New accessible family theatre performance coming to Flowerfield Arts Centre

Flowerfield Arts Centre in Portstewart will host two performances of a new accessible family theatre show by Replay Theatre Company during March.

Prism, written by Gary Crossan and directed by Andrew Stanford, will take the audience on a journey through a retro sci-fi multiverse, packed full of pulsating synth, glorious video design and vibrant lighting effects (don’t worry, no strobes!).

Perfect for young stargazers (7+ years old) and nostalgic adults alike, accessibility is at the core of this show, and audience members who have a physical disability or other accessibility needs can enjoy a full theatre experience with captioning at every performance, pre-recorded audio description of key visual moments delivered as part of the sound design, and BSL interpretation provision.

The performances will take place on Wednesday 22nd March at 7:30pm (BSL-interpreted, visual descriptions and captioned) and on Thursday 23rd March at 11am (visual descriptions and captioned).

In the show, inter-dimensional travellers, Dawn and Dusk, are stuck in an empty void dimension for far too long.  When Dusk devises a radical solution to their problem it hurls them into our dimension and has catastrophic consequences for their onboard guide and best friend, known as Prism.

Tickets cost £5 per person with a family ticket available for £18, which admits four.

Bookings can be made at or call the Reception team on 028 7083 1400.

Explore more of the great outdoors with The Causeway Coast and Glens Walking Festival

The Causeway Coast and Glens Walking Festival returns from March 31st to April 2nd with a range of inspiring guided walks through the area’s dramatic landscapes.


We’re inviting everyone to join us through forest, mountain and coastal paths to learn more about the stunning surroundings which make the area so unique and appreciate the beauty of the destination.

Explaining more, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Ivor Wallace, said: “The Causeway Coast and Glens Walking festival is a great opportunity for our residents and visitors to get out and get active while exploring the beauty of our trails and paths.

“This year’s programme includes popular walking routes along with some lesser-known paths, which makes it a great showcase of the very special sites which are to be found here.”

Destination Manager Kerrie McGonigle added: “The Causeway Coast and Glens Walking Festival is growing in popularity, and it is establishing itself within the walks calendar as a ‘must do’.

“We know that walking routes attract people to visit and offering an event like this enables us to highlight the range of spectacular walks within Causeway Coast and Glens. This motivates people to come here, and in turn has a positive knock-on effect for the area.

“We’re very pleased to be working with local activity provider, Far and Wild, who will lead each of the walks, and ensure that all participants enjoy this fantastic opportunity to immerse themselves in the beauty of the destination.”

The Causeway Coast and Glens Walking Festival will begin on March 31st with a moderate walk starting in Glenariff Forest Park. It will take in a section of the Dungonnell Way following forest trails and surveying breath-taking landscape.  Dramatic waterfalls along the 15k route will fascinate the walker as they learn about the geomorphology and natural history of the Glens and the post-industrial legacy of mid-19th century iron ore mining.

Day two (April 1st) will take you on a 16km hike on the Causeway Coast Way from Portballintrae to Ballintoy, part of the International Appalachian Trail. The coastal cliff path from Portballintrae to Ballintoy is a well-known iconic and dramatic cliff and beach walk, with several notable stopping places along the coastline. Encompassing themes of mythology, world-class geology, marine biology, Mesolithic civilisation and European history (Spanish Armada), it promises to be an engaging and varied walk.

The final walk is a 9km hike at Mullaghaneaney taking place on April 2nd. It follows a circular route from the valley to the summit and back in the central Sperrins region, with walkers enjoying views to Banagher Glen and the Glenelly Valley. The human settlement story, from neolithic settlement to the early Christian ecclesiastical presence and the impact of the Plantation on subsistence farming, are all themes explored on this walk.

All walks are suitable for everyone with a good general fitness. Children over 12 years are welcome as long as they are accompanied by an adult. Distances and the nature of the terrain should be noted by parents.

Transport via minibus will be provided from the end of each walk back to the registration point.

Waterproofs are required and hiking boots or sturdy footwear are recommended.

The nature of the landscape determines that unfortunately dogs cannot be accommodated on these walks.

Each walk costs £10 per person, including refreshments, and bookings can be made at

Our pick of what’s on this weekend across NI


The Rapparees perform live on stage at the Island Arts Centre, Lisburn this weekend. Twenty years of The Rapparees touring, performing and producing folk music.

