Northern Ireland boasts an irresistible collection of places to stay including beautiful B&Bs, luxurious spa hotels and great value self-catering properties. Discover NI has selected the best offers of the week to help you plan a short break.


  • Summer Family Bed & Breakfast Offer, Crowne Plaza, Belfast from £129 per stay 

Enjoy a fantastic summer break with the family at the four-star Crowne Plaza. This modern hotel is situated in the picturesque surroundings of Lagan Valley Regional Park and is just 10 minutes’ drive from Belfast’s thriving city centre, making it the perfect location for a family adventure.  Offer includes an overnight B&B stay in a family room and a family dinner in the Green Room Restaurant or River Bar.  To book call 028 9092 3500. Offer available until 30 September 2018.

  • Family Inclusive Package, Lodge Hotel, Derry~Londonderry, from £219 per stay

Renowned for its hospitality and award-winning food, the three-star Lodge Hotel is the ideal base for touring the Causeway Coast. With the nearby seaside towns, Portrush and Portstewart, and medieval Dunluce Castle and the Giant’s Causeway all less than a 20 minute drive away, there’s lots for the whole family to explore. Offer includes a two-night break with breakfast and main course evening meal for all the family on both days. To book call 028 7034 4848. Offer available until 23 December 2018.

  • Celebrate in Style, Silverbirch Hotel, Co. Tyrone from £55 per person sharing

The three-star Silverbirch hotel is an award-winning hotel located in the bustling market town of Omagh, at the feet of the region’s famed Sperrin Mountains. It combines the welcoming atmosphere and comforts of an established hotel with contemporary interiors and service providing the perfect place to celebrate, whatever the occasion. Offer includes an overnight B&B stay, a bottle of bubbly in your room on arrival and dinner in Barreta Bar and Grill. To book call 028 8224 2520. Offer available until 31 December.


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


  1. The 2018 Belfast Tattoo, Belfast, 7-8 September. A firmly established annual event for Belfast drawing in spectators from outside the city, this amazing production includes pipe, drum and flute bands from across the world.
  2. European Heritage Open Days 2018, Across NI, 8-9 September. Over 360 heritage buildings and events throughout Northern Ireland are opening their doors to the public, free of charge. This weekend provides a taste of the value of the historic environment while exploring Northern Irish heritage.
  3. Derry Walls Day, Derry~Londonderry, 8 September. Coinciding with the first day of Northern Ireland’s European Heritage Open Days weekend, making the Walled City an especially great place for a great day out. The day includes exhibitions, tours and treasure hunts.
  4. Fawlty Towers, Belfast, 7 September. Basil, Sybil and Manuel will do their very best to look after you in their crazy style at Belfast Castle. Chaos and mayhem are served in large portions and very likely to interrupt the proceedings, but all should end well, as the stars of the hotel and catering management do everything they can to keep the evening on course.
  5. Donaghadee Lights Up Festival, Donaghadee, 6-9 September. This festival provides something for all the family. Enjoy food, boat and walking tours, pipe bands and much more. On the Saturday evening, see Brian Kennedy and Eddi Reader in concert with a grand firework finale.
  6. Neil Delamere, Belfast, 7-8 September. The Grand Opera House is delighted to announce the return of the master of mirth, Neil Delamere, with an all new show, Controlled Substance, which is set to be riotous stand-up comedy.
  7. Moira Calling, Craigavon, 7-8 September. Family-friendly festival Moira Calling is back for 2018 and the line-up is sure to have something for everyone. The line-up includes Ryan Vail and Arco String Quartet, Joshua Burnside, Owen Denvir and many more.
  8. Summer Family Fun, Portaferry, 8 September. Call in to Portaferry Visitor Information Centre just beside the castle between 14:00 and 16:00 on Saturdays and enjoy free family fun. This is the last Family Fun Saturday and offers Captain Jack Nautical Knot & Wonderful Wildlife Crafts and Planting Seeds Workshops.
  9. Whiskey Social, Belfast, 8 September. A new festival celebrating Irish whiskey comes to Belfast Waterfront. This Whiskey Social Festival will expand to the city showcasing the best of old, new and experimental Irish whiskey.
  10. History of the Peace (Accordin’ to my MA), Coleraine, 3 September. Satirical duo Grimes and McKee bring their brilliant sequel to The History of the Troubles (accordin’ to my Da) to the Riverside Theatre this September.


