Warren McConnaughieElizabeth BirtleyTim Rickerby
read more about the authors
Blog ethics

Magnificent 7 weeks of Summer remaining – FACT!

Posted on September 14, 2010 @ 11:01 AM in Adventure

As I sit writing this blog, the rain is bouncing off the window, the wind is howling outside and the winter depression is starting to kick in.

But then I quickly banish those thoughts as I realise I am still sun burnt from sailing at the weekend and more importantly there are officially 7 weeks of summer left.

In many people’s minds the summer comes to an end when ever the schools go back at the start of September but British Summer Time doesn’t end until the last Sunday in October.  This means there are 7 weeks of summer left – so we don’t need to go into hibernation just yet.

The question is what is there to do in the ‘Magnificent 7’ weeks remaining?

The answer is a challenging one. Challenging because we are all under pressure to get everything fitted in before the summer comes to an end. Whether it is days out or weekends away there are still a huge range of options available.

Weekends Away

Troglodyte Weekend
Corralea Activity Centre, Belcoo, County Fermanagh

 Don your helmet, boiler suit and caving lamp to explore underground Fermanagh under the guidance of a qualified instructor, then relax in the evening in a lakeside self-catering cottages.

Wilderness Trip
Action Outdoors, Strangford Lough, County Down

Spend the day exploring the picturesque Strangford Lough Canoe Trail by canoe and then spend the night on Salt Island in a refurbished National Trust Cottage.

Lough Erne Canoe Rally
Holiday Village, Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh

A competitive canoeing event were the fun gets in the way.  This team events on the Lough Erne Canoe Trail combines several disciplines of canoeing but the most points are scored for the fancy dress! Need we say more?!

Family Adventure Break
The Adventure Team, Gortin, County Tyrone

A weekend of Adventure, great food, traditional bunk room (or private cottage) accommodation and lots of activity to keep you going! Activities include archery, orienteering, family fortunes and mountain biking.


Days Out


Strangford Sea Safari
Clearsky Adventure Centre, Strangford, County Down

A fantastic opportunity to experience Strangford Lough as never before aboard a high speed RIB. Guaranteed enjoyment as you take in seal colonies, whirlpools and Angus Rock lighthouse.

Cave Day
Corralea Activity Centre, Belcoo, County Fermanagh

Don your helmet, boiler suit and caving lamp to explore underground Fermanagh under the guidance of a qualified instructor.

Full Moon Paddle Power for Adults
Clearsky Adventure Centre, Castle Ward, Downpatrick, County Down

Enjoy the beauty of Strangford Lough from a completely new perspective, under the glistening light of a full moon.  No experience is required for this evening session.

I’m sure you will agree – there is no need to get depressed just yet. Just remember there are a ‘Magnificent 7’ weeks of summer left.


Latest comment posted by GoGetAdventure on November 4, 2010 @ 5:59 PM

There are some great activity ideas here. You could also try www.gogetadventure.com for some more great activity ideas. Read more >

Chris Scott
Chris Scott

When not boring everyone about his little kids’ latest antics, Chris enjoys sailing and cycling, if only to offset his love of eating out and Marlborough Cabernet Sauvignon..

Tips for Buying a Cycle Helmet

Posted on September 1, 2010 @ 1:42 PM in Cycling

Buying a bike is a good time to buy a helmet which is so important to protect you and your child’s head. There are many types, colours and brands of helmets as well as the price range, from £7/8 to hundreds. A helmet is advisable but not compulsory in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland, so here are a few reasons why we should wear them...

  • Evidence shows that 35%-40% of children taken to hospital after a cycling accident have head injuries
  • Wearing a helmet can reduce head injuries by 88%
  • Wearing a helmet can reduce facial injuries by 65%

A lot of helmets are made of EPS foam with a thin plastic shell. The shell helps the helmet skid easily on rough pavement to avoid jerking your neck. The shell also holds the foam together after the first impact. Some excellent helmets are made by moulding foam in the shell rather than adding the shell later.

A few things to think about when buying a helmet…I feel you should:

  • Take it out of the box and try it on if possible
  • Make sure there are plenty ventilation holes to keep you cool in warm weather, but not too many as this can reduce the protection
  • If possible buy a helmet with an adjustment at the back of the head as this will give a much better fit
  • A visor sometimes comes separate from the helmet, this is important as it protects your face in a fall. It is easily attached to the helmet.
  • Rigid visors can snag or shatter in a fall
  • Narrow straps can be uncomfortable
  • Dark helmets are difficult for motorists to see
  • Don’t buy a helmet which is too big for your child as it will not sit properly on their head
  • If possible get a helmet with a buckle which locks on the straps coming down around the ears, as the ones without the lock move about
  • A sticker inside the helmet tells you what standard it meets
  • Replace any helmet if you crash. Impact crushes some of the foam and the damage may not be visible.
  • The helmet should sit level on your head and cover as much as possible. Above all, with the strap fastened you should not be able to get the helmet off your head by pulling or twisting. If it comes off or slips enough to leave large areas of your head unprotected, adjust the straps again or try another helmet.
  • Keep the strap comfortably snug when cycling

Look out for more tips from Mary on cycling safety. For more information on Pedal Right and its services please click here.

Latest comment posted by Pedals Cycling on November 18, 2010 @ 6:36 AM

All nice tips. I would really agree on the ventilation holes. Having a cycling helmet is important however, a cyclist must not rely his total safety upon it. A biker with a helmet but doesn't ... Read more >

Mary Kelly
Mary Kelly  Proprietor of Pedal Right

Mary is the proprietor of Pedal Right, a cycling school which teaches children and adults how to cycle safely. She is a mother and a grandmother who always had an interest in cycling. A few years ago she was made redundant and had the opportunity to train as a cycling instructor. Since then she has been travelling around the North West of Ireland working mainly in schools teaching children how to cycle safely.

She also spends alot of her time walking with her miniature Jack Russell around the lovely beaches in Buncrana and the surrounding countryside.

Northern Ireland's Outdoor Adventure Blog outdoorni.com walkni.com cycleni.com canoeni.com