10 things to do in Northern Ireland (8 – 14 April 2019)

  1. Game Of Thrones – The Touring Exhibition, Belfast, 11 April –1 September. Fans around the world will have the opportunity to step inside Westeros and the lands beyond at Game of Thrones: The Touring Exhibition. This all-new exhibition drops fans into the centre of the Seven Kingdoms with an up-close look at authentic props, costumes and decorations from the hit series. Visitors to the exhibition will experience the mystical lands of Westeros and Essos and re-live the struggles faced by the show’s characters.
  2. Belfast Film Festival 2019, Belfast, 11-20 April.  Presenting a huge range of films from across the globe, the festival’s tantalising line-up includes new international cinema and documentaries, critically acclaimed television, features and shorts from local filmmakers, and plenty of post-screening discussions in venues throughout the city.
  3. Hidden Gems Tour, Dungannon, 13-14 April. Explore the ancient roads and lanes with local tour guide, James Walshe, to undercover tales of Vikings, healing sites and holy wells where St Patrick walked, battle sites, castles and fortresses, incorporated with the scenic views along the way. Join the Hidden Gems Tour for an adventure into the secrets of our wild and beautiful landscape.
  4. Troubles Art, Derry-Londonderry, 8-28 April. This powerful exhibition provides a broad representation of responses to the Troubles by a range of artists from Northern Ireland and beyond. The subjects, themes and meanings of the works are diverse, offering the artists’ individual perspectives. Together they evoke a variety of experiences and emotions that reflect the complexity and impacts of this period of history.
  5. Kids Surf Camp, Limavady, 13-14 April. Visitors to the Causeway Coast and Glens region can bring the kids along to surf camp and ride the waves. This is a fantastic opportunity for children between the ages of 6 and 12 years to learn an exciting new sport in a safe environment, with a qualified surf coach and lifeguards.  A great experience for children who want to get out into nature and appreciate the quality of beach life in Northern Ireland.
  6. Spring into Rowallane this Easter Ballynahinch, 13-28 April. This Easter hop along for some fun and spend a wonderful day out exploring one of the most beautiful gardens in Northern Ireland.  Discover the many hidden gems within Rowallane Gardens, make egg box creatures, learn natural crafts or produce your own Easter card. Test your balancing skills with classic egg and spoon races and skip to victory.  Don’t get too competitive; it’s all just good family fun!
  7. Ballymoney Spring Fair 2019, Ballymoney, 12–13 April. Enjoy a fantastic day of festival fun as Ballymoney transforms into a cascade of colours, live music and artisan markets! This year Fuse FM brings an afternoon of outdoor entertainment featuring Ulster-Scots yarns, traditional music, balloon modellers and plenty of photo opportunities with themed characters.
  8. Causeway Coast Foodie Tours – Coast and Country Coleraine, 13 April. Relax and savour the flavours that make the Causeway Coast so unique. The five stops along the beautiful Causeway Coastal route each offer a delicious and surprising taste.  These include sample tasting at the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery, ‘meeting the makers’ at a local farmers’ market and a farm stop to meet award-winning producers and hear the unique stories behind their produce. Eat, discover and take home foodie goodies and see for yourself why this area is food heaven.
  9. Midweek Magic Belfast, 10 April. Feast your eyes on some modern day magic from four local magicians with all sorts of tricks up their sleeve. Enjoy a night of spectacle in the intimate surrounds of the Black Box’s Green Room, with performers showing off their tricks in close up surroundings.  Witness some true local talents with favourites like Caolan McBride alongside ambitious newcomers who will showcase new and innovative material. Be prepared for an interactive and fun filled night.
  10. Titanic Menu, Holywood, 13 April.  Prepare for a unique dining experience, served in a period dining room with views of Belfast Lough from where Titanic first set sail.  Rayanne House’s award-winning Chef Conor meticulously re-creates the first class dining menu which was served on the iconic ship to renowned passengers such as Benjamin Guggenheim and the ‘unsinkable’ Molly Brown.  The sumptuous menu boasts nine lavish courses of gourmet delights from the Edwardian era.

