10 things to do in Northern Ireland

Here are ten exciting things taking place 9th – 15th March 2020.

1.       Belfast-Childrens-Festival Belfast Children’s Festival Belfast, 6 – 11 March. Belfast Children’s Festival has become one of the largest children’s arts festivals on the island of Ireland and the UK, attracting over 15000 people last year. This year’s festival will explore the concepts of home, place and belonging. There’s lots to choose from, so whether you have a toddler or a teen, it’s worth checking out the full programme.

2.       CultureLab CultureLab Belfast, 21 February – 30 November.CultureLab is a place to take a good, hard look at the cultural stereotypes that we all know surround us in Northern Ireland. This new exhibition poses questions about culture and offers a glimpse into how identities have been, and continue to be, shaped. The exhibition includes the famous ‘Differences’ blackboard from the hit TV series Derry Girls, which is on public display for the very first time

3.       Coast-and-Country Coast and Country Coleraine, 8 Feb – 12 December 2020. On this 6 hour tour by private bus sit back, relax and savour the flavours that make this area so unique. Get ready for a truly unique, memorable and heartfelt experience where you will have the chance to sample local food and drinks. Enjoy this time together to eat, discover and take home an authentic taste of our beautiful place.

4.       nationaltrust.org.uk An Object I Love – May Ward Downpatrick, 14 March. Celebrate the life of Mary Ward, accomplished author, artist and astronomer. Tour the rooms of Castle Ward where the team at Castle Ward has unearthed some of Mary’s own treasured belongings to tell the tale of her pioneering life including her famed microscope. Following the talk from their experts, retire to the theatre for tea and scones

5.       Home-of-St-Patrick-Festival Home of St Patrick Festival Armagh, 6 – 17 March. Armagh is at the heart of celebrating the life of Patrick and the “Home of St. Patrick Festival” promises a lively and varied showcase of the best culture, music and spirituality. The festival will provide an unrivalled mix of regional and international music, theatre, spoken word, art and comedy, highlighting the stunning locations where he walked and worked.

6.       Rademon-Estate-Distillery-Tour Rademon Estate Distillery Tour Downpatrick, 21 Feb – 2 May. Learn all about their foraged botanicals, unique gin and whiskey processes, stand next to their three beautiful copper pot stills and meet the founders Fiona and David. Just remember to take time to enjoy the views in their beautiful location with a pre/post tour cocktail at the bar.

7.       Dynamic-Dye-Tracing-Experiment-at-the-Marble-Arch-Caves Dynamic Dye Tracing Experiment at the Marble Arch Caves Enniskillen, 14 March. Join their friends from the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland and the Marble Arch Caves staff to hear about the hydrology of these fascinating caves while watching the Shruh Croppa River turn a luminous shade of green. Find out more about the tracing experiments that have been carried out in the wonderfully wet County of Fermanagh

8.       Give-My-Head-Peace Give My Head Peace Derry~Londonderry, 12 – 14 March. The comedy sensation, Give My Head Peace Live returns to the Millennium Forum in March with a brand new show promising a satirical look at everything happening in Northern Ireland today. Join Da, Ma, Cal, Dympna and the rest of the gang for a fun-filled night with plenty of laughter and a few surprises thrown in for good measure.

9.       Saint-Patricks-Day-Steam-Saturday Saint Patrick’s Day Steam Saturday Carrickfergus, 14 March. The Museum will be celebrating Saint Patrick’s Weekend with steam train rides from Whitehead Excursion Platform and a themed Treasure Hunt. Experience a taste of steam travel with a mini steam train ride departing from Whitehead Excursion Platform.

10.   Friday-13th-Special-Jail-of-Horror Friday 13th Special – Jail of Horror Belfast, 13 March. Visitors, if they dare, will enter the haunted prison site and face all their fears on an intense scare after scare journey at Crumlin Road Gaol which only has one way out. The one-of-a-kind Friday 13th Special – Jail of Horror is full of surprises and guaranteed to make even the bravest of visitors jump.

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

10 things to do in Northern Ireland

Here are ten exciting things taking place 17 – 23 February 2020.

1.       NI-Science-Festival-Belfast-P85844/  NI Science Festival Belfast, 13 – 23 February. Join NI Science Festival as they celebrate the science of you, the universe and everything in between. These events present some of the best scientists from NI and beyond to discuss their work, cutting-edge research and what the future might hold. During the day, the festival offers a range of workshops, talks and interactive activities for young people, parents and schools. In the evening there will be an eclectic mix of scientific debate, talks, theatres, comedy, music and film for adults.

2.       Northern-Ireland-Puddle-Jumping-Championships NI Puddle Jumping Championships Newtownards, 15 – 20 February. Put on your wellies, get out into nature and have a splashing time. Come rain or shine, the Puddle Jumping Championships are the perfect activity for a fun filled family day out. Splash about in the ‘practice puddles’ throughout the day and get-set for the daily competitions with splash-tastic prizes to be won!

