10 great things to do in Northern Ireland in the week ahead
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- The Blue Lights Story, Belfast, County Antrim, February 7
As part of the 4 Corners Festival, the screen writers behind the highly successful BBC TV show will take part in an evening of conversation followed by a question and answer session. Screen writers Declan Lawn and Adam Patterson will be in All Saints College in West Belfast, where part of the first series was filmed. To book this event visit the website.
- Irish Spirits & Chocolate - The Echlinville Distillery, Kircubbin, County Down, February 10
Begin your visit with a hands-on experience as you are guided through the process of making chocolate truffles by Geri before you enjoy a spirits and chocolate tasting session. Complete your afternoon with a visit to the distillery shop, then stroll through the historic Echlinville Estate and the visitor walkways. To book this experience visit the website.
- Homes in Focus: Cruckaclady Farmhouse, Cultra, County Down, February 10
This is one of a series of intimate talks that take place in one of the Ulster Folk Museum’s many beautiful buildings. Join Victoria Millar, Senior Curator of History, at Cruckaclady Farmhouse to learn how it was cleverly constructed and discover what life was like for those who lived here during the early 1900s.
- Belfast Punk Music Walking Tour, Belfast, February 10
Explore the story of punk music in Belfast, which is now recognised as a UNESCO City of Music. Find out more about bands like the Outcasts, Rudi, Stiff Little Fingers, and Victim. See some of the sites celebrated in the film 'Good Vibrations', lauding Terri Hooley’s role as the Godfather of Belfast punk and round off your tour with a trip to the Oh Yeah Music Centre to discover some great punk memorabilia.
- Tully Castle, Blaney, County Fermanagh
This atmospheric ruin is located on the southern shore of Lower Lough Erne. This fortified house and bawn are set on Tully Point and were built for Sir John Hume who occupied the house until 1641, when it was attacked and burned on Christmas Eve by Rory Maguire. It was never lived in again. It’s free to look around and is a lovely spot for a wander. Check out the visitors’ centre in a restored farmhouse, with exhibitions of local stories relating to the castle.
- Derry's Famous Beer & Cheese Tour, Claudy, County Derry / Londonderry, February 9
A real treat for the tastebuds awaits at Dart Mountain Cheese & Northbound Brewery. Indulge in the best of both worlds - beer and cheese. Discover the perfect pairings and learn about the fascinating process of crafting these culinary delights.
- Ardress House, Portadown, County Armagh
A wonderful place to take in the best of the season on the grounds of this 17th century National Trust Property. This is a real feast for the senses. Walk amidst stunning woodlands, admire the blankets of snowdrops, berries on bare branches and primroses peeking through the hedgerow. Listen to the chorus of robins, finches, blue tits, starlings, and if you time it right, enjoy the swirling birds overhead with some wonderful winter sunsets. No admission until March, so it’s a perfect time to visit wherever you are in Northern Ireland.
- QEST Northern Ireland Showcase Exhibition, Belfast, throughout February
This partnership between Craft NI and the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) supports the training and education of talented and aspiring craftspeople across the UK. This exhibition at the Craft NI gallery in Belfast city centre brings together the work of 17 QEST alumni. There’s a huge range of crafts and talent on display from glass, handloom weaving, willow sculpture and hand crafted silver.
- Bessy Bell Walk, Omagh, County Tyrone
This is a pleasant and interesting walk showcasing the beautiful and unique terrain of the Sperrins landscape. Starting at the Mellon Country Inn, the track travels along the main road before turning uphill on a country lane. The track ascends the summit through a variety of tarmac, rough grassland and heather, where walkers will be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding area. This walk is approximately six miles in total.
- ‘Derry Woodland’ Cycle Tour, County Derry / Londonderry, February 10.
An expert local guide will accompany you from St Columbus Park in the heart of the buzzing city centre along the Foyle Greenway. You will cycle across the Peace Bridge and along the river. There’ll be refreshments at the half-way stage in the arboretum area of Brookhall Estate including a hot beverage and a finger buffet with a range of local artisan food. On your return to the city, you will cross back from the west to the east bank of the River Foyle and learn the myth which gives the river is name.
For more information on what’s on or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit https://discovernorthernireland.com/