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

10 Exciting Things to do in NI next week!

  1. Ards International Guitar Festival, Newtownards, 3-7 April. Back with a bang for 2019, the Festival features a fresh new programme of gigs, fringe events, guitar clinics with industry professionals and the In Your Town exhibition of Rory Gallagher memorabilia. The jam-packed line-up includes Winnipeg-born, Cork-based Ariel Posen, classical virtuoso Gary Ryan and contemporary music from Ali Todd, Mike Dawes and Shane Hennessy, amongst others.  You’ll also find a screening of the legendary Metallica documentary Some Kind of Monster and George Lowden in conversation with special guests.
  2. NI Judo Open, Derry – Londonderry, 6-7 April.  This year the NI Judo Open takes place in the Foyle Arena.  With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in gripping distance, exciting showcase entries are likely from all levels of competitors.  Entrants are expected from Northern Ireland, GB and across Europe, so if you’re thinking of competing it’s the perfect time to test your skills as recreational and elite competitors share the Tatami together.
  3. Rhythm of the Dance Derry-Londonderry, 3 April. Enjoy the 20th anniversary tour of Rhythm of the Dance, which has already thrilled five million fans across fifty countries. The two-hour extravaganza contains a wealth of talent performing an exciting trip through hundreds of years of Irish dance and music, featuring 22 award-winning World and Irish dance champions. Dazzling costume changes, inspiring dances and live vocalists are all complemented by a top traditional band of multi-instrumentalists and a sensational sound and light show.
  4. Cherishing Mythology – Armagh Art Club, Armagh, 1-6 April. Take a journey through mythology and absorb the many myths and legends familiar to all, with this engaging and delightful exhibition. As part of the Home of St Patrick Festival, the Armagh Arts Biennial Exhibition showcases a variety of skills and techniques from individual artists who use a variety of media to portray their chosen myths, opening up an inspirational world of make-believe and imagination interwoven with threads of reality.    
  5. The World’s Wife, Magherafelt, 6April.  In conjunction with a visit to Seamus Heaney HomePlace by the UK’s Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, this is a staged reading from arguably her most famous collection of poetry. Enjoy an evening with a selection from The World’s Wife, read by two of Ireland’s best actors – Bronagh Gallagher and Susan Lynch.  With original commissioned music performed by Ursula Burns, the untold stories behind the greatest fairytales, myths and legends will make this an unforgettable evening.
  6. The Painted Lady, Belfast, 4 -5 April.  Accidental Theatre presents Rob Holloway’s play depicting a brief encounter between two lost souls. Dan has run away from his life to an Irish nature reserve where he has taken a job researching butterflies.  One morning he stumbles across Kimberley who is waking from a hangover in a pair of heels and a cocktail dress after another disastrous night out with her controlling boyfriend. Both characters are close to giving up on life but for some reasons their paths have crossed…
  7. Dubshed 2019, Lisburn, 6-7 April. Head down to the Eikon Exhibition Centre for one of the largest car shows in Ireland, offering a wide variety of car-based entertainment.  This is a perfect family day out with many attractions for all ages such as Show and Shine, Rallycross, Drag Strip, Auto-testing, Scrap-A-Jap, car wash and many more. With show cars from across the UK and Ireland on display, there is free parking and unlimited outdoor space for showing your car so no pre-application is required.
  8. Ulster Orchestra – Saint Saens’ Egyptian, Derry-Londonderry, 4 April. Saint-Saëns was a habitual traveller with a particular love for North Africa. Performed by the Ulster Orchestra featuring talented soloist, Louis Schwizgebel, the delightful Fifth Piano Concerto earned its nickname not only because it was written on one of the composer’s many holidays in Luxor, but also for its references to exotic musical traditions.  The concert also features Elgar’s First Symphony, premiered to a rapturous response in 1908, with a slow movement that is counted amongst his most beautiful writing. 
  • Benidorm Live, Belfast, 1-6 April.  The official world premiere of smash-hit comedy Benidorm brings sunshine and smiles to Belfast in the debut stage production of the popular ITV show. The award-winning comedy has racked up over a decade of all-inclusive hilarity, following the ensemble cast of holidaymakers and staff for ten series since 2007.  Laugh along to an all-new set of Alicante escapades as the characters swap sangria for the stage – after a quick spruce up at the Blow ‘n’ Go!

Market on the Square, Newtownards, 6 April. The bustling Market takes over the beautifully restored Market House and spills out onto the Square on the first Saturday of the month from April to December. Welcoming both tourists and locals alike, a visit to the indoor / outdoor Market is an exhilarating experience.  Enjoy top quality hot and cold food produce, original art and unique designer crafts with children’s activities and live music thrown into the mix for a great day out.