3.       Belfast-Restaurant-Week-2020 Belfast Restaurant Week 2020 Belfast, 17 – 23 February. This February, treat yourself to some self-love and indulge in dining out during Belfast Restaurant Week. Due to its phenomenal popularity, this week-long initiative is returning on 17-23 February. It will run across some of Belfast City Centre’s most loved restaurants, bars and hotels, where the best in local produce can be found in what has become the country’s unrivalled food and drink scene.

4.       Silent-Light Silent Light Coleraine, 9 – 23 February. Visitors will be steeped in the landscape, embarking on a silent walk to Mussenden Temple which sits perched at the edge of a 120ft cliff overlooking the North Atlantic Ocean. Within the Temple, an installation of the artist’s ‘Stained Moons’ artwork awaits. The viewings will take place in silence and in darkness, after twilight, for fourteen nights in February.

5.       Riverdance-25th-Anniversary-Show Riverdance 25th Anniversary Show Belfast, 19 – 22 February. Since it began, Riverdance has toured the globe. The show has been performed over 12,160 times and seen live by over 27.5 million people in 546 venues worldwide. Now it is time to celebrate another milestone on that journey. The 25th Anniversary show catapults Riverdance into the 21st century and will completely immerse audiences in the extraordinary and elemental power of its music and dance.

6.       Winter-Supper-Club-New-York Winter Supper Club – New York Derry~Londonderry, 21 February. Take a trip to the streets of New York for an unforgettable night at the Walled City Brewery. Think beer, hot dogs and American sliders – you’ll be living the dream. Walled City Brewery will be working with Lo & Slo on this one so you will be in for a treat.

7.       Dragon-From-The-Lagan-Goes-To-W5 Dragon from the Lagan goes to W5 Belfast, 17 February – 16 April. Children are born natural scientists, so why not bring them to W5 to let them imagine, explore and play in Discovery. In this 45 minute workshop they’ll follow the adventures of a small, friendly dragon as he makes his way to W5 to discover a world of amazing science. Children can then enjoy some simple science craft activities and a variety of building challenges all with a maritime theme! So step on-board this February for the ultimate family day out

8.       Life-Cycles-by-Lorna-Smyth Life Cycle by Lorna Smyth Enniskillen, 2 December 2019 – 18 April 2020. This showcase of new works, curated by renowned artist Lorna Smyth, encompasses the four seasons in one year. Lorna’s art emphasises the world around us, highlights her love of nature and captures a sense of belonging regardless of the place name.

9.       Bene-and-Cormac Bene and Cormac Belfast, 22 February. This is a free event part of the Gradam Ceoil TG4. Bene and Cormac won BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2019. Their debut album Wavelength has taken the traditional music scene by storm and they themselves are at the forefront of a wave of amazing young Irish and Scottish musicians taking up the mantle. Don’t miss their gig at the Discover Ulster-Scots Centre.

10.   Six-Nations-Live-Music-Session-with-The-Muddlers-Club-Band Six Nations Live Music Session with the Muddlers Club Band Belfast, 23 February.The Muddlers Club come armed with guitars, fiddle, bodhrán, banjo, whistles, flute, harmonica, ukulele, drums and whatever comes to hand. Gigging around festivals, weddings and trips abroad as often as possible, they really are a band not to be missed. They’ll be performing at Granny Annies on Sunday 23rd February to help you get into the spirit for Six Nations Ireland vs England match at Twickenham which will be showing live on the big screens.

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

10 things to do in Northern Ireland this week!

Here are ten exciting things taking place 10 – 16 February 2020.

1.       https://armagh.space/ Special Valentine’s Day StarTracker Armagh, 14 February. A Valentine’s Day trip to Armagh Observatory and Planetarium will show the special person in your life that you love them to the stars and back. As the trend for experiential gifts continues to rise, especially among social media users who enjoy having a unique event to share on their platforms, the Observatory and Planetarium is planning a special StarTracker evening on February 14. This is an opportunity for couples to view the cosmos and even track down the Valentine’s Star, otherwise known as Betelgeuse.

2.       Vinyl-Island-Van-Morrison-Moondance Vinyl Island – Van Morrison Moondance Belfast, 15 February. Following the success of last season’s new series for real music, real records and real history, BBC Radio Ulster’s Ralph McLean revisits another classic album on vintage vinyl. With expert analysis and live performances from his special guests, Ralph invites you to fall back in love with your favourite music.

3.       Michael-Palin-in-Conversation  Michael Palin in Conversation Magherafelt, 15 February. It has been 50 years since Michael Palin burst on to television screens as part of the anarchic comedy show Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Since then, Palin has become a national treasure through his writing, acting and documentary making. His travel writing and broadcasting has been acclaimed for the last 30 years and since his ground-breaking Around the World in 80 Days series, he has travelled from North Korea to the Sahara and from Pole to Pole.

4.       Toddlers-Take-Over-The-Museum Toddlers take over the museum Bangor, 14 February. The building will become a fun and exciting place for children aged 3-5 years old. Through the theme ‘Vikings’, kids will experience arts and crafts, storytelling and dancing. Come along and have fun at North Down Museum!

