10 things to do in Northern Ireland
Here are ten exciting things to do 1 – 7 January
- The Shortcross Gin Discovery and Tasting Experience, Crossgar, County Down, 5 January. This amazing experience takes place on Rademon Estate, which dates back to AD 565. As you arrive and make your way across the stone bridge over the Ballynahinch river, up the winding forest path and onto the distillery grounds, you’ll be welcomed by your Shortcross host. Then it’s time to settle in to your visit by enjoying one of their many show-stopping cocktails at the distillery bar. Your visit includes neat tastings and a lesson on how to pour the perfect G&T, as well as creating a bespoke label and wax dipping your own personalised bottle of gin to take home.
- Game of Thrones Music Experience, Banbridge, County Down, 6 January. Experience the magic of the Seven Kingdoms as the Ulster String Quartet take you on a journey through all eight seasons of Game of Thrones with sounds inspired by composer Ramin Djawadi. The performance will be included in the price of admission and visitors will get the chance to hear symphonic tones fill the lobby where you can enjoy the performance with a refreshment at the beginning or end of their tour.
- Brian Hurst exhibition, Belfast, County Antrim, 19 October – 11 January. As Northern Ireland’s film industry continues to go from strength to strength, celebrate the life and work of the man often regarded as one of Northern Ireland’s best film directors, Brian Hurst at the Ulster Museum. Born into a working-class family in East Belfast in 1895, Hurst went on to make over thirty films and is perhaps best known for his 1951 ‘A Christmas Carol’ adaption Scrooge. This exhibition, sponsored by Quartertoten Productions Ltd in conjunction with the Brian Desmond Hurst Estate showcases posters, invitations, lobby cards and original press clippings from Hurst’s own scrapbooks.
- Share Village on Ice, Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh, 1-4 January. Enjoy a fantastic indoor synthetic rink, which is almost identical to a frozen surface but much more eco-friendly for all the family to enjoy. Whether you’re a budding skater or a confident glider, this wheelchair-friendly ice rink is open to all ages and abilities! Enjoy some festive fun before the holiday season is over.
- Gosford Karting, Markethill, County Armagh 1-7 January. Experience the thrill racing outdoors gives you at the Gosford Katring track. A member of the National Karting Association, this high-quality racing service is the perfect way to kickstart your week with some competitive fun with loved ones! Practise sessions for children aged eight years upwards are available on junior karts. For adults with a need for speed, Grand Prix karts are also available on site.
- Kelpra: Artists and Printmakers, Belfast, County Antrim, 1 January – April 28. Kelpra was set up by Chris and Rose (nee Kelly) Prater at their kitchen table in 1957 and went on to become one of the most pioneering print studios in history. Combining the commercial techniques of screen-printing with fine art practice. Kelpra was renowned for working in close collaboration with artists to produce daring and eye-catching original prints. The artists in this exhibition worked collaboratively with Kelpra and other print studios and these prints are the result of innovative technical and artistic expertise and the sensitive collaboration between individual artists and printmakers.
- New Year’s Day Guided Walk, Donaghadee, County Down, 1 January. Start the new year off on the right foot in the stunning seaside town of Donaghadee, the nearest port to Scotland and the backdrop to BBC’s crime drama, Hope Street. Guided by Dr Robert Neill, immerse yourself in stores from 1600 to the present day. Explore the history of the nearby moat, streets and churches in the town and learn about the heroic actions of the crew of The Sir Samuel Kelly lifeboat which rescued survivors from the MV Princess Victoria in 1953.
- Bad Bridget exhibition, Omagh, County Tyrone, throughout January. Learn some of the stories of the thousands of women who left Ireland for North America between 1838 and 1918. The exhibition, based on research from Dr Elaine Farrell and Dr Leanne McCormick, charts these women’s experience of migration through an eclectic mix of sights, sounds, smells and objects. Unlike migrants from other countries, hundreds of thousands of Irish girls travelled alone, and once in America, often faced a life of poverty and hardship.
- The Derry Girls Experience, Derry~Londonderry, County Londonderry, throughout January. Visit the home of Derry Girls and discover where it all began, see original memorabilia from the hit show, including Erin’s diary, Aunt Sarah’s pyjamas and Ma Mary’s Woolworths sweater, not to mention the infamous Spice Girls costumes. If you’re a Sister Michael fan don’t miss the chance to sit on her chair and roll your eyes at anyone who crosses your path.
- Visit Kearney Village, Portaferry, County Down. Carefully restored by the National Trust to give the authenticity of a traditional fishing village, make sure to visit Kearney village this New Year. The Trust owns a number of cottages in the area and has restored their vernacular style to give authenticity to this place of character. In the nineteenth century, Kearney was a flourishing community that is now an idyllic place of recreation. Just three miles to the east of Portaferry this is the kind of place you could find by accident yet find yourself returning to again and again.
For more information on what’s on or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit https://discovernorthernireland.com/