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

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 (25 – 31 March)

  1. Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics 2019, Belfast, 25-31 March.  This ground-breaking festival offers an eclectic programme of over 130 events in venues across the city, including author Lionel Shriver, columnist and environmental campaigner George Monbiot and one of Ireland’s most distinguished former politicians, Mary Harney.  The festival also hosts a major exhibition by leading local artist Rita Duffy and features talks, workshops, theatre, comedy, films, walking tours, exhibitions and lots more.
  2. Birdwatch Morning at Castle Espie, Newtownards, 27 March.  One of Castle Espie’s experts will lead you on this expedition around the Wetland Centre’s reserve and woodland. There will also be time to see what’s on Strangford Lough!  Binoculars and sensible footwear are essential for the trek.  After your walk, pop into the Kingfisher Kitchen at Castle Espie and treat yourself to coffee and cake or a delicious lunch.
  3. International King’s Cup 2019 Ulster Qualifier, Coleraine, 27 March.  One of the most anticipated amateur golf tournaments is here.  For the very first time Team Ireland will be travelling to the United States to take on the USA.  This is the Ulster Regional Qualifier for the tournament, and those who progress will play in the second round National Qualifier at Malone Golf Club.  The event is open to any two-person team with a verifiable GUI Handicap. Whether you are a scratch golfer or a 20-handicap golfer you have an opportunity to qualify and represent Team Ireland.
  4. Paul Clements – Rambles Around Ireland, Lisburn, 28 March.  Acclaimed travel writer Paul Clements visits the Island Arts Centre to delight audiences with tales from his ‘Rambles round Ireland’. Clements has published three books about travelling around Ireland – ‘Burren Country’, ‘The Height of Nonsense’ and ‘Irish Shores’ – and his wry wit and story-telling ability have seen copies flying off the shelves.   He will take the audience on a journey through his thirty years as a travel writer – the sights, the sounds and absurd challenges like finding the highest point in the lowest county!
  5. Long Meadow Mother’s Day Workshop, Craigavon, 28 March.  Join professional florist, RHS Chelsea Gold Medal winner and National Teacher Yolanda Campbell for a unique day of creativity at Long Meadow Farm. Experience the magic and beauty of the orchard in early Spring.  Walking through the orchard, gathering fresh foliage and apple tree prunings, be inspired in the beautiful setting of Long Meadow.  Later you will be able to create a beautiful table arrangement using your gathered foliage and flowers as Yolanda guides you through designing your own gift to take home or give to Mum!
  6. Dog Friendly Tours, Portrush, 30 March.  Dog Friendly Tours are a new light hearted, fun walking experience for dog owners.  Get out and about with your four legged friends and learn about the history of the places you will visit along the way.  Enjoy food and drink at a host of dog friendly venues with a special treat for your furry friends at the end of the tour and plenty of watering holes en route.
  7. Cultra Manor Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea, Holywood, 31 March. Enjoy a vintage afternoon tea experience at Cultra Manor, one of the last mansions of the landed gentry to be built in Ireland.  You will be greeted at the door of the splendid Edwardian manor house and shown to your table in the elegant Drawing Room. Here you will enjoy a feast of sweet and savoury treats, paired with a pot of the finest fresh tea.  As a special treat, Mum will receive a complimentary glass of Prosecco on arrival.
  8. The Three Tenors, Belfast, 31 March.  Creating a storm around the country, Ireland’s favourite trio Shane, Dominic, and Derek – collectively The Three Tenors Ireland – promise a magical night to remember at the Lyric Theatre as they perform an exciting Celtic flavoured programme including Homes of Donegal and Caledonia and uplifting songs made famous by stars including Frank Sinatra, The Dubliners and Luciano Pavarotti.  Packed with a selection of songs from the shows as well as by artists as diverse as R.E.M. and the Bee Gees, there’s something for everyone!
  9. Mother’s Day Dine and Dance, Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast, 31 March.  Spoil your mum with a complimentary glass of prosecco on arrival followed by a delicious four-course lunch and entertainment from live band Conspiracy, covering everything from the swinging sixties right up to current chart hits. They’re sure to have you up on your feet dancing!  There’s no need to worry about the kids getting bored either, as there will be a magician and face painter to keep them entertained and provide plenty of laughs!
  10. State of the House, State of the Nation, Enniskillen, to 30 June.  This ongoing exhibition looks at the Enniskillen and Fermanagh Workhouse during the turbulent years of the Irish Famine, 1845-1849 and beyond.  As the environs of the entrance block of the Enniskillen Workhouse undergo huge change, now is the time to stop and consider the life of the most important building on site so the exhibition also looks at the future of the workhouse buildings and their central role in revealing the past.

