10 Things to do in Northern Ireland: 20-26th February

If you love getting out and about as much as I do, here is Tourism Northern Ireland’s pick of the Top 10 things to do next week! (w/c 20th February)

  • Celtic Mindfulness, Navan Centre & Fort, Co. Armagh, February 25 – 26. Celtic Mindfulness is a unique healing experience of the land and energy. Music, myth and mediation will be used to awaken your Celtic Soul, creating focus positivity and stillness for the mind. Featuring workshops from Sandra Nelson and Kate Fitzpatrick.

celtic-mindfulness

  • Mid Term Fun, Titanic Belfast, Belfast, until February 21. Challenge the kids with the Explorer Trail throughout the Titanic Experience, meet the Titanic Mascots and try out the new family interactive guide, before stopping off for a bite to eat with the ‘Kids Eat Free’ meal deals this mid-term holiday.

mid-term-fun

  • Ards and North Down – A Postcard View of the Past, Newtownards / Ards Visitor Centre, Co. Down, until February 25. Do you remember the age of steam trains, pony rides on the beach, Bangor seafront activities, the Ballywalter lightship, or the Whale’s Jawbone Arch near Portaferry? Step back into the past via the medium of old picture postcards and see the towns and villages of Ards and North Down going back over the 20th century to days when the pace of life was much more sedate.

ards-and-north-down

  • Winter Wooly Walk, Saint Columb’s Park, Derry~Londonderry, February 25. It’s time to kick off those winter blues. Rally your kids, friends and family, and join the big Winter Woolly Walk in St Columb’s Park, Derry~Londonderry. Starting at 10:30, the 3 mile walk starts at St Columb’s Park House and takes in the beautiful surroundings of Ebrington Square and the iconic Peace bridge. Afterwards there will be plenty of warming refreshments and family fun.

Winter Wooly Walk.jpg

  • Glasgow Girls, MAC, Belfast, February 21 – 25. Glasgow Girls is a potent political drama, with uplifting songs, music, dance and humour to tell the tale of the most powerful asylum campaigns in recent history. A show with universal appeal – a massive hit at Edinburgh Fringe 2016, selling more tickets than any other theatre show in the festival.

glasgow-girls

  • Ulster Orchestra, Ardhowen Theatre, Co. Fermanagh, February 25. Join the Ulster Orchestra and its sensational young Music Director, Rafael Payare, in a concert that celebrates its fifty years as Northern Ireland’s world-class symphony orchestra and that will evoke, ‘the awakening of happy feelings on arriving in the countryside.’

ardhowen-theatre

  • Jane Eyre: An Autobiography, Riverside Theatre, Coleraine, Derry~Londonderry, February 22. Dyad Productions presents ‘Jane Eyre’, Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel, dramatized on stage and starring Rebecca Vaughan. Struggling to live, think and love beyond the stifling expectations of duty, class and convention, governess Jane Eyre and Master Edward Rochester take a dark journey towards sensual and intellectual liberation.

jane-eyre

  • William McKinley by Alex Blair, Ballymoney Town Hall, Co. Antrim, February 22. William McKinley was one of many Scotch-Irish presidents with Ulster links. His links lay in Conagher and the talk will untangle the family lineage which links Conagher to The White House. He will tell of the 25th President’s progress to the highest office in the U.S.A. and how his presidency ended tragically in assassination.

ballymoney-town-hall

  • Let the Dance Begin, Alley Cat Theatre, Co. Tyrone, February 23. Inspired by The Pushkin Trust’s theme of Floodtide in the Heart – Seamus Heaney, Let the Dance Begin aims to bring many different people together through Creative Arts within the community of Strabane through a display of dance, drumming poetry and more.

the-alley

  • A Taste of Flavour SenseNation, Black Box, Belfast, February 25. This exciting interactive event will take your taste buds on a roller-coaster ride through the senses. It will challenge your sensory skills, your taste, smell, touch, sight and hearing, to see how they react with each other when different sounds, smells and textures are thrown into the mix. This is no ordinary experience; you will sample the ‘fifth taste’, test your smelling memory skills, trick your taste buds and sample some very weird foods.

flavour-sensenation

 

 

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Weekend break in Lisburn

Lisburn is only 20 minutes away from my house so it’s somewhere I go shopping from time to time- in fact, I recently bought my wedding dress there in Divinity Bridal (Longstone Street.)

But, besides taking a short trip to visit Bow Street Mall every few months, I’ve rarely been to Lisburn to actually see what the city has to offer in terms of attractions or eating out. So, that’s exactly what we did last weekend! (I’ll be writing a blog post about each place we visited but I thought I’d do a quick overview of our trip.)

On Saturday, our first stop was to check in to our accommodation for the night at Larchfield Estate. Larchfield is a 600-acre site which is famed for its weddings and events. (In fact, our friends Julie and Dan had their wedding here in 2013 in a converted barn and the venue was striking.) We were staying in the “Farm Cottage” on Saturday which is one of the original carriage rooms on the estate. The refurbished cottage consists of two twin bedrooms, each with an ensuite bathroom, and a large open-plan kitchen/dining/living area.We could tell we were in for a night of luxury!

 Larchfield Estate

Once we were settled in, we made the short drive to Lisburn City Centre to visit the Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum. The museum explores the history and heritage of Irish linen production, and includes live demonstrations of flax spinning and weaving. I didn’t know much about the history so I found it really interesting to see the transformation from flax to fabric. (Every day’s a school day!)

Irish Linen Museum

After the museum it was time for shopping and some sightseeing! As well as Bow Street Mall, we checked out Bow Street itself and Lisburn Square which is a pretty, open square of Georgian-style buildings. There are lots of big ‘high street’ names, including Marks & Spencer, H&M, Next and Primark so we came away with a few shopping bags in tow! We then walked up to see Lisburn Cathedral, before stopping at Yellow Door café for a quick bite to eat.

Lisburn Cathedral

Once we’d spent our fair share of pennies, we headed to Hilden for a tour of Hilden Brewery. This was something I was really excited about as I couldn’t wait to see how the beer was made! We learnt all about the ingredients and the various stages of production from the owner Seamus, before sampling a few of the craft beers at the Tap Room restaurant.

Hilden Brewery

Finally, it was back into the city centre for a two-course dinner at Del Toro Steak House and Urban Grill. I went for the warm chilli beef nachos for starters and the 12oz Sirloin for mains. Mum choose one of the day’s specials- the sticky BBQ pulled pork springroll- followed by the grilled Irish hake. The dinner was absolutely delicious! There wasn’t a bit left on the plate and we both agreed that we will be back again in the near future!

Hilden Brewery

After dinner we headed back to Larchfield to spend a very relaxing evening in our lovely farm cottage before checking out on Sunday morning! It’s great to think all these attractions are so close to home and it was good to see Lisburn from a tourist perspective!