Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland's indoor attractions cash-in on Easter weekend washout


By Brett Campbell

The Easter washout drove hoards of people away from traditional tourist spots over the Bank Holiday weekend with indoor venues cashing in on warnings of snow and heavy rain.

Those who braved the elements and headed to the north coast yesterday morning were left disappointed after the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge was forced to close due to the wet conditions.

A spokesperson for Giant's Causeway said the bridge did reopen later in the day.

"Hopefully everyone was able to get back in the afternoon, it would be awful for anyone who travelled from far away," they said. "All the visitors could still access the stones at the Causeway and they certainly weren't deterred by the weather.

"It's likely local people may have stayed away but tourists always come prepared for bad weather by wearing more appropriate clothing and footwear."

A few miles away in Portrush staff at Barry's Amusements were gearing up for one of the busiest days of the year, but the anticipated crowds were slow to arrive.

Owner Kristina Trufelli said she had been praying for no snow before she opened her blinds on Monday morning.

"People simply don't travel in snow so I was delighted I couldn't see any white stuff, but it was still freezing and wet which is not good news for us," she said.

"Easter was early this year and we had anticipated bad weather but I was pleasantly surprised it wasn't worse and we were very busy last week."

Ms Trufelli said she knew by the modest number of people who arrived on the first train from Belfast that business was going to be adversely impacted.

Meanwhile, Titanic Belfast offered shelter to an "exceptionally high number" of visitors who came through the doors on Monday - which chief executive Judith Owens partly attributes to the miserable weather.

"We had a noticeably large amount of people from the Republic of Ireland and a lot of international guests, but I can't comment with certainty on demographics at this stage," she said.

The general manager of Lough Erne Resort and Spa in Enniskillen was taking comfort from the fact that the Enniskillen hotel's golf course wasn't the only one which was deserted over the weekend.

William Kirby expressed optimism that things will pick up after the Masters Tournament tees off in Augusta tomorrow.

"With drier weather on the way I think people will be polishing their clubs," he said.

Today is forecast to be breezy with light rain. Tomorrow does look to be a more favourable day with sunny intervals. Rain is predicted to return by Friday with a cloudy weekend ahead.

Belfast Telegraph


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