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

‘Live in the Galleries’ at Flowerfield Arts Centre

A new programme of regular music performances called ‘LIVE in the Galleries’ will open at Flowerfield Arts Centre in September.

Jazz drummer David Lyttle will entertain audiences on Saturday 1st September at 3pm as part of Flowerfield Arts Centre new ‘LIVE in the Galleries’ programme.

The first free performance will see MOBO nominated, award winning jazz drummer David Lyttle entertain audiences on Saturday 1st September at 3pm.

Described by The Independent as being ‘the best in jazz coming out of Ireland’, David is a widely celebrated instrumentalists. He has performed in 25 countries and collaborated with jazz icons such as Joe Lovano and Kurt Rosenwinkel and hip-hop visionaries Talib Kweli and Soweto Kinch.

In this performance, David is joined by up and coming young guitarist Joseph Leighton from Derry/Londonderry. It was David who introduced Joseph to jazz as a teenager and since then he has studied in both London and Canada. The young musician was recently named one of Ireland’s ‘Moving on Music’ emerging artists.

Maker and artist Sharon Adams’ stunning exhibition ‘Intersection’ will provide an atmospheric backdrop for what promises to be an amazing first ‘LIVE in the Galleries’ concert.

Refreshments will be provided and everyone is welcome.

For further information, please visit or call the team on 028 7083 1400.


Discover Bangor Castle and North Down Museum on European Heritage Open Day

On Saturday 8 September, Bangor Castle and North Down Museum will throw open their doors for European Heritage Open Day.

Rhys Eakin, Leanne Briggs and Bonnie Webb prepare for European Heritage Open Day at Bangor Castle and North Down Museum on Saturday 8 September.

Visitors are invited to come and discover the history of these beautiful buildings through story-telling, craft demonstrations, tours and lots of other interactive fun activities. The past will be brought to life through historical re-enactors, have a go at archery, calligraphy or even turn your hand at curragh making! Traditional music, poetry and story-telling will also feature at the event.

Guided tours of Bangor Castle will take place at 11am, 12noon, 1pm and 2pm. Step inside this elegant building and learn about its history and the story of the Ward Family as you go from room to room.

European Heritage Open Days (EHOD) is a key event for the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 as it provides a taste of the value of our historic environment whilst ensuring people can enjoy exploring their heritage. This year’s EHOD theme is around encouraging everyone to share their stories and deepen the connection between people and heritage. Over the weekend, over 360 heritage buildings and events are opening across Northern Ireland.

Speaking about the event, Museum Manager, Heather McGuicken said; “We are delighted to be part of European Heritage Open Days and would encourage everyone to come along and learn all about the history of these elegant buildings. This will be a fun day out for the whole family.”

The event runs from 11am – 3pm and is free to attend. There is parking in the grounds of the Museum and Coffee Cure will be opening serving food and refreshments.

For more information, please visit: .


Crumlin Road Gaol is looking for actors with a passion for scaring people to star in fearsome scare attraction this Halloween.


Are you an enthusiastic lively actor? Do you want to build up your acting portfolio? If you just answered yes, then listen up! Crumlin Road Gaol is looking for budding actors to star in the terrifying scare after scare attraction ‘Jail of Horror’ this Halloween.

You must have stacks of confidence, be able to give it your all and have a passion for screaming and scaring people. The ability to interact and deliver some exceptional spine-chilling lines to the unsuspecting public is an added advantage! (You must also be 16 or over).