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

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 (18 – 24 March)

  1. Foraging as in St Patrick’s time at Navan Centre and Fort, Armagh, 18 March.  Have a go at foraging for your food as part of this drop-in family event – find it, see how it was cooked and then taste it for a real experience of how food was prepared during St. Patrick’s days in the early Christian era.  Suitable for all ages, this event is part of the Home of St Patrick Festival.
  2. St Patrick’s Family Day in Banbridge, Banbridge, 18 March. Solitude Park will be buzzing with its annual St. Patrick’s Family Day. With free activities, including live music, workshops and entertainment there is something for everyone to enjoy. 
  3. Traditional Ulster Scots Bread Making, Belfast, 19-22 March. A baking demonstration with local cook and bread maker extraordinaire Freddie Strickland at the Discover Ulster-Scots Centre.  Freddie shows how baking methods have developed throughout the years and explains how to pack in the flavour while baking.  Learn about traditional farls, treacle farls, soda bread, potato bread and much more. To top off the session, sample some of the tasty handmade bakes on offer.
  4. The Rocky Horror Show, Belfast, 18-23 March.  Richard O’Brien’s legendary musical masterpiece returns for 2019 starring Strictly Come Dancing champion Joanne Clifton as Janet and a1’s Ben Adams as Brad.  Featuring timeless classics including the pelvic-thrusting Time Warp, The Rocky Horror Show is the story of two squeaky clean college kids whose car breaks down outside a creepy mansion where they meet the outrageous Dr Frank’n’Furter for an adventure they’ll never forget…
  5. Music In The Chamber – Daoiri Farrell  Bangor, 21 March.  With his powerful and distinctive voice, Daoirí Farrell has been championed by the likes of Christy Moore and Donal Lunny.  Six months after releasing the album ‘True Born Irishman’, Daoirí picked up two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2017 for Best Newcomer and Best Traditional Track.  He brings his show to the evocative setting of Bangor Castle for this special performance. 
  6. Movie Night at Crumlin Road Gaol Belfast, 21 March. Start the evening with a meal in Cuffs Bar & Grill before being led on a Paranormal Tour, finally settling down in B wing of Belfast’s most infamous jail.  The chilling Paranormal Experience visits the Gaol’s ‘hot spots’ where spooky activity has been reported and also takes in the Tunnel, Gaol Circle, C-Wing, Hangman’s Cell and more!  There is no place in Belfast more suited to watching a classic horror movie.
  7. Desert Island Poems, Magherafelt, 21 March. Picture the scene: stranded on a desert island, what three poetry collections would you take if they were all you had to read?  To mark World Poetry Day, celebrated poets Frank Ormsby, Alice Lyons and Moyra Donaldson talk about the books they would choose, what those collections mean to them and in true desert island style, which single volume of Seamus Heaney’s poetry they would also like to be stranded with!
  8. Leningrad!, Belfast, 22 March.  Written during the siege of Leningrad, Shostakovich’s powerful Seventh Symphony tells the story of the Russian people’s resistance to the Nazis, their dogged hope and individual courage. This performance by the Ulster Orchestra also takes in Richard Strauss’s iconic Also Sprach Zarathustra, made famous by the inclusion of its Sunrise in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
  9. Roe Valley Speciality Market, Limavady, 23 March.  If you love local fresh food, quirky handmade crafts and fine art, visit one of the market days at Drumceatt Square, Limavady town’s communal public space located beside the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre.  The friendly outdoor market boasts a range of speciality food, art and handmade crafts. Enjoy the colourful displays, the delicious aromas, the taste of fresh food produce and the bustle of traders and customers.
  10. Living History – Norman Knights at Dundrum Castle  Newcastle, 23 March.  At this Living History event, 13th century Norman knights and their household will demonstrate their weapons and fighting skills on the Castle lawns.  Take a trip back in time and witness the knights of Dundrum as they would have battled and learn more about the swords and weapons of that time.  Suitable for the whole family, this event provides both a fun and educational experience.

