Top ten ideas for family fun and unusual days out with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency
Explore the natural beauty and rich history of Northern Ireland with days out and events for the whole family at country parks, historic monuments and nature reserves.
Watch history come to life and learn about times gone by with archaeology demonstrations, historic re-enactments and medieval fairs at some of Northern Ireland’s most iconic buildings and monuments.
For one weekend only, get inside some of Northern Ireland’s most spectacular buildings and properties as part of European Heritage Open Days.
Experience the best of our beautiful countryside and wildlife at a country park or nature reserve. Enjoy events including bat nights and bird walks, seal watching, photography and painting workshops and guided nature walks and talks in stunning locations.
For more wonderful days out with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, click here.
1. Carrickfergus Castle
For more than 800 years, Carrickfergus Castle has been an imposing monument on the Northern Ireland landscape whether it is approached by land, sea or air. Visit on selected dates throughout August and September to see history brought alive at Carrickfergus Castle.
2. Nature Reserves
Enjoy events and stunning scenery at many of our nature reserves, which allow you to experience Northern Ireland’s exceptional beauty and biodiversity.
3. Derry City Walls
A walk around the historic walls reveals a splendid city crammed full of history, heritage, interest and a vibrant cultural scene. New visitor information including an information guide and a smartphone app to be launched in September add to the overall visitor experience.
4. Living History
How would you like to learn what it was like to do battle in the 16 Century? Or how monks tended to their abbeys? Come along to one of our living history events at our many historic sites and monuments to find out.
5. Good food doesn’t cost the earth – Crawfordsburn Country Park
On Sunday 13 October we will be showcasing local and organic produce and giving advice on how you can start growing your own. This day promises tasty treats and helpful hints about how to love food and hate waste. There will be cookery demonstrations, produce to sample and buy with plenty of entertainment to keep the whole family amused.
6. European Heritage Open Days
On 14 and 15 September, hundreds of buildings across Northern Ireland will open their doors for free as part of European Heritage Open Days. This popular celebration of our built heritage is your chance to see inside many buildings that aren’t normally open to the public and also includes many one-off special events.
7. Dunluce Castle
This stunning medieval castle is located close to a headland that plunges straight into the sea along the North Antrim coast. Various events bringing history alive at Dunluce will take place on selected Saturdays in August and September
8. Castle Archdale Country Park
Numerous nature trails, Lough side and woodland walks and cycle trails run throughout this beautiful country park which is located on the shores of lower Lough Erne.
9. Apple Day at Peatlands Park
Celebrate the humble apple and its wonderful diversity at this well loved event at Peatlands Park on Sunday 20 October. Family fun day with entertainment and activities and free rides on the ‘Orchard Express’ train.
10. Ness Country Park
In the steep, wooded Glen of the Burntollet River, south-west of Derry~Londonderry, lies Ness Country park. Fifty five hectares of mixed woodland along with open parkland make up the Park which extends along both sides of the Burntollet River.