Find out more HERE


The Armagh Observatory and Planetarium Legendary Telescopes Tour this weekend will take you on a journey through the Armagh Observatory to see its historic telescopes.

Find out more HERE


The Commitments, Grand Opera House Belfast. It is 35 years since The Commitments first burst from the pages of Roddy Doyle’s best-selling novel.

Find out more HERE


Ireland’s number one Springsteen tribute is back… Get ready to rock! Springsteen – A Tribute perform live this weekend at the Portico of Ards.

Find out more HERE


Think Deep – Marble Arch Caves.  The day begins as you are joined by a Marble Arch Caves guide who will take you on a journey on our Rain, Rivers and Resurgence tour. You’ll then be joined by Dr. Paul Wilson from the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland and travel to a local river site approximately 5-min drive from the MAC Visitor Centre.

Find out more HERE


The Steinbeck FestivalAmerican Blues singer Mirenda Rosenberg and band, Roe Valley Arts Centre, Limavady.

Find out more HERE


Omagh & Fintona Methodist Circuit are delighted to again present Gospel Fest Goes West. This will be the 8th GFGW and will be another great night of Gospel music at the Strule Arts Centre, Omagh.

Find out more HERE



10 things to do in Northern Ireland 

Here are ten exciting things to do 27 February – 5 March 2023


  1. Music on the Mountain, Meigh, County Armagh, 4 March. It’s toe tapping time at Slieve Gullion if you’re mad for trad. Enjoy a fine line up of local talent for you to enjoy. Local folk group Fáinne will wow you with their energy and an unforgettable set. They are supported by talented musicians, singers and dancers from local Traditional Arts Partnership and The Carroll School of Harp’s Sonas Harp ensemble.
  2. The Titanic Experience Reimagined, Belfast, Reopening 4 March. Titanic Belfast will reopen on Saturday 4th March with four exciting new themed galleries. The reimagined Titanic Experience introduces The Pursuit of Dreams as a new theme and will use immersive technology combined with the authentic Titanic Story in its refreshed spaces called Never Again; Ballard’s Quest; The Ship of Dreams and The Lasting Legacy. The world-leading visitor attraction has now revealed details of one of the centrepieces of the new experience – an illuminated 7.6m long scale model of RMS Titanic. The new model will be illuminated and suspended from the ceiling. It will fully rotate, taking approximately 90 seconds to complete, promising to provide a true wow factor for visitors.
  3. Dawn Chorus Paddle – Celebration Of World Wildlife Day, Lisnarick, County Fermanagh, 4 March. Explore the history of the Lower Lough by kayak and taste the beauty of life on the water, with Blue Green Yonder. Celebrate World Wildlife Day by immersing yourself into nature and surrounding yourself with songbird and the glimpse of life on the water. This paddle will be in and around the wooded islands close to Rossigh Jetty. Bring your flask and snack, relax and listen to the crescendo of bird song. Booking essential via
  4. World Wildlife Day Nature Detectives, Lisnarick, County Fermanagh, 4 March. Join Geopark Guide and woodland expert Ian for a safari around the forests and woodland of Old Castle Archdale Forest. Please wear suitable footwear and warm waterproof clothing but also factor in sunny weather. This event is non-refundable. If you need to cancel, please contact the provider 24 hours in advance of the event time.
  5. Cranfield Alpacas Field Walks, Kilkeel, County Down, 4 March (more dates available). Their 60-minute Alpaca field walks are perfect for families with children of all ages. Take one of their gorgeous Alpacas for a walk around the paddocks and their field with stunning views of the Mourne Mountains and Carlingford Lough. After working up an appetite, the Alpacas love to be hand fed by you and your family.
  6. A Celebration of Coinage at Ulster Museum, Belfast, 4 March. To celebrate their 60th anniversary, the Numismatics Society of Ireland (Northern Branch) are hosting a lecture on the last two and half thousand years of coinage. You’ll hear from expert speakers, as well as a series of short highlights of other areas of numismatic interest.
  7. ‘Nostalgia in the Afternoon’ – From Gorgon to the New Yorker Exhibition, Magherafelt, County Londonderry, 1 – 21 March. Magherafelt Library, working in partnership with Seamus Heaney HomePlace in Bellaghy, is excited to announce an exhibition showcasing a collection of Seamus Heaney archived materials curated over more than four decades by Mr Pat Brennan.
  8. Ulster Orchestra, Cookstown, County Tyrone, 3 March. The Ulster Orchestra is delighted to return to The Burnavon for an eclectic evening of music, from Mozart to Jessie Montgomery, and features the Orchestra’s own Principal Trumpet Tom Fountain as soloist for Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto.
  9. Down Arts Centre, Downpatrick, County Down. Check website for dates and tickets. Down Arts Centre is a vibrant creative space/cultural hub that facilitates the development of creativity and provides a diverse range of live events, including theatre, music, comedy, workshops and classes. There are tons of great experiences to enjoy this month.
  10. Walled City Markets, Derry~Londonderry, 4 March (more dates available). We’re excited to welcome back the Walled City Market on the first Saturday of the month. Join traders in Guildhall Square for a unique shopping experience. The Guildhall Square welcomes the very best of artisan traders, offering visitors a family friendly shopping experience with a wide selection of speciality foods and handcrafted products. Tickle your taste buds with homemade jams, chutneys & sauces, artisan breads & cakes, a range of organic meats, and some sweet treats. With children’s entertainment and live music. Weather dependent.