5.       Northern-Ireland-Puddle-Jumping-Championships NI Puddle Jumping Championships Newtownards, 15 – 20 February. Put on your wellies, get out into nature and have a splashing time. Come rain or shine, the Puddle Jumping Championships are the perfect activity for a fun filled family day out. Splash about in the ‘practice puddles’ throughout the day and get-set for the daily competitions with splash-tastic prizes to be won!

6.       NI-Science-Festival NI Science Festival Belfast, 13 – 23 February. Join NI Science Festival as they celebrate the science of you, the universe and everything in between. These events present some of the best scientists from NI and beyond to discuss their work, cutting-edge research and what the future might hold. During the day, the festival offers a range of workshops, talks and interactive activities for young people, parents and schools. In the evening there will be an eclectic mix of scientific debate, talks, theatres, comedy, music and film for adults.

7.       Silent-Light Silent Light Coleraine, 9 – 23 February. Visitors will be steeped in the landscape, embarking on a silent walk to Mussenden Temple which sits perched at the edge of a 120ft cliff overlooking the North Atlantic Ocean. Within the Temple, an installation of the artist’s ‘Stained Moons’ artwork awaits. The viewings will take place in silence and in darkness, after twilight, for fourteen nights in February.

8.       Rustioni-conducts-Music-for-Valentines Rustioni Conducts Music for Valentine’s Belfast, 14 February. The Ulster Orchestra has had a long and treasured relationship with the pianist and conductor Howard Shelley, recording regularly together. Shelley is an elegant and delightful performer of Mozart, capable of bringing out all the charm and drama of the music. This concert is an opportunity to celebrate Shelley’s 70th birthday in fine musical style.

9.       Cosmic-Cuilcagh-Legnabrocky Cosmic Cuilcagh Enniskillen, 14 February. The Marble Arch Caves Visitor Centre, nestled in the foothills of Cuilcagh Mountain, is a perfect place to observe and learn more about the mysterious night sky. Join staff, the Irish Astronomical Association and Sirius Science for an exciting evening involving outdoor stargazing, a 3D show and an array of entertaining interactive indoor activities to include a Mighty Meteorite workshop and more.

10.   Stena-Line-Belfast-Giants-vs-Manchester-Storm Stena Line Belfast Giants VS Manchester Storm Belfast, 15 February. Join the Stena Line Belfast Giants as they take on Manchester Storm in Elite Ice Hockey League action on Saturday 15 February. Experience the thrill and excitement of ice hockey at The SSE Arena, Belfast.

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

10 things to do in Northern Ireland

Here are ten exciting things taking place 3 – 9 February 2020.

1.       under-the-hawthorn-tree Under the Hawthorn Tree Belfast, 30 January – 9 February. The acclaimed production Under the Hawthorn Tree is returning to Belfast in a presentation by the award-winning children’s theatre company, Cahoots NI and the MAC, featuring a star-studded cast including Frankie McCafferty and Julia Dearden. Based on the internationally acclaimed book by award-winning author Marita Conlon-McKenna Under the Hawthorn Tree follows the journey of three brave siblings as they fight for survival during the Potato Famine in Ireland, 1845.

2.       Kirkistown-Point-to-Point Kirkistown Point to Point Newtownards, 8 February. Point-to-point is the perfect day out for all the family where you can witness the future stars of the racing industry make their introduction into competitive racing. Unlike most racecourses, spectators can stand beside one of the fences and feel the power of the horses as they jump a fence in full flight. The track is also the perfect location for a picnic from the boot of your car where you can enjoy the action with your friends and family.

3.       No-Other-Word-For-It No Other Word for it Derry~Londonderry, 26 January – 9 February. An immersive installation combining music, sculpture, light, text and video mapping by Ailís Ní Ríain.   Ailís Ní Ríain is an Irish contemporary classical composer and published writer for stage who aims to produce work that challenges, provokes and engages. A regular collaborator with artists in other art-forms, her artistic interests are diverse and combined with an unwavering desire to push and develop her artistic practice through each new project or commission.

4.       Belfast-Gin-School Belfast Gin School Belfast, 25 January – 28 March. Through experiential learning, with master distiller, Ian, you will have the opportunity to see gin being distilled, learn about flavour combinations and make your own. Each participant will receive a goodie bag containing their own miniature bottle of gin to serve with their tonic of choice at home. A great afternoon with gin and cupcakes, what’s not to love?

5.       Winter-Bird-Watching-Birds-on-the-Bann Winter Bird Watching Coleraine, 9 February. It’s the start of a new year so why not get out and enjoy a wildlife watching boat trip with Causeway Lass. Enjoy a river trip experience on board Causeway Lass whilst exploring the Bann estuary. Witness wildlife and scenery during this two hour trip with their eagle eyed guide.

6.       Paranormal-Investigation Paranormal Investigation Belfast, 18 January – 31 March. On this four hour investigation you will be taken to the most active areas in the Gaol and will be given the chance to use equipment as used by experts while conducting your very own ghost hunt. The areas you will visit will include the reception, the condemned man’s cell, execution chamber, the tunnel and the flogging room.

