDowell, Tyrrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood and Darren Clarke also confirmed to compete.

Tickets for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation are on sale at, and begin at £15 for ‘Family Tuesday’ with free entry for children under the age of 16 (limited to three children per adult).

Pro-Am Wednesday tickets, including opening ceremony concert, cost just £20, with tickets for Thursday and Friday costing £40 and day tickets for the weekend costing £45.

An adult season souvenir ticket, which covers six days of world class golf from Wednesday to Sunday, costs just £100 (a saving of £105 over the course of the six days).

Concessions are available for customers aged over 60 and between 16 and 21, while children under 16 are permitted free entry when accompanied by a ticket holding adult.

To get a full seated view of all of the drama at the 18th green, grandstand tickets cost an additional £11.50 for Thursday and Friday, £16.50 for Saturday and £21.50 for Sunday.

Official Hospitality packages are also available on the ticketing page, or alternatively contact the European Tour’s dedicated Hospitality Sales Team, who will be happy to answer any queries and discuss the various hospitality options, on or +44 (0) 1344 840681.

10 Exciting Things to do in Northern Ireland Next Week! has stacks of fun things to do across NI, from family days out to gigs and cultural events. Here are 10 exciting things taking place this week (July 3-9).


  1. The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open 2017, 4-9 July. Host Rory McIlroy will defend his title against Cabrera Bello, Hideki Matsuyama, John Rahm and Justin Rose at Portstewart Golf Club. And there’s more than just world-class golf to enjoy, with music from Two Door Cinema Club and Scouting for Girls.
  2. Irish Open 2017 Fringe Festival, Portstewart, 5-9 July. The Crescent area will be transformed into a live music venue and outdoor cinema, creating a unique tournament atmosphere in the host town with fireworks and children’s entertainment. Midsummer Sessions, a spin-off from the popular Atlantic Sessions, will see over 30 musicians playing free gigs in bars, hotels, coffee shops and restaurants.
  3. Family Festival at the Grand Opera House, Belfast, 4-6 July. The building will come alive with circus performers, face painters, balloon modellers, a treasure hunt and a unique opportunity to see behind the scenes of Northern Ireland’s oldest theatre.
  4. Belfast Parkland International Golf Tournament, 3-5 July. The most prestigious three courses within the Belfast area, Malone Golf Club, Royal Belfast Golf Club and Shandon Park Golf Club have come together to offer this unique parkland international golf tournament.
  5. Country Music Gala Cabaret & Dance, Newcastle, 6 July. The Burrendale Hotel will feature a galaxy of homegrown stars for an action-packed show, including Billy McFarland, Shaun Loughery, Eddie Carey, Tracey Mallon, Cowboy Larry, Farmer Dan and the fabulous Barry Doyle Band.
  6. Lazy Sundays at The Argory, Dungannon, 2 July. Enjoy laid-back tunes and relaxation in the courtyard while the kids are entertained and feast on the summer BBQ.
  7. Music by the Lake, Fermanagh, 8 July. Bring a picnic to Crom Estate for a rocking evening of ‘folkabilly’ tunes from local supergroup, the Hand me Downs. Relax by the shores of Lough Erne and enjoy a glass of wine on arrival.
  8. The Celts take a ‘Swing’ at Golf, Armagh, 5-9 July. While the golfing warriors thrash out the golf in Portstewart, visit the Navan Centre and see if you’ve got what it takes to become a great Celtic Warrior, who used the skills of the ‘stick’ to perfect their skills, as warriors on the battlefield.
  9. Launch Party: Open Studio Weekends at Margey’s Portrush Gallery, 7 July. Artist Adrian Margey is opening his studio and gallery space to the public each weekend in July and August to showcase his summer collection.
  10. Summer Music in the Park, Bangor, 9 July. Bring along family and friends, enjoy a picnic in Ward Park and take in the sound of The Salvation Army Brass Band.


For more information on these events or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit

Jacqueline shares her pick of what’s on this weekend across NI


Summer Music in the Park makes a welcome return this weekend to Ward Park, Bangor. This is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon! Bring along family and friends, enjoy a picnic and take in the sounds of weekly live music throughout July and August.  This Sunday enjoy the sound of Jazz the Park  with The Jazzmeisters , 3.00pm to 5.00pm.


Join The National Trust at The Argory every Sunday in July for laid back tunes and relaxation. Chill in the Courtyard while the kids are entertained and feast on a summer BBQ. Normal admission charges apply, members go free.


Jump on board one of the Geopark Landrovers and explore the stunning scenery of Cuilcagh Mountain Park this Sunday 2nd July. Ranging from the rugged upland cliffs to the weathered limestone landscapes on the lower ground, this safari is a chance for you to experience and explore the patchwork of landscapes found on Cuilcagh Mountain.  Booking essential – contact Marble Arch Caves (+44(0)2866348855) to book your place.  This event is not suitable for children under 12 years old.


This Friday 30th June all roads lead to Cookstown for the Cookstown Summer Carnival! This is a free family event taking place from 6.00pm to 10.30pm with live entertainment, a food village, fairground and a spectacular street party on Burn Road. Lots of fun for all the family to enjoy! The carnival parade begins at 6.00pm. Call 028 8676 3398 for more information.


Fireworks Dance, Drama and Theatre Academy celebrate their 4th Birthday with an exhilarating performance of “Feux d’artifice: Équilibre et Espoir” this Saturday 1st July at the Millennium Forum. An evening of inspiring entertainment awaits as over 100 energetic cast members fulfil the company motto, ‘Let YOUR Colours EXPLODE!’


Come along to Larne Museum’s free Children’s Art Workshop on Saturday 1st July from 11.00am to 1.00pm and make your very own Shoebox Dolls House to take home! Participants are asked to bring along a shoebox and a home magazine. If possible also bring a lightweight cardboard box, scissors and a 30cm scrap of wallpaper. Places are limited and should be booked in advance by contacting Larne Museum & Arts Centre.


QFT Late: Cult & Classic continues with the Coen Brothers’ achingly funny quasi-detective story, this Friday 30th June at 9.00pm. Jeff Bridges is The Dude, a fortysomething stoner who lives only for bowling, White Russians and his rug. But when some unhappy gangsters barge into his home and soil said rug it kicks off a tale of mistaken identity, chopped-off toes and German nihilists that will have you in fits of laughter.


­For more details on these events and to add your events free go to Follow us on twitter @whatsonNI and on facebook at for news, competitions and what’s on near you.