Cushendun Big Arts Festival

We love spending every weekend in Cushendun so we were really looking forward to attending our first Cushendun Big Arts Festival.

The festival, which is now in its fifth year, is a four-day event with the likes of music, drama, talks, exhibitions, poetry, story-telling and comedy.

With Barry being off work for May Day we were able to get along to every day of the festival and celebrate the culture of the village and the wider Causeway Coast and Glens.

One of the highlights for me was the guided walking tour of Cushendun, exploring the heritage of the five ‘Big Houses’, including Glenmona House (now owned by the National Trust and indeed, the hub of the weekend’s festivities.) As someone who is new to Cushendun in the past year, it was great to learn more about the beautiful area!

Barry’s highlight was the two-day foraging course he attended. On Saturday and Sunday he learnt how to identify, forage and cook wild foods, including wild garlic, pig nuts and meadowsweet. He said it was an fascinating course and in fact, he’s already been out foraging on his own since!

The other events we attended were “A Belfast Story”, a play by Sharon Dickson about a girl growing up in the Blitz (which was very similar to my granny’s own personal experience!); the pop-up tea rooms at Glenmona House; the Naturally North Coast and Glens Artisan Market (with handcrafted goods, foods and local produce); the family fun day at Glenmona which included archery and a puppet show; and the art exhibition in the Old Church which showcased photographs by young local children.

The Old Church was of real interest to me as the Cushendun Building Preservation Trust is currently working to restore the church to make it into a permanent community, heritage and arts space.

I really enjoyed the whole Festival and it was great to see so many people enjoying themselves on what turned into a great sunny weekend!

All set for the guided walking tour

One of the five ‘big houses’, Glenmona House

Walking Tour- Cushendun Caves

Walking Tour- Johann the goat

Foraging course- Barry watching intently

Foraging for pig nuts

Old Church

A Belfast Story

Artisan Market


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