7.       St-Columbs-School-of-Music-Official-Opening St Columb’s School of Music Official Opening Derry~Londonderry, 8 February. The Priests, Irish tenor and folk singer George Hutton, local concert pianist Ruth McGinley and jazz aficionados Scott Flanigan and Cathal Roche will be among the glittering line-up of performers at the official launch of St Columb’s School of Music which will be compered by RTE television and radio personality, Mr Bryan Dobson.

8.       Cakebread-Wine-Dinner Cakebread and Wine Dinner Belfast, 4 February. Berts Jazz Bar invites you to their unique Cakebread Wine Dinner. On the island for the first time, the team from the Cakebread Vineyard in California will be hosting a delightful evening, serving up a sumptuous five course dinner along with wine pairings hosted by Bruce Cakebread.

9.       Walled-City-400 Walled City 400 Derry~Londonderry, 18 February 2019 to 31 March 2020. Last year marked the 400th anniversary of the completion of the Derry Walls. Built from 1613-1619, the Walls are the largest ancient monument in Northern Ireland, the only remaining Walled City in Ireland and one of the finest examples of Walled Cities in Europe.

10.   Life-Cycles-by-Lorna-Smyth Life Cycle by Lorna Smyth Enniskillen, 2 December 2019 – 18 April 2020. This showcase of new works, curated by renowned artist Lorna Smyth, encompasses the four seasons in one year. Lorna’s art emphasises the world around us, highlights her love of nature and captures a sense of belonging regardless of the place name.

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

10 things to do in Northern Ireland

Here are ten exciting things taking place 27 Jan – 2 February 2020.

1.       Molson-Coors-Race-Meeting Molson Coors Race Meeting Lisburn, 28 January. See January out in style at their first fixture of 202. Enjoy top quality National Hunt Racing with the very best of Jockeys, Trainers and Horses on display. Plus with Free Admission courtesy of sponsors, it really is a day not to be missed

2.       star-tracker-star-gazing-evening Star Tracker Evenings Armagh, 28 January. Join Armagh Observatory and Planetarium for an evening of Star Tracking. Enjoy a Digital Theatre show chosen by their Director Professor Michael Burton and weather permitting be fascinated by the views of the Night Sky through their 12 inch telescope. They will also have an astronomy talk at 7pm and fulldome show at 8pm.

3.       TRAD Belfast, 31 January – 1 February. Critically acclaimed, sell out hit TRAD from LIVIN’ DRED Theatre Company comes to Lyric Theatre Studio, Belfast on 31st January and 1st February 2020. TRAD is a poignant, absurd and hilarious tale of a 100-year-old Irishman… and his father. TRAD is a story of rural Ireland and its communities, of rural pride and the often complex relationships between father and son.

4.       SimplyE-Exhibition SimplyE Exhibition Armagh, 2 – 31 January. Craftswirl @ Armagh Visitor Information Centre are delighted to showcase a beautiful exhibition by SimplyE for their January exhibition. SimplyE is a maker, designer and a weaver of bespoke leather and weave products for use within the home and fashion industry which are all individually hand woven from her design studio in County Armagh.

5.       Belfast-Gin-School Belfast Gin School Belfast, 25 January – 28 March. Through experiential learning, with master distiller, Ian, you will have the opportunity to see gin being distilled, learn about flavour combinations and make your own. Each participant will receive a goodie bag containing their own miniature bottle of gin to serve with their tonic of choice at home. A great afternoon with gin and cupcakes, what’s not to love?

6.       Lost-Childhood-Exhibition Lost Childhood Exhibition Derry~Londonderry, 2 December 2019 – 31 January 2020. This December, take a trip to the award-winning Museum of Free Derry to see one of their most poignant and affective exhibitions yet, ‘Lost Childhood Exhibition’.

7.       Paranormal-Investigation Paranormal Investigation Belfast, 18 January – 31 March. On this four hour investigation you will be taken to the most active areas in the Gaol and will be given the chance to use equipment as used by experts while conducting your very own ghost hunt. The areas you will visit will include the reception, the condemned man’s cell, execution chamber, the tunnel and the flogging room.

8.       Walled-City-400 Walled City 400 Derry~Londonderry, 18 February 2019 to 31 March 2020. Last year marked the 400th anniversary of the completion of the Derry Walls. Built from 1613-1619, the Walls are the largest ancient monument in Northern Ireland, the only remaining Walled City in Ireland and one of the finest examples of Walled Cities in Europe.

9.       Life-Cycles-by-Lorna-Smyth Life Cycle by Lorna Smyth Enniskillen, 2 December 2019 – 18 April 2020. This showcase of new works, curated by renowned artist Lorna Smyth, encompasses the four seasons in one year. Lorna’s art emphasises the world around us, highlights her love of nature and captures a sense of belonging regardless of the place name.