Booking is essential for most activities. Book in advance to avoid disappointment. Subject to availability.


For more information on what’s on or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit


We Cannot Afford To Wait Until Tomorrow To Meet Energy Goals

Setting an example at PAC Group

By Darren Leslie

Business Development Director, PAC Group

Northern Ireland has been without a government for a year and there is no indication that we will have one in place in the immediate future. As a result, the health service, education and infrastructure are all suffering from underinvestment.

It is affecting almost every part of life and the political stalemate comes at a time when the cost of living is affecting every person. What is clear, however, is that while policies and initiatives remain stalled, businesses must continue to project what can be done now for their own future and planned investment.

A key investment is needed in a drive towards sustainability. Yes, there is a Northern Ireland target to have 80% of our energy generated from renewable sources by 2030, but the driver for all sectors of society is the real need to drive down operating costs.

Being an environmentally friendly business now makes economic sense. At PAC Group we have seen that for ourselves, by installing solar panels and electric vehicle charging points.

Not only was it incumbent to put our proverbial money where our mouth was in selling solar solutions, but it was an economic decision. Obviously, it is easier to sell it or just talk about it when you have done it yourself, but by doing so we are able to show the outcome, show our customers the benefits of it, and then talk about it that way.

And, it is a decision that more and more businesses are taking.

However, there are many obstructions to Northern Ireland taking this even further, and rolling it out across more and more businesses, not least the planning and application processes and assessment of the grid having the correct infrastructure in place. That is not the case in many areas, and without investment, it will not be there for several years.

In addition, while higher energy prices mean that the return on investment for business and domestic solar installation is vastly reduced, the current tariff of selling excess back into the grid is paltry. Again, investment is required.

The same applies to electric vehicle charging points. Although the government announced the end of the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2030, there are too few chargers and too few sites with multiple chargers. For businesses that want to future-proof their fleet and support employees’ drive to save on driving costs, it makes sense. We cannot afford to wait for the government to catch up.

Innovation is essential. At PAC Group our investment in research and development is ingrained in everything we do. For example, our Enviro division is making managing water use and water waste sustainable. By incorporating solar solutions with this the cost is driven down.

Our clients also understand that a drive towards environmentally sensitive approaches is a business driver. Our composite division works to create flexible machinery and processes works in many industrial applications.

The aerospace industry has started to come back again after the downturn and what they are trying to do for sustainability is obviously lightening the aircraft. Lightweight structures are something the industry is looking to invest in and some of the machines that we build assist them in building the composite parts to make the aeroplane lighter weight. 

The future is never predictable, but there are some things we can confidently predict such as legislative demands to becoming more sustainable. Whatever happens with the current impasse over the Northern Ireland Protocol it can be said that the UK will broadly follow EU legislation on making all businesses employ sustainable production practices.

Business planning for this is part of the next five-year cycle. It is not something that can be pushed back and it is not something anyone can afford to ignore any further.

The reality is that there will be frustrations as the investment in making the infrastructure fails to keep up with the demands, but there are ways around this, such as installing batteries with solar solutions to avoid having to export back into the grid.