If you think this sounds like the perfect role and you are available evenings from 12th October – 31st October, then they want to hear from you! There will be short auditions at Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast on Saturday 15th September at 12noon, come along dressed as your scariest character and show them why you should star in the Jail of Horror.

This Halloween, Belfast’s Infamous Prison, Crumlin Road Gaol is unlocking its doors for 3 weeks of intense nail biting tours which are guaranteed to make even the bravest of visitors jump. The 5 star visitor attraction will be pulling out all the stops for its eagerly anticipated Halloween programme which will feature the ‘Jail of Horror’ and the ‘Paranormal Ghost Hunt’.

The Jail of Horror and Halloween Paranormal Experience tickets are strictly TICKET ONLY events. BOOK EARLY to avoid disappointment!  Tickets can be bought online at or by calling the Box Office on 028 9074 1500.

Brian Kennedy and Eddi Reader Confirmed to Headline Donaghadee Festival

Northern Ireland’s Brian Kennedy and 1980’s pop sensation Eddi Reader will take to the stage to headline a free outdoor concert organised by Ards and North Down Council.

The Donaghadee Lights Up concert will take place at The Commons in Donaghadee on Saturday 8 September. This is a one-time opportunity for concert goers to see these award winning artists come together in the beautiful coastal setting of Donaghadee to enjoy hit singles such as ‘Message in a box’ and Fairground Attractions ‘Perfect’.

On the night music lovers can also enjoy a range of local food stalls before the enviable line-up takes to the stage at 7.30pm. To top off the evening’s entertainment, a fireworks finale will take place from 9.00pm.

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Cllr Richard Smart said; ‘It is fantastic that Brian Kennedy and Eddi Reader are joining us at Donaghadee Lights up as the headline act for 2018. The Commons have a hosted a wealth of talent over the years including The Bay City Rollers and Red Hot Chilli Pipers. The concert marks a fantastic end to what is a great three days of family fun including food, sea and walking tours, regatta’s and other musical performances.”

Brian Kennedy has had string of hit singles including his classic covers of ‘You Raise Me Up’ and ‘Danny Boy’. Renowned throughout the world, Brian has had success representing Ireland at Eurovision and appeared on the Irish Version of the Voice as a coach. Eddi Reader, Scottish singer-songwriter has had equal success throughout her career after hitting the spotlight in the 1989s with band Fairground Attraction, debuting the her first single, First of a Million Kisses.

Speaking about the duo’s upcoming performance, Brian Kennedy said; ‘It is great to be invited to perform at the Donaghadee Lights Up Festival. This charming town offers an iconic setting for live music and an amazing close to the summer festival season in Ards and North Down Borough.”

For more information on Donaghadee Lights Up, visit

To find more about the artists visit and

Fun Day at Sentry Hill

Have you ever thought of visiting Sentry Hill?

If so, join us this Saturday 1st September from 2.00pm to 4.00pm. Meet our expert team of staff as they show you around the beautiful allotments and answer any questions you may have.

Join in a mini beast hunt with the Wildlife Trust and visit all the animals at the petting farm. Get your face painted and enjoy all the other fun activities lined up.

You will be given a very warm welcome and we’d love to see you. Suitable for all ages.

Guided tours of Sentry Hill house will also be available (normal charges will apply for these).


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


Take part in a unique experience to set you up for the day this Friday morning at the Harbour, Newcastle. Get SUP with the birds and embrace the best part of the day! Enjoy the tranquillity of the water on our early morning SUP paddle session at the foot of the Mourne Mountains.  It’s perfect for beginners or even regular SUP’ers who enjoy and appreciate the early morning sunrise and a good coffee. No experience necessary as full instruction will be given by a fully qualified instructor.