10.   Philanthropy-Past-and-Present-Tour Philanthropy Past and Present, Tour of Clifton House Belfast, 10 January – 28 February. Clifton House is an impressive Georgian building, set in tranquil landscaped gardens in the heart of Belfast. Opened in 1774 by Belfast Charitable Society, the building was used as a nursing home and hospital for older people, now transformed into a unique event venue and visitor attraction. The January and February tours explore the city’s oldest working building, set up by philanthropic merchants as the Belfast Poor House. Hear stories of its work and those who sought refuge in its walls.

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

10 things to do in Northern Ireland!

Here are ten exciting things taking place 27 Jan – 2 February 2020.

1.       Out-to-Lunch-Festival Out to Lunch Festival Belfast, 3 – 26 January. A lunch-based arts festival featuring the best in Comedy, Theatre, Literature and Music held in Belfast’s vibrant Cathedral Quarter. The 2020 edition features Badly Drawn Boy, Cerys Matthews, Janey Godley, Val McDermid, Joanne Harris and many more.

2.       4-Vicars-Burns-Night-Dinner  4 Vicars Burns Night Dinner Armagh, 25 January. Join 4 Vicars Catering for a Burns Night Supper on Sat 25 Jan. A delightful evening of food, drink, music and poetry. Wine, whiskey and fun and a club bar for the extra thirsty. The floor will be open for anyone to recite Burns poetry or their own composition. Musicians also welcome.

3.       Belfast-Gin-School Belfast Gin School Belfast, 25 Jan – 28 March. Through experiential learning, with master distiller, Ian, you will have the opportunity to see gin being distilled, learn about flavour combinations and make your own! Each participant will receive a goodie bag containing their own miniature bottle of gin to serve with their tonic of choice at home. A great afternoon with gin and cupcakes, what’s not to love?

4.       Tyrella-Point-to-Point Tyrella Point to Point Downpatrick, 25 January. Tyrella point-to-point is the perfect day out for all the family in the Irish countryside and where you will get to witness the future stars of the racing industry make their introduction into competitive racing.  Unlike most racecourses, spectators can stand beside one of the fences and feel the power of the horses as they jump a fence in full flight or get close to the winning post for a bird eye view of the thrilling action.

5.       Paranormal-Investigation Paranormal Investigation Belfast, 18 Jan – 31 March. On this four hour investigation you will be taken to the most active areas in the Gaol and will be given the chance to use equipment as used by experts while conducting your very own ghost hunt. The areas you will visit will include the reception, the condemned man’s cell, execution chamber, the tunnel and the flogging room.

6.       SimplyE-Exhibition SimplyE Exhibition Armagh, 2 – 31 January. Craftswirl @ Armagh Visitor Information Centre are delighted to showcase a beautiful exhibition by SimplyE for their January exhibition. SimplyE is a maker, designer and a weaver of bespoke leather and weave products for use within the home and fashion industry which are all individually hand woven from her design studio in County Armagh.

7.       Walled-City-400 Walled City 400 Derry~Londonderry, 18 February 2019 to 31 March 2020. Last year marked the 400th anniversary of the completion of the Derry Walls. Built from 1613-1619, the Walls are the largest ancient monument in Northern Ireland, the only remaining Walled City in Ireland and one of the finest examples of Walled Cities in Europe.

8.       Life-Cycles-by-Lorna-Smyth Life Cycle by Lorna Smyth Enniskillen, 2 December 2019 – 18 April 2020. This showcase of new works, curated by renowned artist Lorna Smyth, encompasses the four seasons in one year. Lorna’s art emphasises the world around us, highlights her love of nature and captures a sense of belonging regardless of the place name.

9.       Lost-Childhood-Exhibition Lost Childhood Exhibition Derry~Londonderry, 2 December 2019 – 31st January 2020. This December, take a trip to the award-winning Museum of Free Derry to see one of their most poignant and affective exhibitions yet, ‘Lost Childhood Exhibition’.

10.   Philanthropy-Past-and-Present-Tour Philanthropy Past and Present, Tour of Clifton House Belfast, 10 January – 28 February. Clifton House is an impressive Georgian building, set in tranquil landscaped gardens in the heart of Belfast. Opened in 1774 by Belfast Charitable Society, the building was used as a nursing home and hospital for older people, now transformed into a unique event venue and visitor attraction. The January and February tours explore the city’s oldest working building, set up by philanthropic merchants as the Belfast Poor House. Hear stories of its work and those who sought refuge in its walls.

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

10 things to do in Northern Ireland

Here are ten exciting things taking place 13 – 19 January 2020.

1.       2020-Arenacross-Tour- 2020 Arenacross Tour Belfast, 17 – 18 January. The fastest motocross racers flock to the six-round series to take part in the UK’s richest off-road series. With bragging rights and a well-paid jackpot up for grabs, the riders leave nothing on the line resulting in knuckle to knuckle non-stop racing on the arena sized dirt battlefield. Cheer on local riders as they battle the international superstars from the age of seven up to the professionals.

2.       So-Sing-On-with-Sean-Keane So Sing On with Seán Keane Magherafelt, 17 January. Traditional Irish, folk and even country and blues songs all lend themselves to his unique style and unforgettable voice. Growing up among singers and musicians, Seán learned the sean nós style of singing in the heart of his family. Today, Seán Keane continues to delight audiences all over the world with his live performances and innate vocal artistry.