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

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 (11 – 17 March)

  1. St Patrick’s Spring Carnival 2019 Derry-Londonderry, 16-17 March.  Welcome spring with a cacophony of colour and spectacle. This year’s carnival parade is a celebration of children and young people exploring depictions of youth in myth and legend both in the Celtic tradition and cultures across the world.  Fantastical creatures will snake their way through the city’s streets along with a host of characters representing young people from fables and fairy tales from faraway lands. Expect to be delighted by dance moves with everything from ballet to hip hop.
  2. St Patrick’s Procession Family Fun Day, Armagh, 16 March.  With a theme of “Invention and Innovation”, celebrate Saint Patrick with a spectacular display of colour, music, dance and entertainment as the wonderful procession snakes through the city from the Palace Demesne.  Afterwards, enjoy a family fun day in the Shambles Yard with free admission for all.
  3. St Patrick’s at St George’s Market Belfast, 17 March.  Get set for a real taste of Northern Ireland and sample some of the culinary delights on offer. You will be able to enjoy lots of entertainment including live traditional music, toe-tapping Irish dancing and workshops.  So pop in, relax and join in the unmissable St Patrick’s Day celebrations.       
  4. Our Living Coast Boat Tour Portrush, 16 March- 28 September. Join Causeway Seafishing Company’s eagle-eyed crew in a unique two-hour journey along the Causeway Coast.  See wildlife in its natural environment and learn about the hidden local history of the Causeway Coast.  Depart Portrush Harbour, cruise along the North of the Skerries; see hauled out seals, then continue on to Dunluce Castle.  Return journey is via the White Rocks’ sea caves and East bays.
  5. Station Island Armagh, 13 March.  The Lyric Theatre brings its performance of Seamus Heaney’s epic poem to Armagh’s Shambles Market.  Steeped in ritual, memory, and ghostly visions, Heaney’s literary pilgrimage through St. Patrick’s Purgatory explores his complex relationship with his homeland, his faith and the past.  Composers and performers Paul Stapleton and Steve Davis provide a unique live musical accompaniment to the reading.
  6. An Evening with Arborist plus Special Guests, Bellaghy, 16 March. An evening showcasing the best of Northern Ireland’s contemporary musical talent.  Fronted by James Heaney, Arborist released their critically acclaimed debut album in 2016 and now return with the follow-up A Northern View.  Joining Arborist will be three-time NI music award nominee Malojian and Conor Mason, making this a magical evening not to be missed.
  7. SPAR Craic 10K , Belfast, 17 March.  The SPAR Craic 10K sees almost 2000 runners take to the streets

in what has been described as Belfast’s first urban run.  The race will leave City Hall at 10am, passing through the Gaeltacht Quarter before finishing at Ormeau Park.  Entrants receive a ‘goodie’ bag and all finishers receive a bespoke 2019 medal.  The SPAR Craic 10K allows you to celebrate St Patrick’s in a fun, healthy way before enjoying the parade and party in Custom House Square.

  • Family Comedy Club , Belfast, 11 March.  Paul Currie unleashes his unique style which fuses traditional stand-up with puppetry, clowning and sheer exuberance.  Something new and refreshing for families that goes straight for the funny bone that we all share.  Presented as part of the 21st Belfast Children’s Festival.         
  • The Giant Lego Brick Trail, Newtownards, 2 – 31 March.  Back at Castle Espie Wetland Centre by popular demand, the Trail features 14 individually designed characters including Natalie the Nene, the world’s rarest goose, Flavia the Andean flamingo and Benedict the Bewick’s swan.  Take part in team activities, individual challenges and the popular interactive Lego brick workshops, perfect for fans young or old. Not forgetting the chance to build your own Lego owl to take home.
  • Trixie Mattel – Skinny Legend Belfast, 12 March. Dial down and dig deep into the psyche of the life-size legend as you step back into her pink cowboy boots and see the world through Trixie’s iconic eyes. Expect some music and surrealist comedy that only Trixie Mattel could hot glue together: guitar picking, razor-sharp reads, and hair teased to the sky!

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

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 (4 – 10 March)