The frustrations should be a driver towards solutions. We see, from the growing number of enquiries for sustainable energy production through solar that businesses want to invest in these practices.

Northern Ireland’s Climate Action Plan has set ambitious targets that may or not be met, however, businesses must not see that as their driver, but rather what they can do to benefit themselves, employees, and owners.

We can create a win-win situation for the future and the climate.

Ards Guitar Festival 2023 Line-Up Revealed!

Ards and North Down Borough Council is delighted to announce its 2023 Ards International Guitar Festival programme. The much-loved festival will take place from 19 – 23 April at various venues around Newtownards.

The festival is now in its 27th year and continues to celebrate the world’s most popular instrument in a town steeped in guitar tradition. Bringing together some of the best guitarists from Ireland and the UK, along with visiting guitarists from around the world, the festival is sure to be a melting pot of musical talent and genres.

This year’s line-up features home-grown talent as well as performers from Germany, the Netherlands, and Iran, all assembled with the help of guest programmer Anthony Toner. From live gigs to Guitar Clinics and interviews, guitar fans will be spoiled for choice.

Opening the festival on Wednesday 19 April at The Web Theatre, Newtownards, Neil Ó Briain and Paul McMordie will perform live, original and new scores to silent movie favourites at the ‘Comedy Classic Soundtracks’ event. A must for fans of Laurel and Hardy and Buster Keaton!

The Aquarelle Guitar Quartet presents Cinema Paradiso at The Web Theatre on Thursday 20 April. A night not to be missed – a sweeping celebration of the silver screen with music from films such as Chocolat, The Piano and Schindler’s List.  As one of the world’s leading guitar quartets, The AGQ is known for its extraordinary performances and expansive repertoire. Formed at the Royal Northern College of Music in 1999, the quartet studied with renowned guitarists Sérgio Assad, Oscar Ghiglia and Scott Tennant and has performed in major concert halls throughout the UK and Europe.

The festival is also pleased to welcome Dom Martin and Band to play The Queen’s Hall on Saturday 22 April. Martin is a Belfast-born, multi-award-winning artist, inspired but not constrained by the blues. In 2019 he burst onto the music scene with a unique guitar style and voice, captivating audiences everywhere. His jaw dropping, entirely natural sounding and unforced/unschooled skill on acoustic guitar, matched with an authentic ‘Belfast Blues’ voice, brings to mind comparisons with many from John Martyn to Rory Gallagher.

An exciting all-female line-up will take to the stage in The Queen’s Hall on Friday 21 April; Karlijn Langendijk, Judith Beckedorf and Sophie Chasée. As three of Europe’s most talented female guitarists, hailing from The Netherlands and Germany, this concert will be a superb one-off evening of extraordinary playing.


Other highlights of this year’s programme include; Jim Mullen Trio in Concert, one of the UK’s finest jazz guitar talents, who has collaborated over several decades with top musicians in Europe and the US. Jim will appear in Ards Arts Centre on Friday 21 April. This year’s Classic Brunch sees broadcaster Ralph McLean bring his attention to one of the greatest rock albums of all time – Fleetwood Mac’s Rumour’s in Ards Arts Centre on Sunday 23 April. Ralph will also be in conversation with guitar manufacturing legend George Lowden and his son Aaron on Saturday 22 April, taking a look back over George’s extensive career and hearing about the next generation of Lowden guitars.


This year’s Weekend Wind Down, on Sunday 23 April, will take place in Falls’ Bar with Rodney Branigan. Rodney learned how to play in Austin, how to craft songs in Nashville and how to put it all together in London, playing all types of music to all types of venues in his storied career. At the Weekend Wind Down, Rodney will be supported by Ben Cutler, a 19- year-old musician from Belfast. Expect soulful acoustic singer-songwriter material, with

an eclectic range of folk-oriented blues and stripped-back Alternative rock.


Speaking about the festival, Councillor Karen Douglas, The Mayor of Ards and North Down said: “The Ards Guitar Festival has always been renowned for bringing guitar talent from all around the world to Newtownards and this year is no different. I am delighted to welcome the festival back for its 27th year. The programme looks fantastic, and I would encourage everyone to get their tickets and come along and support the events.”