3.       Out-to-Lunch-Festival Out to Lunch Festival Belfast, 3 – 26 January. A lunch-based arts festival featuring the best in Comedy, Theatre, Literature and Music held in Belfast’s vibrant Cathedral Quarter. The 2020 edition features Badly Drawn Boy, Cerys Matthews, Janey Godley, Val McDermid, Joanne Harris and many more.

4.       SimplyE-Exhibition SimplyE Exhibition Armagh, 2 – 31 January. Craftswirl @ Armagh Visitor Information Centre are delighted to showcase a beautiful exhibition by SimplyE for their January exhibition. SimplyE is a maker, designer and a weaver of bespoke leather and weave products for use within the home and fashion industry which are all individually hand woven from her design studio in County Armagh.

5.        Midleton-Whiskey-Experience Midleton Whiskey Experience Belfast, 15 January. Guests will enjoy a cocktail on arrival and canapés as the expert whiskey ambassador takes you through the Midleton range. Be one of the very first people in Northern Ireland to attend a guided tasting of the Midleton Very Rare 2019, as well as delighting in the Midleton Very Rare 2018, the Midleton, Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy and a Midleton Dair Ghaelach.

6.       Walled-City-400 Walled City 400 Derry~Londonderry, 18 February 2019 to 31 March 2020. Last year marked the 400th anniversary of the completion of the Derry Walls. Built from 1613-1619, the Walls are the largest ancient monument in Northern Ireland, the only remaining Walled City in Ireland and one of the finest examples of Walled Cities in Europe.

7.       On-Refusal-Representation-Resistance-in-Contemporary-American-Art On Refusal: Representation and Resistance in contemporary American Art Belfast, 25 October 2019 – 19 January 2020. Proposing the body as a site of political enquiry, ‘On Refusal’ explores a return to figuration in the practices of a generation of artists currently working out of the United States, and examines the political impetus for this reinvestment in the body and notions of embodiment as a subject of art in the context of contemporary America.

8.       Life-Cycles-by-Lorna-Smyth Life Cycle by Lorna Smyth Enniskillen, 2 December 2019 – 18 April 2020. This showcase of new works, curated by renowned artist Lorna Smyth, encompasses the four seasons in one year. Lorna’s art emphasises the world around us, highlights her love of nature and captures a sense of belonging regardless of the place name.

9.       Lost-Childhood-Exhibition Lost Childhood Exhibition Derry~Londonderry, 2 December 2019 – 31st January 2020. This December, take a trip to the award-winning Museum of Free Derry to see one of their most poignant and affective exhibitions yet, ‘Lost Childhood Exhibition’.

10.   Philanthropy-Past-and-Present-Tour Philanthropy Past and Present, Tour of Clifton House Belfast, 10 January – 28 February. Clifton House is an impressive Georgian building, set in tranquil landscaped gardens in the heart of Belfast. Opened in 1774 by Belfast Charitable Society, the building was used as a nursing home and hospital for older people, now transformed into a unique event venue and visitor attraction. The January and February tours explore the city’s oldest working building, set up by philanthropic merchants as the Belfast Poor House. Hear stories of its work and those who sought refuge in its walls.

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

10 things to do in Northern Ireland

Here are ten exciting things taking place 6 – 12 January 2020.

1.       Colin-Geddis-Gedzilla Belfast, 11 January 2020. In the last ten years Colin Geddis has dominated Northern Irish comedy, selling out his solo stand-up shows, generating millions of online hits on both YouTube and Facebook and has over one million podcast listens on his hugely popular ‘General Banter’ podcast. His new show is his biggest to date, and in a venue that no other solo Northern Irish comedian has ever played.

2.       SimplyE-Exhibition Armagh, 2 – 31 January 2020. Craftswirl @ Armagh Visitor Information Centre are delighted to showcase a beautiful exhibition by SimplyE for their January exhibition. SimplyE is a maker, designer and a weaver of bespoke leather and weave products for use within the home and fashion industry which are all individually hand woven from her design studio in County Armagh. 

3.       Philanthropy-Past-and-Present-Tour Belfast, 10 January – 28 February 2020. Clifton House is an impressive Georgian building, set in tranquil landscaped gardens in the heart of Belfast. Opened in 1774 by Belfast Charitable Society, the building was used as a nursing home and hospital for older people and is now a unique event venue and visitor attraction. The January and February tours explore the city’s oldest working building, set up by philanthropic merchants as the Belfast Poor House. Hear stories of its work and those who sought refuge in its walls.

4.       David-Meade-Catch-Meade-If-You-Can Downpatrick, 11 January 2020. Described across the world as “Jaw Dropping” and “Hilarious”, Northern Ireland’s record breaking Mind Reader Meade is back on home soil to amaze everyone in his funniest and most interactive show yet: “Catch Meade If You Can”. You simply have to see this show to believe it.

