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Belfast (Or further afield) weekend activities?!

Belfast, United...
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Belfast (Or further afield) weekend activities?!

This is a question from within.....

Me and the wife are feeling lost for ideas and I was wondering if anyone here would have a great idea of how we could spend our weekend. Being from Belfast we feel we have covered everything obvious and not-so-obvious in our lives and are looking for a bit of fun that we may have missed. Either for a Staurday afternoon or a whole weekend.... lazy or energetic... indoors or out....

We have covered the North Coast and Mournes to the last square inch, been in every pub, done the tours and walks etc etc but what are the less visible gems out there that you have discovered?

So tell me, what have I missed in my 35 years in this city/country?!

Suffolk, United...
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1. Re: Belfast (Or further afield) weekend activities?!

Hi Mike,

We visited some friends the other week near Downpatrick.

Had a pleasant day driving part way round Strangford Lough

We went via Ardglas, Strangford, Portaferry (obviously!) St Cooeys Well, Kearney, Cloughey, Portavogie and Kirkubbin.

You've probably done it but just in case....

Edited: 14 February 2013, 10:57
Belfast, United...
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2. Re: Belfast (Or further afield) weekend activities?!

Hi Bob

Believe it or not we did the peninsula drive last weekend. Down through Kircubbin, Greyabbey etc., across on the ferry and back up the other side through Lisbane and Comber. Lovely stuff.

Cheers

North Coast, N...
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3. Re: Belfast (Or further afield) weekend activities?!

What about the Fermanagh lakelands? Possibly a bit early for that but well worth doing

Armagh - Navan fort etc?

Sperrins? Lots of drives around Gortin Glen, take in the Ulster-American Folk Park if it;s open, they used to do odd opening hours out of season.

http://www.sperrinstourism.com/

If you've done it all, then head to Donegal:)

Belfast, United...
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4. Re: Belfast (Or further afield) weekend activities?!

Interesting question! I shall put my “random” hat on!

How about Todd’s leap near Ballygawley? Try your hand at manoeuvring a JCB, screech your way down a zipline, or see if you’re brave enough to handle the hill rally. We had an absolute ball when we went on a girly day out – we left covered in mud and knackered but still crying with laughter (put it this way, I will never have a career as a JCB driver!).

Or there’s The Jungle near Moneymore, where you can try zorbing, paintball, tree-top adventure and many other activities. You can also camp (or indeed “glamp”) there if you wanted to make a whole weekend of it.

You’ve probably already done it but I recently finally got around to going to the Marble Arch Caves, which was pretty interesting! Also you could treat yourself to a nice lunch somewhere like the Killyhevlin to make a day of it.

What about a cookery class? In Belfast there’s Belfast Cookery School, James Street South or Ballymiscaw Cookery School, or further afield there is Belle Isle in Fermanagh. They can be a bit expensive but then you do get to enjoy the fruits of your labours too.

Or how about attending a public lecture at Queens? Their current schedule seems to cover everything from ‘Domesticating the work of Samuel Beckett on the Irish Stage’ to ‘Music and Politics In Croatia’ to ‘Genomics and transcriptomics of Propionibacterium acnes.’ Granted they're not all on weekends but it's worth a check anyway - there might be something there to interest you!

If you fancy something a bit more alcoholic, how about a tour of Hilden Brewery in Lisburn? I can't find the tour times on their website (it just says to call them to enquire) but other pages online would suggest Saturday is tour day.

How about lunch on a boat? The Galley Café on the Belfast Barge is open from 10am on Saturdays and then you can walk off the calories with a stroll along the Lagan.

Have you been on a tour of the Crumlin Road Gaol yet since it reopened to the public? Very good so I hear!

A bit of a weird suggestion but one I’ve heard of is a “non-landing cruise” (where you don’t get off) or a “day cruise” (where you do) on the new Stenaline ferry across to Cairnryan and back. They have a spa on board now if you fancy a mid-Irish Sea jacuzzi , and you can pay the extra to upgrade to the Plus lounge where you get free wine, tea, coffee and snacks.

Belfast, United...
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5. Re: Belfast (Or further afield) weekend activities?!

Thanks guys!

All good stuff and a few things there we have to try there. We are off to the MAC this weekend though to see the Warhol exhibition after all...

The Gaol is excellent Bridget. I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview last September. It is so atmospheric and there is a great opportunity to use it for unique events so hopefully its potential is realised. If only they could sort out the shambles that is the court house, it could truly be a world class attraction.

Cheers!

Suffolk, United...
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6. Re: Belfast (Or further afield) weekend activities?!

Just thought of another!!

Banbridge and Mcconvilles flax scutching. The two fellows who run it are great!!.

Go to Banbridge website

Seasonal opening.

Ireland
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7. Re: Belfast (Or further afield) weekend activities?!

Theres the North Down area too with Grey Fort point near Helens Bay which has a free war museum and a huge gun pointing out to sea, continuing to Helens Bay beach itself and onto Crawfordsburn Park (a lovely walk indeed, some of which was used in the Game of Thrones TV series) where there is a small forest, waterfall, and a cafe surrounded by trees. On to Bangor, a marina town with a few reasonable shops, continuing to the quaint little towns of Groomsport and Donaghadee.

8. Re: Belfast (Or further afield) weekend activities?!

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