  1. The Home of St. Patrick Festival in Armagh, Armagh, 8 -18 March. Filled to the rafters with an outstanding programme of things to do, places to visit, see and enjoy, the Home of St. Patrick Festival is set to entertain with over 30 events lined up across the city.
  2. Macbeth, Belfast, 5 – 9 March. The National Theatre, creators of War Horse and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, bring Shakespeare’s most intense tragedy to the Grand Opera House with this epic and visually daring touring production.
  3. NI Sugar Expo, Templepatrick, 9 – 10 March.  Love to bake or have a passion for cakes?  Tailored to suit all abilities from the home baker through to the seasoned professional, the NISE show at the Hilton Templepatrick has something for everyone, with workshops, competitions, live demos and a vast array of exhibitors.
  4. The Táin Tapestries – Louis Le Brocquy, Armagh, 8 March – 4 May.  This wonderful exhibition at the Market Place Theatre affords a rare opportunity to experience le Brocquy’s powerful illustrations for poet Thomas Kinsella’s translation of the Ulster Cycle’s central myth, the Táin Bó Cúailnge (Cattle Raid of Cooley). The exhibition showcases the artist’s narrative skills in the medium of tapestry together with contextual information about the enduring poetic work.
  5. Oorlog (War), Belfast 8 – 10 March. Something about a balloon slowly deflating, a nose bleeding, little helicopters falling down from a tree, a shower crying, audience members shooting and three soldiers roller-skating and talking backwards.  Come and see this powerful and acclaimed performance at the MAC and decide for yourself.
  6. 39th Annual Enniskillen Drama Festival, Enniskillen, 8 – 16 March.  This festival offers nine different drama companies, staging full-length plays over nine nights.  The wide range of plays on offer includes comedy, tragedy, well-known works and new writing performed by both local groups and those from further afield, appealing to seasoned theatregoers and novices alike.
  7. Northern Ireland Potato Festival, Bushmills, 9 March. The Randox NI Potato Festival celebrates the legacy of local man John Clarke OBE, a world-renowned pioneer in potato breeding. The Festival line-up boasts a variety of attractions including the Naturally North Coast and Glens artisan market with food and craft producers, cookery demonstrations and talks, bouncy castles, exhibitions and displays, potato inspired games and a petting farm.
  8. Walled City Music Festival – Folk Tunes and Fantastic Fantasies, Derry~Londonderry, 8 March. Fast, furious and passionate, this concert focuses on the wild and romantic side of classical repertoire as part of the Walled City Music Festival.
  9. Beethoven No.7, Cookstown, 7 March.  ‘On Your Doorstep’ is an opportunity to catch the Ulster Orchestra in the intimate surroundings of your local arts theatre.  The Cookstown programme includes Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, best known from the finale to 2010’s Oscar-winning King’s Speech, and guest soloist Veronika Eberle performing Mendelssohn’s exquisite violin concerto.
  10. Free Open Day at Mussenden Temple, Coleraine, 9 March. Enjoy free admission to Downhill Demesne to kick off the season. Come and meet our staff and volunteers and learn more about this stunning coastal estate.

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

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 (25 February – 3 March)

1.       BMS International Festival of Chamber Music, Belfast, 1 – 3 March. The International Festival of Chamber Music is Northern Ireland’s premier chamber music event, presenting top international classical musicians alongside outstanding local artists in three days of world-class concerts and recitals at the Crescent Arts Centre.

2.       Frank Carson – Rebel Without A Pause, Newry, 27 February. In this acclaimed one–man show at the Sean Hollywood Arts Centre, we journey with Frank from his Belfast boyhood – where life was so tough even the arms on the chairs had tattoos – through his adventures in the army, and into the world of showbiz where he entertained Royalty, delighted Pope John Paul II and never forgot where he came from.

3.       World Seniors Snooker World Championship, Belfast, 3 March. Players including Jimmy White, Ken Doherty and Stephen Hendry go head to head in a bid to lift the world crown at the Waterfront Hall. 

4.       Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Belfast, 1 March.  From their formation in 2002 and a cameo appearance at T in the Park in 2004 to opening the main stage in their own right in 2014, the past sixteen years have seen the Red Hot Chilli Pipers become the most famous bagpipe band on the planet. They perform this March at the SSE Arena.

5.       Cherishing Mythology, Armagh, 1 March – 6 April. Armagh Art Club’s Biennial Exhibition takes a journey through Mythology, linking with many of the myths and legends familiar to all. From their individual approaches and variety of skills and techniques, the artists open up the inspirational world of make believe and imagination, woven though by threads of reality.

6.       W5 and Giants Joint Ticket, Belfast, 3 March.  Discover over 250 interactive exhibits at the award-winning Science and Discovery Centre and then watch NI’s professional ice-hockey team hit the ice to take on Manchester Storm in The SSE Arena.

7.       Long Meadow Farm Tour, Craigavon, 2 – 22 March. Visit Long Meadow Farm for an unforgettable, fully guided tour in the heart of the Orchard County. Traverse bountiful orchards, explore the cider-making facilities and sample award-winning Irish ciders all in the good company of the friendly and welcoming farm patrons, the McKeever family.

8.       A Vision of Elvis, Belfast, 2 March. Starring Rob Kingsley, winner of The National Tribute Music Awards ‘Official Elvis Show’ and ‘Number One Male Tribute’, A Vision of Elvis is internationally renowned as ‘the best Elvis Presley tribute concert touring the world today’ and is coming to the Waterfront Hall.