5.       Walled-City-400 Derry~Londonderry, 18 February 2019 to 31 March 2020. 2019 marked the 400th anniversary of the completion of the Derry Walls. Built from 1613 to 1619, the Walls are the largest ancient monument in Northern Ireland, the only remaining Walled City in Ireland and one of the finest examples of Walled Cities in Europe.

6.       On-Refusal-Representation-Resistance-in-Contemporary-American-Art Belfast, 25 October 2019 – 19 January 2020. Proposing the body as a site of political enquiry, ‘On Refusal’ explores a return to figuration in the practices of a generation of artists currently working out of the United States, and examines the political impetus for this reinvestment in the body and notions of embodiment as a subject of art in the context of contemporary America.

7.       Life-Cycles-by-Lorna-Smyth Enniskillen, 2 December 2019 – 18 April 2020. This showcase of new works, curated by renowned artist Lorna Smyth, encompasses the four seasons in one year. Lorna’s art emphasises the world around us, highlights her love of nature and captures a sense of belonging regardless of the place name.

8.       Lost-Childhood-Exhibition Derry~Londonderry, 2 December 2019 – 31st January 2020. This December, take a trip to the award-winning Museum of Free Derry to see one of their most poignant and affective exhibitions yet, ‘Lost Childhood Exhibition’.

9.       blacksmithing-workshop Holywood, 9 January 2020. Join the resident blacksmith for a half-day blacksmithing experience in a traditional nineteenth century forge. Experience what is was like to work in a blacksmith’s forge in the nineteenth century. As well as learning some tricks of the trade, visitors will have an opportunity to mould the iron to make a fireside poker and a fire rake to take home.

10.   castle-tours Hillsborough, 6 – 12 January 2020. Discover stories of celebration, entertainment, diplomacy, and negotiation in a guided tour of Hillsborough Castle. The castle tour includes guided access to all the State Rooms that make up this elegant Georgian home; including the grand Throne Room, relaxing State Drawing Room, Lady Grey’s Study, State Dining Room, Red Room and Stair Hall. Visitors can also explore 100 acres of beautiful gardens to complete a relaxing day out for the whole family.

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

10 things do this week in NI

10 things to do in Northern Ireland

Here are ten exciting things taking place from 30 December – 5 January 2020.

1.       Out-to-Lunch-Festival Belfast, 3 – 26 January 2020. A lunch-based arts festival featuring the best in Comedy, Theatre, Literature and Music held in Belfast’s vibrant Cathedral Quarter. The 2020 edition features Badly Drawn Boy, Cerys Matthews, Janey Godley, Val McDermid, Joanne Harris and many more.

2.       New-Years-Eve-2019-Black-and-White-Ball Bangor, 31 January. Revel in a fabulous night of entertainment and dance the night at The Old Inn this New Year’s Eve. Enjoy a delicious three course meal and some live Jazz entertainment throughout the evening before bringing in the New Year with resident DJ Derek West on the dance floor.

3.       New-Years-Day-Historic-Ards-Walk Newtownards, 1 January. The historic tour will take you on a journey through time, visiting the Medieval, Plantation and Georgian periods discovering the many interesting and exciting stories including those of John de Courcy and Oliver Cromwell. Discover the unique history of Newtownards – one of the oldest settlements in Northern Ireland.

4.       A-Night-in-Vienna Belfast, 4 January. This ever-popular New Year concert returns to enchant audiences once again. Let the Ulster Orchestra and highly-acclaimed soprano, Ailish Tynan, take you to the magic and magnificence of the 19th century Vienna ballrooms with a glittering collection of wonderful waltzes, opulent overtures and playful polkas.

5.       SimplyE-Exhibition-in-Craftswirl-Armagh-Visitor-Information-Centre Armagh, 2 – 31 January. Craftswirl @ Armagh Visitor Information Centre are delighted to showcase a beautiful exhibition by SimplyE for their January exhibition. SimplyE is a maker, designer and a weaver of bespoke leather and weave products for use within the home and fashion industry which are all individually hand woven from her design studio in County Armagh. 

6.       The-Governors-NYE-Ball Belfast, 31 January. The unique Victorian Era prison provides a stunning backdrop to your New Year’s Eve party which will kick off with a magical drinks reception, followed by a three course meal and entertainment from live five piece band Conspiracy. They cover everything from the swinging sixties right up to current chart hits and are sure to have you up on your feet dancing the night away.

7.       Life-Cycles-by-Lorna-Smyth Enniskillen, 2 Dec – 18 April 2020. This showcase of new works, curated by renowned artist Lorna Smyth, encompasses the four seasons in one year. Lorna’s art emphasises the world around us, highlights her love of nature and captures a sense of belonging regardless of the place name.

8.       Bespoke-Farm-Tour-Broughgammon-Farm Ballycastle, 4 September – 31 December. Fancy a personal guided tour of the farm? Come along and meet the animals, see a true farm to fork artisan food business, and see how they farm in harmony with the environment. Get delicious samples of their award winning produce and take home our cookbook showcasing Northern Irish producers.