Ards Guitar Festival Director, Emily Crawford commented: “We have a great line up in store for you this year at venues across Newtownards with Jazz, blues, bluegrass, classical and world music to be experienced. We are particularly excited to welcome back the Aquarelle Guitar Quartet and to introduce the legendary Dom Martin to the stage for the first time, we’ve been patiently waiting for this one since 2020!”


Ards International Guitar Festival runs from 19 – 23 April. For ticket details or to view the full programme please visit the website  or call Ards Arts Centre on 028 9181 0803



Kabosh Productions are returning to Armagh’s Market Place Theatre with the premiere of ‘Silent Trade’ by Rosemary Jenkinson, a deftly crafted and exposing new production unveiling the alarming rates of human trafficking and domestic servitude reported in the north.

You wouldn’t know it at first, but it’s happening.

Amongst the immaculate lawns and shiny new Audis of a leafy Belfast suburb.

Hidden away behind the noise and the chaos of a rowdy student street.

Trapped in the familiar anonymity of an isolated farming town.

The quiet figures manipulated between houses.

The human beings imported and exported in a market that’s anything but free.

The Silent Trade that’s booming in the north.

‘Silent Trade’ will be staged on Thursday 2nd March at 8.00pm. Tickets are priced £15.00 and £10.00 (concession) and can be booked online at or through the Box Office on 03300 561 025. This performance is recommended for age 15+.

Our Place in Space Sculpture Trail Preparing For Touchdown in North Down this February

Popular solar system trail makes its homecoming to Northern Ireland following acclaimed UK tour where it attracted over 1 million visitors in four cities

Our Place in Space, a recreation of our solar system as a 10 km sculpture trail designed by artist Oliver Jeffers, astrophysicist Professor Stephen Smartt and a creative team led by Nerve Centre, will land at the Ulster Transport Museum this February.

Astronaut John McDermott touches down at the Ulster Transport Museum for an out of this world experience as the popular Our Place in Space sculpture trail makes its homecoming to Northern Ireland.

Free to visit and beginning in the grounds of the Ulster Transport Museum at Cultra, the trail will weave its way onto the North Down Coastal Path and end at Pluto in Bangor. The trail will launch to the public on 24 February running until 26 March, accompanied by an exciting event and learning programme for people of all ages.

Stretching over 11 km, the installation features scale models of the Sun and planets, recreated as contemporary art sculptures. Colourful arches house each planet with an arrow and the name of the planet lit up in Las Vegas style lights.

At a scale of 591 million to one, the Sun is 2.35 metres across, Earth is 2.2 centimetres and Pluto just 4 millimetres.

Our Place in Space invites participants to consider how we might better share and protect our planet in future and what is the difference between ‘us’ and ‘them’? The project aims to bring our solar system down to Earth and send us soaring into the stars to find new perspectives and reconsider what it means to live life on our planet.

The trail is accompanied by the free Our Place in Space augmented reality app, available on Apple and Android, which allows users across the world to take a journey through the solar system, experiencing the planets in augmented reality and considering 10,000 years of human history on Earth. On the trail, users are invited to collect space souvenirs, including characters from the world of Oliver Jeffers, as well as launch a personalised star into space.

An epic family-friendly programme of events will enhance the trail this February and March. Strap in for iconic space themed films with a drive-in cinema at the Ulster Transport Museum, find out how the Victorians took us to the Moon with science historian Iwan Rhys Morus, take a tour of the planets via land or sea, enjoy nature workshops, go for a sea swim, and enjoy a celebratory closing weekend of music and entertainment in Bangor. All events are free but may require advance booking. Sign up to the Our Place in Space e-newsletter for priority access to bookings.

Following the four-week programme, the first half of the sculpture trail will become a permanent fixture at the Ulster Transport Museum where visitors will still be able to journey from the Sun to Mars and the installation from Jupiter to Pluto will be removed from the North Down Coastal Path.

Oliver Jeffers, internationally renowned artist and author said: “For centuries, we’ve defined ourselves by who we are and who we’re not. Which side we choose, on what ground we stand, who and what we fight for. A human story, that lives merely in human minds. But with distance comes perspective – and what happens to our perspective on everything when we look back at Earth from space? Our Place in Space is a playful experiment that asks: What is the difference between ‘us’ and ‘them’? Which side are we on, and if we look back at ourselves from vastness of outer space – alone on our tiny planet, the only one that can harbour life – should there be any ‘sides’ at all?”