9.       Tim Peake Spacecraft and VR Experience, Holywood, 20 February – 11 May. Tim Peake’s Spacecraft, presented by Samsung and the Science Museum Group, is touring the UK and will land at the Ulster Transport Museum on 20 February. The display of the iconic craft will be accompanied by Space Descent VR supported by Samsung, a unique virtual reality adventure narrated by Tim Peake himself.

10.   Pizza and Pottery Night, Bangor, 28 February. Loaf Pottery’s popular pizza and pottery nights begin with a pottery class where their potter will give a demo of throwing a pot on the wheel before teaching a hand building class.

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

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 (18 – 24 February)

1.       Accidental Comedy Club, Belfast, 22 February. With topics ranging from politics to relationships and everything in between, the Accidental Theatre’s comics will weave a tapestry of social commentary and absurd observation for your laughing pleasure.

2.       My Sweetheart And Me, Lisburn, 21-22 February. This uplifting romantic comedy, performed at Lagan Valley Island, is set during the summer of 1967. Seen through a nostalgic lens, the story centres around two single lovestruck thirtysomethings, as they haphazardly struggle against all the odds.

3.       Celtic Mindfulness, Armagh, 23 – 24 February. Celtic Mindfulness offers a unique healing experience at Navan Centre and Fort. Music, myth and meditation will be used to awaken your Celtic Soul creating positive mindfulness.

4.       Harmonic Bridges Concert, Belfast, 21 February. The premier ensemble of New York’s Scarsdale High School will join with Belfast’s own Northern Ireland Concert Band for a night of music celebrating the great music of both countries at the Ulster Hall.

5.       Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, Armagh, 21 February. Catch a full symphony orchestra in the intimate surroundings of the Marketplace Theatre, with world-class soloists, guest conductors and, of course, the full Ulster Orchestra as they perform Schumann’s tempestuous Symphony No.2 and Manfred: Overture alongside Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto.

6.       `Is That Too Hot`, Newry, 18 February. Is ‘That Too Hot’ is the hilarious sequel to the hit play ‘I’ll Tell My Ma’ by Patricia Gormley performed at the Sean Hollywood Arts Centre. Follow the antics of your favourite characters Granny Eileen, Davina Carina and Chelsea Marie as they stumble their way through another year in their turbulent lives.

7.       Titanic Taster Photography Tour, Belfast, 23 February. Photography is the art of the physics of light, learn how to use it to create stunning images and the power of magnification at our very own giant optic lenses. Stops include the Historic Slipways, the Great Light and Titanic’s Dock and Pump-House. Includes refreshment stop at Titanic’s Dock and Pump-House.

8.       Fly Me to the Moon, Derry~Londonderry, 20 February. Patrick Talbot Productions and Rathmore Productions present Fly Me to the Moon coming to the Millennium Forum. Francis and Loretta are community care visitors. Davey, one of their elderly charges, has had a significant win on the horses, but he doesn’t know. When the cash-strapped women learn that Davey will not be around for a considerable time they are faced with a mouth-watering dilemma.

9.       NI Science Festival, Across NI, 14 – 24 February. With over 180 events across 50+ venues, the NI Science Festival offers a stimulating and wide range of events focusing on the wonders of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. For full line-up, visit NIScienceFestival.com.

10.   Chrvches, Belfast, 19 February. Scottish synth-pop band Chvrches are pleased to perform at the Ulster Hall. Hear them perform hit songs such as Miracle, Get Out and My Enemy.

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

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 (11 – 17 February)