9.       Christmas-Family-Activities-at-Hillsborough-Castle-Hillsborough-P85702/ Hillsborough, 1 – 2 January. Celebrate the festive season with family-friendly activities, including arts and crafts, storytelling, dancing and music, inspired by the theme of the 12 days of Christmas.  Join our ’12 drummers drumming’ this Christmas and participate in this fun family workshop run by drum circle facilitator Joe Loughlin. No drumming experience necessary!

10.   Peter-Pan Belfast, 29 Nov – 4 January. From Wonderland to Neverland, Paul Boyd returns with an exciting new musical of Peter Pan, adapted from the play by JM Barrie. With fairies, crocodiles, flying children, and mermaids, join the Darling children as they embark on the most magical adventure – where Hook and the crew of the Jolly Roger come face to face with all of Neverland and the boy who won’t grow up.

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

10 things to do in Northern Ireland

Here are ten exciting things taking place from 16 – 22 December.

1.       Winter-Solstice Armagh, 20 December. Celebrate the Winter Solstice with a lantern-lit procession to Navan Fort. Take part in a solstice ritual of morning meditation, reflecting upon the past and welcoming new light. Appreciate the calmness and serenity of watching the sunrise over the site of Emain Macha, before returning to the Centre for breakfast.

2.       Colin-Davidson-and-Oliver-Jeffers-In-Conversation Belfast, 16 December. Colin Davidson is a contemporary artist, living and working near Belfast. Since graduating in 1991, he has structured his practice in themes, and since 2010 his focus has been on painting grand scale portraits which have won widespread recognition and many international awards. His sitters have included Queen Elizabeth II, Bill Clinton, Liam Neeson, Brad Pitt and Ed Sheeran.

3.       Bushmills-Pre-Christmas-Food-Tour Bushmills, 20 – 21 December. Join Irish Feast on a journey of local, gastronomic discovery. During the tour of Bushmills, you’ll discover old recipes and new trends. You’ll talk to people in traditional family-owned restaurants and in up and coming artisan cafes and eateries. You’ll taste history and culture and truly experience the creative future of our food industry on a scintillating, surprising, seriously tasty Irish Feast Food Tour.

4.       Festive-Friday-at-Rademon-Estate Downpatrick, 6 – 23rd December. Learn all about their foraged botanicals, unique gin and whiskey processes. Stand next to their three beautiful copper pot stills and meet the founders Fiona and David. Just remember to take time to enjoy the views in their beautiful location with a pre/post tour cocktail at the bar!

5.       Ulster-Orchestra-The-Magic-of-Christmas Derry~Londonderry, 18 December. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas at this magical night with the Ulster Orchestra. Conductor Richard Balcombe, Codetta Choir and West End stars Sophie-Louise Dann (Les Misérables) Alex Gaumond (Legally Blonde, We Will Rock You) will definitely get you and your family in the Christmas mood, with an enchanting programme including O Holy Night, The Polar Express and not forgetting everyone’s favourite, White Christmas.

6.       Wild-Game-Butchery-Class Ballycastle, 15 December – 19 January 2020. This is the perfect class for anyone who is curious about using seasonal, small game or for those who enjoy shooting but would like to also know how to butcher their quarry. The class will give you all the skills you’ll need to be confident in prepping your own wild game for the kitchen. During the class they will also talk about the best ways to cook the different cuts and varieties. You’ll get to take away a selection of local game at the end of the class.

7.       Carols-by-Candlelight Holywood, 13 – 20 December. Experience the atmosphere of the festive season in the 1900s at Christmas at Cultra event and make it extra special by joining the candlelit carol service in the atmospheric surrounds of the Omagh Meeting House, Ballycultra.Take in the Christmas atmosphere in the idyllic setting of the Omagh Meeting House period building in the Folk Museum, for an evening of singing carols and seasonal readings.

8.       Aladdin Belfast, 20 – 22 December. Meet Aladdin, the rough and rugged hero struggling to find his purpose in life. Come along and have your wishes granted with a night of entertainment and a story that you’ve never heard told quite like this. With popular references to motion pictures and a soundtrack that is sure to leave you with your jaw on the floor, Aladdin is perfect entertainment for all the family this Christmas.

9.       Christmas-Family-Activities-at-Hillsborough-Castle Hillsborough, 14 December – 2 January. Get crafty with the art facilitator and make yourself something wonderful to take home. Enjoy some festive and traditional tales of the season with renowned storyteller Liz Weir. See ladies dancing and lords a’ leaping this Christmas and prepare for your own Twelfth Night ball by practising some Georgian steps with the expert dance tutor. Join the ’12 Drummers Drumming’ this Christmas and participate in this fun family workshop run by drum circle facilitator Joe Loughlin.

10.   Christmas-at-the-Cathedral Belfast, 20 – 21 December. World-class singers Peter Corry, Barbara Dickson and Patrick Smyth will be joined by the BSPA Voices for an enchanting show of seasonal celebration in the most stunning of settings. Peter Corry is finalising the full line-up of songs, but with Blood Brothers, Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Elton John and the Greatest Showman in their combined repertoires, plus some seasonal favourites, Christmas at the Cathedral has the perfect experience and perfect present wrapped up.

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