Enjoy a wonderful family day out at Northern Ireland’s Annual Rare Breed Show and Sale in Gosford Forest Park this Saturday 1st September.  In the show rings you will see native breed cattle, sheep and pigs being judged to determine which animals are the best representatives of their breed. Prizes will be awarded for the best animals, a total of £1800 will be distributed to prize winners on the day.


Join Geopark staff at Castle Caldwell Forest this Wednesday 29th August to search for foraging bats in the woodland using bat detectors, and get up close to some of the weird and wonderful moth species of Fermanagh as they check out the moth trap.  Warm waterproof clothing, sturdy footwear and torch required and booking is essential.


Autumn Pastels at An Creagan, Saturday 1st September.  Capture your favourite animal or the seasonal landscape with pastels. Suitable for all levels of experience. All materials are included as well as a  tasty lunch. Class runs from 11.00am to 4.00pm.


The Carnival of Colours 2018, brought to you by In Your Space Circus, St Columb’s Park Derry, this Saturday and Sunday.  Grab your Penny Farthing. pop on your stilts, walk a tight-wire over the Foyle, roll yourself up like a human cannonball, any which way you can, just get yourself down to the most circus-y fest in town!  This year promises to be the best, most circus-y yet with TWO Big Top Tents filled with lots of international circus shows including Tumble Circus, Two’s a Crowd, McFois, Granny Turismo, Circle of Two and our very own Fancy Pants Circus!  And out in the field you will be dazzled and regaled by our troupe of Circus 250 characters alongside the incredible Pauline Phitness, Borris and Gilbert Gottenstock.


The Spinning Yarns Festival will take place at Antrim Castle Gardens on Saturday 1st & Sunday 2 September. This two-day festival celebrates the wonderful world of all things associated with wool & linen, showcasing the colour, creativity and craft associated with these homespun yarns in all their forms.  Spinning Yarns has so much to offer including a Market Place with a wide range of traders, both local and from further afield, Afternoon Tea Fashion Tent, Craft and Gift Stalls, Displays, Workshops and Demonstrations, A Range of Artisan Food & Drink, Children’s Entertainment and a range of exhibitions.


Registration for the Crescent Arts Centre’s latest learning programme is now open. Each week the Crescent runs over 200 courses and workshops through a wide ranging artistic programme spread across all art forms including dance, wellbeing, drama, music, visual arts, crafts, creative writing and  reading. Find out more at


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.


Northern Ireland boasts an irresistible collection of places to stay including beautiful B&Bs, luxurious spa hotels and great value self-catering properties. Discover NI has selected the best offers of the week to help you plan a short break.


  • Phew It’s The Weekend, Kilmorey Arms Hotel, Co. Down from £120 per person sharing

The three-star Kilmorey Arms Hotel in Kilkeel is nestled close to the Mourne Mountains, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, making it a prime location to relax and escape from everyday life. This offer includes two nights’ accommodation, a cocktail of choice on arrival, a three-course meal for two on an evening of your choice and a full Irish breakfast the next morning. To book call 028 4176 2220. Offer available until July 2019.

  • One Night B&B and Murder Mystery Dinner Cruise, Manor House Country Hotel, Co. Fermanagh from £200 per night

Located just outside Enniskillen, in the heart of The Fermanagh Lakelands on the shores of Lough Erne, the four-star Manor House Country Hotel combines old world charm with modern hotel luxury and is the perfect place to put your detective skills to the test. Offer includes a one night stay and Murder Mystery Dinner Cruise on the hotel’s Lady of the Lake Cruiser with a full Irish breakfast the next morning. Experience a true sense of tranquillity and relaxation with the hotel’s full leisure facilities and a unique evening with this murder mystery cruise. To book call 028 6862 2200. Offer available until 30 September 2018.

