Belfast Telegraph

Festival of Flight returns to Newcastle this weekend

The Red Arrow's BAE Hawk on display in Donard Park
The Red Arrow's BAE Hawk on display in Donard Park
Newry, Mourne and Down Chairman Mark Murnin beside a Sopwith 7F.1 Snipe biplane flown in World War One, which will be on display in the RAF village.
L-R, Emily Gargan, Rachel McHugh, Abbie Connor, Maisie Welsh-Herron, Ciar Mackin, F-Devyn McHugh
Newry, Mourne and Down Council Chairman Mark Murnin chats with Bob Calvert, who served as a RAF radio operator in World War Two, beside a Red Arrows BAE Hawk.

This Saturday will see the return of the much-anticipated Festival of Flight sponsored by Rockwell Collins, over the shores of Newcastle in scenic County Down.

Known to be one of the favourite events in the summer calendar, Festival of Flight will feature a stunning airborne display, led by the Red Arrows and complemented by FREE family fun events including an Aviation Village, Food Village, and Live Music in Castle Park.

Sopsworth Snipe.jpg
Sopsworth Snipe
The RAF100 STEM and Youth Zone will concentrate on innovation in the world of aviation in a bid to encourage young people to explore the world of aerospace. There will also be the opportunity for the public to get up close to iconic aircraft from the RAF’s 100-year history and immerse themselves in technology progressions in aeronautics. The aircraft tour will be in Donard Park.

All areas are available to visit for free on Friday 10th, Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th August.

A uniquely designed RAF100 Flypast App is downloadable for mobile phones and tablets. As the RAF have chosen Newcastle, Northern Ireland for their 100th year celebrations, bespoke elements have been designed specifically for the Festival of Flight.  It gives the user the opportunity to view a Red Arrows flypast in Augmented Reality, collect and store 3D models of aircrafts and reveal stories and information about each aircraft. The app is available to download NOW on both Apple and Google Play app stores. Click here to download - RAF100 AR Flypast

Rachel McHugh & Mark Murnin, Chairman of Newry Mourne and Down.jpg
Rachel McHugh and Mark Murnin Chairman of Newry Mourne and Down

Things you need to know:

1. Parking:

During Festival of Flight, Castle Park will be closed from 6am on Friday 10 August to facilitate the Aviation Village & Food Village. Public parking will be available at Downs Road, Higher Donard Park, Bryansford Road, Causeway Road; Harbour car park; Main Street, Railway Street and Shimna Road, with disabled parking concentrated at Newcastle Visitor Information Centre, Donard Park and Glen River car park. This year there will also be parking available at SERC. Motor home parking will also be at Higher Donard car park.

Drivers are requested to adhere to all parking restrictions in place, including temporary “No waiting” cones, to ensure the safe flow of traffic throughout the day and are advised to allow additional time to travel to/from Newcastle due to the increased volume of traffic on the roads.

2. Park & Ride:

Visitors are encouraged to use the free Park & Ride facility this weekend, which will operate from the designated Northfield parking site located on the A50 Castlewellan Road.

The site will be signposted with temporary yellow event signs and a free park & ride shuttle bus service will operate between the Park & Ride site and the town between 9am - 9pm.

3. Travel with Translink:

Make smart moves to Newcastle Festival of Flight and enjoy stress free summer travel either by using Translink’s special Family and Friends ticket offering unlimited bus and rail day travel across NI for up to 2 adults and 4 children or the free shuttle bus aimed at keeping people and traffic flowing before, during and after the event.

4. Drones are banned:

Spectators are warned that the use of drones is strictly prohibited. The use of drones between 1pm – 6pm. If a drone is detected in the area, all display flying will stop immediately.

Mark Murnin and RAF rep Paul Sanger-Davies.jpg
Newry, Mourne and Down Chairman Mark Murnin and RAF representative Paul Sanger-Davies, in front of the Eurofighter Typhoon, which will be on display in the RAF village.
Visitors are urged to pay close attention to PSNI and Marshalls’ directions and to obey all beach signs.

Spectators should not approach the water’s edge at low tide as that will force aircraft out to sea and spoil everyone’s enjoyment.

And for those planning a stroll into Newcastle from Murlough Beach please set-off early, as the beach area from Murlough Beach to Newcastle will close before the event.

For more information visit


From Belfast Telegraph

Back to top