David Lewis, Executive Producer at Nerve Centre, said: ““Our Place in Space has been a fantastic collaboration of STEAM partners from Northern Ireland, and we have been overwhelmed with the response to the project as it toured the UK. The sculpture trail has enjoyed a fantastic reception across the various locations and we’re excited to bring it back to Northern Ireland, where it first began. The figures that the project has generated in terms of audience shows the appetite that exists for collaborations of this nature – the trail provided people with the opportunity to experience the solar system in Oliver Jeffers’ unique style, and get involved in exciting educational activities and events.”

Kathryn Thomson, Chief Executive Officer at National Museums NI, said: “Welcoming Our Place in Space to the Ulster Transport Museum in February is a significant opportunity for us to invite people to engage with arts, science and heritage in new ways. The museum tells the story of ingenuity and innovation in this part of the world in our past, and we’re excited to launch the next chapter of this story through Our Place in Space.”

Our Place in Space is commissioned by Belfast City Council. Led by Nerve Centre, the project is a collaboration between Astrophysics Research Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, National Museums NI, NI Science Festival, Big Motive, Taunt, Microsoft, Jeffers & Sons, Dumbworld, Live Music Now and Little Inventors.

Our Place in Space was originally conceived through a research and development project and presented as part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, co-commissioned by Belfast City Council. UNBOXED was designed to celebrate creativity and innovation, with funding from the Northern Ireland Executive, UK Government, Scottish Government and Welsh Government

Nicholl Oils Teams Up With Everun To Create NI’s Largest EV Charging Network

Northern Ireland renewables experts Everun are joining forces with Nicholl Oils to develop the country’s largest electric vehicle charging network.

Representing a joint investment of up to £2.6million Nicholl Oils will celebrate their 60 year anniversary by installing at least one rapid charger and one AC fast charging point throughout the Nicholl network of branded forecourts.

Speaking of the partnership Hugh Nicholl of Nicholl Oils said: “Nicholl Oils have always been at the forefront of changes within the industry with a blended approach of having traditional fuels, synthetic fuels and now electrification in our product mix. 

“I’ve always lived by a motto in business which is one plus one equals three, meaning that by partnering with experts, both companies mutually benefit but more importantly, the customer stands to benefit the most.”

Everun, which has been in operation since 2010 is one of Northern Ireland’s leading installers of EV charging points.

The company are specialists in renewable energy management helping guide high energy users through their carbon reduction strategies with practical solutions.

Eimear O’Reilly, head of projects and planning at Everun explained: “For Everun it was important to find a partner whose values align with our own. 

“We are proud to be innovators in renewable energy, we also value the traditions and relationships needed to build these innovations on solid foundations. 

“By working together with Nicholl Oils we have the opportunity to build upon their last 60 years of impeccable customer service and help take it to the next level within the renewable energy space.”

Over the last 60 years Nicholl Oils has grown to become Northern Ireland’s largest independent oil distributor with a forecourt portfolio spanning the breadth of the country.

The first 46 charging points will be installed between April and September this year beginning with forecourts in County Antrim and County Down, however, both partners have plans to grow the network to over 100 points across the country.

Retail Petrol and Wholesale manager at Nicholl Oils Margaret Gallagher said the investment shows a commitment by the company to ensure they are continually offering customers the best service possible.

She added: “The addition of an EV charger service on our forecourts consolidates our commitment to provide customers with a reliable and dependable service, delivering on quality and price.”

The partnership will make the EV network the largest independently owned and operated network across Northern Ireland. 

“The introduction of the EV network across the country will make great strides in bridging the gap between the Northern Ireland shortfall of rapid charging points and the growing number of EV drivers across the island of Ireland” said Everun’s business development manager Andrew Johnston.

He added: “Everun is a local company, collaborating with local businesses to help serve local people. 

“We’re excited to partner with a company like Nicholl Oils to enhance the EV network infrastructure in Northern Ireland, which will give local drivers greater access to rapid charging in convenient locations.”

Embrace the land of the literary giants

How Northern Ireland has inspired some of the world’s greatest storytellers

Northern Ireland is famed for its world-renowned authors, poets, playwrights and storytellers – we are truly a land of literary giants.

