WITH Father’s Day just around the corner, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) says that no matter what your dad enjoys from sports to nature and from adventure activities to history, there is an experience for everyone.
Father’s Day is the perfect time of year to show your dad just how special he is and if you are looking for a relaxing afternoon or a more adventurous time, there is no better way to spend the day than enjoying a day out in Northern Ireland.
NITB’s Destination PR Officer Pauline Gormley said: “Make sure you give your dad a day that he will love this year and take advantage of some of the fantastic events and activities that are taking place and the tourist attractions that are located right across Northern Ireland,” said Pauline.
“To help you plan a fun Father’s Day we pulled together some of the top highlights taking place so your dad can have a unique and special day,” she added.
If your dad relishes history and heritage there is plenty for him to indulge in;
Why not hop aboard the newly opened SS Nomadic which was built in 1911 as the first and second class passenger tender to the Titanic and is the last remaining White Star Line ship. It has been restored back to its original glory and is back home in Belfast’s historic Hamilton Dock where you can explore over 100 years of authentic maritime and social history. While here why not visit the nearbyTitanic Belfast, the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience.
Get up close and personal with a host of colourful characters at the Living History event and find out what happens when the Celts meet the Georgians at theNavan Centre and Fort in Armagh on June 15 – 16.
Active and Sports-Mad Dad
Get your dad’s adrenalin pumping with an outdoor activity day;
Bring your dad and the whole family to Father’s Day atJungle NI in Moneymore where you can try your hands at numerous exciting activities including zorbing, archery, llama trekking and segway riding.
The moreadventurous dad might want to have a go at kitesurfing – the most extreme water sport to hit the beaches. NI Kitesurfing on the Ards Peninsula in Co. Down is holding introductory sessions every Saturday in June if you are up for the challenge.
If your sports-mad dad is more the spectator type, there are a number of top events coming up including theUlster GAA Hurling Senior Championship between Down and Armagh no June 16, theSummer Festival of Racing at Down Royal Racecourse on June 21 – 22, the Enniskillen 100 Revival motorcycle event in Co. Fermanagh on June 22 and theTrialstar Motorcycle Trails Shows in Belfast in June 22 – 23.
Nature Loving Dad
Northern Ireland is one of the best destinations forfishing with many areas to choose from including the rivers of the Causeway Coast in Co. Antrim such as the Bush River which is located near the world renowned OldBushmills Distillery – another treasure for your dad to explore.
If you dad enjoys getting close to nature and wildlife then treat him and all the family to a scenic voyage onStrangford Lough to view the seals, seabirds and other wildlife or enjoy a fun-filled afternoon among the nature and wildlife at Crom where you can enjoy tranquil landscapes, woodland and historic ruins on the shores of Upper Lough Erne.
Transport Loving Dad
If your dad loves trains, planes and automobiles there are plenty of great days out;
Watch your dad turn green with envy when he spies the iconic Delorean and other other collection of rare locally built cars at theUlster Folk and Transport Museum in Cultra. There are also scooters, motorcycles, buses, vans, lorries and fire engines on display.
Make sure you check out Ireland’s only full-size heritage railway,Downpatrick and County Down Railway, where you can travel through the beautiful countryside of Co. Down onboard a vintage passenger steam train. You can also explore the history of the area including the magical ruins of Inch Abbey.
Mount Stewart House and Gardens will be taken over by Planes, Trains and Automobiles as it hosts its popular Father’s Day event on June 16. Come along for a celebration of transport, from classic to contemporary, including pleasure flights, model plane making workshops and a classic car display.
Or perhaps your dad prefers all things nautical;
Book a delightful cruising break in the beautifulFermanagh Lakelands. With a number of boat hire companies to choose from you can hire your own private boat for the perfect day of pleasure cruising or sit back and let someone else navigate with Lady of the Lake Tours which is an ideal way to see and hear more about beautiful Lough Erne.
Perfect gift ideas
Northern Ireland has plenty of craft centres worth checking out;
If your kids want to make a unique, handcrafted gift for dad then head toSeaside Ceramics in Donaghadee, a delightful shop where you can make special gifts such as mugs, money pots and plates.
Heraldic Craft in Dungannon is Ireland’s premium heraldic carvers of individual pieces in native hardwoods including plaques, clocks, framed family histories, intricate carvings, specialist tables and mirrors.
Irish sports fans can head to Scullion Hurls Économusée in Ballymena for a workshop which will give you the chance to experience the craftsmanship involved in hurl making.
To find out more about activities and events taking place to celebrate Father’s Day in Northern Ireland click on discovernorthernireland.com/fathersday/ or visit your local tourist information centre.