  1. Valentine’s Up Cinema, Belfast, 14 February. Alibi will be showing the movie ‘Ghost’ on the big screen. This special Valentine’s event costs £30 per couple includes a one hour clay/pottery workshop, movie tickets, two pizzas and a bottle of prosecco. Plus all you can eat popcorn.
  2. Exhibition: The Echlinville Distillery, Newtownards, 2 – 21 February. A ‘field to glass’ distillery, Echlinville’s new-make spirits are distilled from barley grown and harvested from their own fields and floor malted on their distillery farm. Their story is one of provenance, pride in their roots in the Ards Peninsula and devotion to the ancient art of distilling.
  3. Valentine’s Roller Disco, Belfast, 14 – 15 February. Back by popular demand to the MAC, access to the rink will be organised in sessions. When the skating session is over, stay and enjoy the party with dancing all night, or rest those weary limbs and watch your friends from the viewing gallery.
  4. NI Science Festival, Across NI, 14 – 24 February. With over 180 events across 50+ venues, the NI Science Festival offers a stimulating and wide range of events focusing on the wonders of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. For full line-up visit NIScienceFestival.com.
  5. MARVEL-OUS Mid-Term Madness, Limavady, 15 – 19 February. Are your little ones a Captain America, Thor or Iron Man. Come to Carrowmena Activity Centre this Half Term and they can climb, zip, leap and shoot like their favourite Marvel characters before going on a marvellous hunt to find them.
  6. Czech Selection, Belfast, 14 February. Enjoy a delightful afternoon of Czech music, conducted by Czech Jiři Rožeň at the Ulster Hall. Including Suk’s Meditation on the Old Czech Chorale St Wenceslas and Kabelác’s Symphony No.4 Camerata.
  7. Music in The Chamber – David C. Clements, Bangor, 15 February. Performing at Bangor Castle, David Clements is an alternative folk singer with swelling melodies and vocals touched with the ache of experience, retelling tales that feel at once both insightful and familiar.
  8. Gradam Ceoil, Belfast, 17 February. This gala award ceremony at the Waterfront Hall will feature traditional music, song and dance covering a wide array of talent from home and abroad including Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, Conor Connolly and Catherine McEvoy.
  9. Ice Bowl Valentine’s Day, Dundonald, 14 February. Score a strike this Valentine’s Day at Dundonald Ice Bowl. With valentine inspired music and spot prizes throughout the night, book a date  this Valentine’s Day and enjoy a special Xtreme Bowling session in the valentine’s themed bowling centre.
  10. Anthony Toner, Belfast, 17 February. Since the release of the hugely popular single ‘Sailortown’ ten years ago, Anthony has been constantly in forward motion, releasing a string of popular albums and playing countless live performances. Expect an evening of peerless musicianship, great stories and songs old and new at the Lyric Theatre.

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

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 (28 January – 3 February) 

1.       Roy Orbison Reborn, Belfast, 31 January. Superstar Roy Orbison was one of the world’s greatest and most successful rock’n’roll music legends of all time. The present day sees Dean Bourne and his musicians perform the ultimate tribute to ‘The Big O’, showcasing all his massive hits together at the Ulster Hall.  

2.       Birdwatch Morning , Newtownards, 30 January. One of the experts at Castle Espie will lead you around the stunning Reserve and Woodland. You are recommended to bring along a pair of binoculars and sensible footwear.  

3.       Tommy Fleming, Belfast, 1 February. Tommy is one of Ireland’s top entertainers with over 6.5 million YouTube hits and over 3.5 million album sales worldwide. The ‘Voice of Hope II’ tour coming to the Ulster Hall, brings you a special collection of spiritual inspirational music together with a selection of his most popular songs. 

4.       The Bog Couple, Derry~Londonderry, 30 January – 2 February. Starring local actors Pat Lynch and Gerry Doherty, The Playhouse production performed at the Millennium Forum introduces us to Oscar Meenan and Felix Young – both “Bogside men” – one a Catholic and one a Protestant; one is an easy-going, slob and one an obsessive perfectionist preoccupied with neatness. 

5.       IMBOLC International Music Festival, Derry~Londonderry, 27 January – 10 February. Taking place in Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, this is one of Ireland’s leading folk and world music festivals. Whilst still firmly rooted in the musical cultures of this island, the festival has grown in depth and breadth and now encompasses music genres ranging from folk, traditional and roots to jazz, contemporary and world music.  

6.       Mairead Duffy Art Exhibition, Armagh, 2 January – 28 February. Craftswirl at Armagh Visitor Information Centre are delighted to welcome this exhibition of work by local artist Máiréad Duffy from Middletown in County Armagh. 

7.       The Old Firm Casuals, Belfast, 31 January. US street punk band,’The Old Firm Casuals’ fronted by Lars Frederiksen from ska-punk stalwarts Rancid perform at The Empire. Joining the band on the night for a stellar line-up are The Defects and United Bottles. 

8.       Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger, Derry~Londonderry, 19 January – 16 March. Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger, the acclaimed Famine art collection, currently on loan from Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University will be on display at Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin.  

9.       MAC International, Belfast, until 31 March. MAC International presents a snapshot of the most exciting and ambitious art practices from across the world. It is the largest arts prize in Ireland and one of the few major art prizes in the UK, offering artists from around the world an opportunity to exhibit at the MAC in Belfast. 

10.   A Costume Cavalcade, Armagh, until 2 March 2019.  This exhibition at the Armagh County Museum tells the story of dress over the last three hundred years showcasing some of the most important examples in the collection. 

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