MAY Day Bank Holiday promises to be action packed with more events and activities on offer than ever before, according to the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB).
From Vikings in Co. Armagh and horse shows in Co. Down to toe tapping entertainment at the City of Derry Jazz Festival, Northern Ireland has a wide range of events for everyone to enjoy.
NITB’s PR Officer Marie-Therese O’Neill is encouraging everyone to make the most of the long weekend.
“The May Day Bank Holiday is the perfect opportunity to get out and explore Northern Ireland with friends and family and try something new and exciting.
“For those with an adventurous side there are a wide range of outdoor activities and challenges to choose from and for those after something a little more laid back there are lots of places to visit where you kick back and enjoy some rest and relaxation.
“There is a wealth of activity and events right here on our doorstep with something to suit everyone,” she added.
To help make the most of the May Day bank holiday, NITB has highlighted a number of events happening across Northern Ireland.
The streets of Belfast will come alive with culture during the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival which runs from May 1 – 11 and includes readings, live music and performances from global acts like De La Soul, Gingers Baker, Jimi Goodwin and rock giants, The Doves. Alternatively why not enjoy some real belly laughs at the Festival of Fools from May 2 – 5 across various Belfast venues. The acrobatics, music and comedy on offer is sure to keep everyone entertained with side splitting laughter.
Those feeling energetic can take part in the Causeway Coast Challenge Walk in Portballintrae on May 4th, which is a 30 km walk to Dunseverick Castle passing through the Giant’s Causeway and along the cliff path. Alternatively, Cushendun’s Big Arts Weekend is perfect for people looking for something a little different this May Bank Holiday and takes place from May 2 – 5. Those attending can enjoy four days of music, poetry, drama and arts in one of the most beautiful villages in the Glens of Antrim.
Step back in time at the Viking Tented Village in Armagh this bank holiday from May 3 – 4. Part of the Brian Boru Festival, the Viking tented village will host Viking warriors as they set up camp and demonstrate life in the days of Brian Boru as they work, cook, eat and sleep as well as provide craft and falconry demonstrations. This is the perfect day out for adults and kids alike. Those more interested in the thrill and excitement of road racing should pop along to the Tandragee 100, the largest National Road Racing event in Northern Ireland taking place from May 2 – 3. The event attracts around 120 competitors from around the world who take part in the circuit between Tandragee, Markethill and Armagh and is set to be a fantastic day out.
The North Down Museum, Bangor is hosting Night at the Museum on May 3. The museum will come alive at night with meteorites on display, children’s activities and an inflatable indoor star dome. Kids and adults can bring their telescope along for some expert advice on star gazing and also enjoy a torch lit tour. Animal enthusiasts should come along to the Killyleagh Horse Show on May 3 to enjoy a spectacular display of show jumping. Budding bakers should try out the International Bread Festival in Castleward on May 5. The festival is sure to tantalise taste buds with breads and food from around the world and the range of great music, fun and games on offer will ensure that the whole family is entertained.
Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a wide range of activities available at the Corralea Activity Centre, Belcoo from May 3 – 4. This is the perfect weekend for those with an adventurous side who can avail of the packed programme of outdoor activities. For people searching for a more relaxed way to spend their May bank holiday Crom Castle in Newtownbutler is perfect as on May 5 people can enjoy an idyllic boat cruise around Lough Erne.
Music enthusiasts will be pleased to discover the City of Derry Jazz Festival which takes place across various venues in the City of Derry from May 1 – 4. The annual event offers a packed programme of festival favourites and some of the biggest names in jazz including renowned singer Kate Rusby, the Jive Aces, Carmen Ghia, the Hotrods and much more. The only problem will be deciding who to see first!
Mums and Dads who are looking for the perfect place to take the kids for a day out should look no further than The Jungle NI in Moneymore. A feast of family fun is on offer for the whole family from May 4 – 5 with adventure activities from archery and boat rides to zorbing, Llama trekking and a crazy golf kart challenge. A perfect day out to keep the kids entertained for hours on end.
Families can pull on their wellies and get down to the Rare Breeds Show at the Ulster American Folk Park from May 3 – 5 where they will see rare and minority breeds of cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry. Those with an interest in farming should also go along to the Ryan McAleer Memorial Tractor Run in Dunamanagh, which will include a huge selection of vintage and modern tractors travelling through Plumbridge, Newtownstewart, Strabane and back to Dunamanagh.