  • Two Night Stay and Boat Trip to Rathlin Island, Marine Hotel, Co. Antrim from £125 per person sharing 

Located along the Causeway Coastal Route the three-star Marine Hotel in Ballycastle has an unrivalled seafront position. Explore Rathlin Island as part of this trip and visit the famous puffin sanctuary, allowing you to see the seabirds which frequent the Island up close and personal. Take in the breath-taking views of Scotland and Fairhead, then head back to your accommodation for a delicious evening meal. Offer includes two nights B&B with Rathlin Island Ferry tickets and a two-course dinner on the first night of your stay in Marconi’s Bar & Bistro. To book call 028 2076 2222. Offer available until 30 October 2018.

10 things to do in Northern Ireland has stacks of fun things to do across NI, from family days out to gigs and cultural events. Here are ten exciting things taking place this week (27 August – 2 September)


  1. 27th Bluegrass Music Festival 2018, Omagh, 31 August – 2 September. Three days of live music from some of the biggest names in bluegrass and old time music. Line-up includes the multi-award winning Bluegrass & Gospel duo Darin & Brooke Aldridge, acclaimed traditional music veterans Mike Compton and Joe Newberry and the Demolition String Band, to name but a few.
  2. Air Waves Portrush 2018, Coleraine, 1 – 2 September.  From historic wartime aircraft to stunning planes at the cutting edge of technology, this event offers a weekend filled with spectacular flying displays against the beautiful backdrop of the East Strand Beach. On the ground, attractions include the hugely popular STEM Village, motor village, trade stalls and exhibitions.
  3. Walking With Dinosaurs, Belfast, 31 August – 2 September. Based on the award-winning BBC television series, starring Michaela Strachan as ‘Huxley’ the palaeontologist, the incredible Walking with Dinosaurs comes to Belfast’s SSE Arena. The show depicts the dinosaurs’ evolution with almost cinematic realism.
  4. Waterside Half Marathon, Derry~Londonderry, 2 September. The 37th Waterside Half Marathon will start in Ebrington Square. The route will take runners across the river to the cityside, showcasing Derry’s parks, greenways and bridges before finishing at St Columb’s Park.
  5. Mount Stewart Conversations Festival, Co. Down, 1 – 2 September. This unmissable weekend festival, which celebrates the arts, literature, music and big ideas, will centre on the theme of Women in Power. The festival offers a stellar line-up of acclaimed guests for an array of debates, talks and performances.
  6. Carnival of Colours, Derry~Londonderry, 1 – 2 September. Two Big Top Circus Tents filled with international circus shows including Tumble Circus, Two’s a Crowd and Fancy Pants Circus. This event will host an outdoor cinema, workshops and music acts, including a Stendhal and Celtronic takeover on the Saturday night, where the big top will be transformed with festival vibes.
  7. Cinema Day, Across Northern Ireland, 27 August. The theme of this year’s Cinema Day is “Home”, with 29 events taking place across the cinematic six counties. Highlights include a Full Moon Fest at the Black Box, where you are invited to dress up and singalong to the Wizard of Oz and Movie House cinemas across Northern Ireland will be showing the Disney classic, Lady and the Tramp.
  8. Weaponry at Martello Tower, Limavady, 1 September.  Soldiers from Wellington’s army demonstrate their weapons and drill while patrolling their lookout against Napoleon at the well-known Martello tower. A marvellous re-enactment of a time between 1812 and 1817 during the French invasion.
  9. Bangor Christian Heritage Walk, Bangor, 28 August. Learn about Christian Heritage as you trace the steps of Canons, Priests and Pilgrims. This tour includes visits to Bangor Abbey Church of Ireland, St Comgall’s Roman Catholic Church, First Bangor Presbyterian Church and the North Down Museum, which houses a life-size reconstruction of a monk’s cell.
  10. Rare Breed Survival Trust Northern Ireland Support Group Annual Show and Sale, Armagh, 1 September. Enjoy a wonderful family day out at Northern Ireland’s Annual Rare Breed Show and Sale in Gosford Forest Park. The show rings will include native breed cattle, sheep and pigs that will be judged to determine which animals are the best representatives of their breed.

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