DiscoverNorthernIreland.com 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 (13-19 May)
1. Candlelit Tour Castle Coole, Enniskillen, 17 May. Castle Coole is one of the greatest neo-classical country houses in Ireland. Built to impress by the first Earl of Belmore 1789-97, it still has the ability to leave people in awe. As part of Museums’ Night, experience a candlelit walk through the upstairs and basement rooms and enjoy a glass of wine in the basement kitchen.
2. Balmoral Show, Lisburn, 15-18 May. Come along and sample fantastic local food, browse over 650 trade stands, visit the funfair and be entertained by top names on the Downtown Show Stage. The show attracts more than 115,000 people over four days and takes place at Balmoral Park, Lisburn. Local agriculture is very much at the heart of the event, and with livestock competitions, show jumping and the latest advances in agriculture on display, there is much to be enjoyed and the show offers something for everyone.
3. Genealogy Conference, Armagh, 17-19 May. This three-day Genealogy Conference is the perfect opportunity to guide you in your family history research. Talks include topics such as Tracing Armagh/Irish Ancestors, Emigration Records, Church & Civil Records, Researching Eighteenth Century Ancestors in Ulster, Research Convict Ancestors and History from Headstones.
4. International North West 200 Race Week Festival, Coleraine, 11-18 May. The International North West 200 races have graced the roads since 1929 and celebrate their 90th anniversary this year. Taking place in Causeway Coast and Glens towns including Portrush, Portstewart and Coleraine, you are guaranteed the warmest welcome as you experience world-class road racing whilst being part of the theatre and drama of the International North West 200.
5. Hungarian Spice, Belfast, 16 May. This concert, at the Ulster Hall, may start in Baghdad (the setting for Weber’s Oberon), but is definitely flavoured with Hungarian spice. Bartók’s Divertimento is shot through with melody and rhythms derived from the Hungarian folk music he loved, while Brahms’s lively dances are settings of Hungarian themes.
6. Wire Sculpture and Ceramics in the Mournes, Newcastle, 18-19 May. Join this Mourne Creative experience in the stunning setting of Gorse Hill Farm Bryansford, County Down. Learn how to create wire sculptures and your own porcelain range of trinket ware. The weekend also includes walks, dinner around the campfire and glamping.
7. Apple Blossom Sundays at Ardress House, Armagh, 12 & 19 May. The Orchard County of Armagh is widely known for its apple growing tradition and the National Trust Ardress House is celebrating this heritage. Visitors can enjoy country teas in the historic threshing barn and relax in the rustic surroundings overlooking the orchards and the farmyard, along with tasting fresh baking and listening to traditional tunes.
8. Enniskillen Continental Market, Enniskillen, 17-19 May. Food lovers and families can experience the very best international flavours and crafts as the award-winning Continental Market makes its first visit to Enniskillen. Traders will be located in the Courtyard within the grounds of Enniskillen Castle and will be offering a great selection of products from across the globe during the three-day market.
9. Trouble Songs, Downpatrick, 18 May. Based on Stuart Bailie’s book, this sell-out show at the Down Arts Centre comes to life with songs, visuals and readings. Trouble Songs is about music and stories from contemporary Belfast.
10. Stewart Francis: Into the Punset, Belfast, 16 May. Stewart Francis performs live at the Ulster Hall in the only Belfast date in his new tour, make sure that you catch him before he heads off… into the Punset.
For more information on these events or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit www.DiscoverNorthernIreland.com.