The ’squat pen’ has rested in the hands of some of the world’s greatest writers who were born in Northern Ireland and have used the mesmerising landscapes to inspire fantasy worlds and classic novels adored by millions.

From Seamus Heaney to C.S. Lewis and Jonathan Swift, Northern Ireland has been the inspiration for some of our most loved poems and stories, and more recently our awe-inspiring landscapes have become the backdrops for box office smashes and award-winning TV shows.

Beyond our world-famous writers, we are natural storytellers creating legends and myths from every corner of this rugged and beautiful landscape.

To mark World Book Day on March 2, Discover Northern Ireland has compiled a list of attractions, landscapes and experiences to help you celebrate the genius of our literary legends.

County Antrim
No Alibis, Botanic Avenue, Belfast

  • If you’ve run out of things to read, Belfast’s popular No Alibis bookstore offers the antidote. No Alibis is a general bookshop with a particular interest in children’s books, Irish literature, history and politics, the humanities and, of course, mystery fiction. Built around a community of people who love books, this is a great place to have a coffee and browse for your next fix. Local authors, like novelist Glenn Patterson, are a fan. If you’re lucky you might stumble upon a poetry reading or musical performance. Visit


County Londonderry
Seamus Heaney HomePlace, Bellaghy

  • Seamus Heaney HomePlace takes you on an inspiring journey through the life and work of one of our greatest writers. Situated between Seamus Heaney’s two childhood homes at Mossbawn and The Wood, HomePlace is at the heart of the area that inspired so much of the poet’s work. Seamus Heaney’s distinctive voice guides you through the exhibition as you get to know the people and places that inspired him. Atmospheric video projections and touchscreen displays sit alongside precious items donated by the Heaney family. Visit


County Armagh
Armagh Robinson Library

  • Push open the great Georgian door, climb the stairs, and step into the 18th Century. There are some 42,000 printed works, covering subjects such as early medicine, science, history, law, politics, theology and travel, as well as maps and atlases. Discover some of the library’s many treasures, including Jonathan Swift’s own copy of Gulliver’s Travels from 1726, with corrections in his own handwriting. The library houses a unique record of the cultural and social history of 18th century Ireland. Visit


County Down
Narnia Trail, Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor

  • This family trail takes you through woodland at Kilbroney Park in Rostrevor and brings to life the Chronicles of Narnia with a number of fun features along the route. C.S. Lewis, as a young boy, spent regular holiday time in the Mournes and Rostrevor in particular inspiring his creation of the magical world of Narnia. Lewis is reported to have written a letter to his brother saying: “That part of Rostrevor which overlooks Carlingford Lough is my idea of Narnia”. This family trail seeks to capture the imagination of children of all ages. Visit


County Fermanagh
Game of Thrones® territory – Enniskillen & Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark

  • Pollnagollum Cave in Belmore Forest is part of the Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark. The cave has enjoyed a surge in popularity since it was used as a filming location for Game of Thrones®, the international sensation based on the books of George R.R. Martin. The exterior of Pollnagollum Cave was used to film Beric Dondarrion’s hideout in season three. Meanwhile, fans of the show can discover one of the Doors of Thrones at the popular bar, Blakes of the Hollow in Enniskillen town. The series of ten doors depicting stories from season six were created using wood from fallen trees from the iconic Dark Hedges, known in Game of Thrones® as the Kingsroad. Door Four features several striking designs, immortalising the Targaryens and Arryns. Visit


County Tyrone
Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh

  • The Ulster American Folk Park tells the story of emigration in the 18th and 19th centuries through self-guided tours, events and exhibitions. The current Bad Bridget exhibition highlights the adversities many women and girls faced when they migrated to North America in the 19th and early 20th centuries. An incredible storytelling journey that brings to life the experiences of these women and girls as they struggled to survive. If you fancy delving deeper into these stories, Belfast-based writer Jan Carson is hosting an exciting fiction writing workshop at the Ulster American Folk Park where you will be lead through a series of writing exercises, prompts and discussions. She will also tap into the Bad Bridget exhibition and discuss how you can use narratives based on the historical characters. Please note this event takes places on 18th and 22nd Keep up to date on more literary experiences via their website. Visit


For more information on great experiences and places to visit in Northern Ireland visit