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Top 9 Unique Gift Ideas for Christmas

Posted on December 6, 2012 @ 3:55 PM in Adventure

Fed up of giving (and even worse getting) the same old stuff again for Christmas? To make sure this doesn’t happen this year we’ve put together a list of some unusual gift ideas that are sure to get any recipient excited! 

Surprise your friends or loved ones with an activity gift experience and this will be one present that definitely won’t be put in a drawer and forgotten about.

All the gift experiences are valid for 10 months so once the excitement of Christmas has come and gone you’re friends, family and loved ones will have something to look forward to.  So forget the socks, ties, bubble bath and chocolates it’s time for some fresh inspiration…    


Northern Ireland Experience Days

Hot Tubs and Zorbing

The Jungle NI, Magherafelt, Co. Londonderry

The perfect combination of adrenaline and relaxation this is definitely a gift with a difference!  The experience includes 2 zorbing rolls which involves climbing inside a giant inflatable ball and hurtling at high speeds down a hill as well as a session in the Jungle NI’s outdoor hot tubs where you can relax, unwind and reminisce about your adrenaline pumping experience.

Glamping Adventure Break

Clearsky Adventure Centre, Castle Ward, Co. Down

Everyone loves the chance to get away from it all and this one night glamping experience is perfect for adventure loving couples or families.  A minibreak with a difference spend the night under the stars in the quirky new camping pods and experience the great outdoors without having to put up a tent!  With bike hire included it will then be time to hit the trails at Castle Ward, the fun doesn’t stop there however as the voucher also includes an archery or canoeing session – it’s quite literally the gift that keeps on giving! 

Try a Dive in the Sea

Aquaholics Dive School, Portstewart, Co. Londonderry

You don’t have to travel to tropical climes to have a go at scuba diving, give someone the opportunity to try something completely new and discover a whole other side to the North Coast. Perfect for anyone who’s ever wanted to have a go this three hour session will include a safety briefing and instruction from a fully qualified PADI instructor.


Various Locations

Guaranteed to give anyone the ultimate adrenaline rush, this unforgettable activity will involve swimming in the sea, scrambling over rocks and experiencing the thrill of cliff jumping.  Wearing sturdy footwear, wetsuits, buoyancy aids and helmets, travel along some of Northern Ireland’s most spectacular sections of coastline during this exhilarating combined rock and water activity.

Rathlin Island Sea Tour

Portrush Sea Tours, Portrush, Co. Antrim

A fantastic way to explore the breath taking Causeway Coast, the sea tour takes place aboard a Stormforce 11 RIB (rigid inflatable boat) for an exhilarating, fast yet comfortable trip across the water.  A whole host of sights will be visited including the Giant’s Causeway, the Skerries, the historic Dunluce Castle, White Park Bay, Ballintoy and the famous Carrick-a-rede rope bridge.  There will also be an opportunity to stop on Rathlin Island to explore the island’s seal colony, lighthouse, puffin sanctuary and Bruce's Cave. 

Caving Experience

Corralea Activity Centre, Belcoo, Co. Fermanagh

A unique and exhilarating session with a qualified and experienced cave leader this is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience.  Venturing into the underground world of Fermanagh equipped with oversuit, helmet and lights there will be an opportunity to explore either a wet or dry cave, walking, crawling and squeezing through passages to places you never knew existed!

Northern Ireland Experience Days

Wild Mountain Time

Far and Wild, Sperrins or Fermanagh

A hiking experience with a difference this outdoor session involves a full day out in the wilderness with a fully qualified and professional guide. Making use of local knowledge, remote glens and fascinating wildlife will be discovered on this one to one session. The experience is tailored to each individual making this a truly unique gift.

Stand Up Paddleboarding

Vairous Locations

The latest craze to hit Northern Irish waters SUP beginner sessions are a great way to learn Stand Up Paddleboarding and the perfect opportunity to try something completely new.  Within the taster lesson the safety, warm up and four basic steps to SUP will be covered to have anyone standing up and paddling like a pro in no time.

Segway Off Road Adventure

Segway NI, Craigavon Lakes, Co. Armagh

These two wheeled tilt mobiles are anything but ordinary!  A completely different way to discover the countryside, this experience involves piloting your very own Segway on a guided off road adventure.   Learn how to skillfully negotiate obstacles on a fun skills course before heading out for some two wheeled off road fun.

Make sure you check out our Christmas Gift voucher section for even more unique gift ideas for your friends and loved ones this Christmas.


Sarah Nelson
Sarah Nelson  Marketing Officer

Sarah joined the marketing team of Outdoor Recreation NI in 2011. A firm believer in giving anything a go at least once (unless it involves jumping out of a plane at 6,000ft!) she is always looking for new adventures in the outdoors and can often be found wandering the Mournes or Glens of Antrim attempting not to get lost!

Winter Walking on the Beach

Posted on December 5, 2012 @ 1:14 PM in WalkingBeaches

Northern Ireland’s beaches are amazing places to visit in the summer when the sun is shining and the days are long but the winter time can be an even better time to take a trip to the seaside because of the fact that you can walk for miles without meeting another soul!

Beach Northern Ireland

As you stroll along the sandy beaches of Northern Ireland in winter, take in the amazing 360 degree views, feel the blustery wind in your hair, take a moment to watch the surfers make their moves, build some sand castles, practice your photography skills or watch out for the winter wildlife that may make an appearance. Just be sure to wrap up warm!

After a long breezy day on the beach, there’s only one thing that will finish the day off perfectly and that’s a hot drink for warming the belly…so listed below are a number of beaches that have café or restaurant facilities close by to service this very need.

So what are you waiting for?!

  • Benone Strand, Co. Londonderry – stretches for over 7 miles from Downhill to Magilligan Point. This beach is a blue flag beach with amazing views along the North Coast, to Inishowen in Donegal and to Scotland.
  • Carnlough Beach, Co. Antrim – has a serene and idyllic atmosphere and is at the foot of the famous Glens of Antrim if you fancy some additional walking in the hills.
  • Crawfordsburn Beach, Co. Down - approximately 0.7 kilometres in length this beach comprises of sand with a rocky shoreline at either end and is only a 20 minute drive from Belfast.
  • Murlough Beach, Co. Down - a wide flat sandy beach with a 2m wide pebble ridge providing amazing views of the Mourne Mountains in the distance.
  • Tyrella Beach, Co. Down - a small enclosed beach and dune complex within Dundrum Bay comprising of a wide flat sandy beach, 2km long and backed by 25 hectres of mature dunes.

There’s no better way to get away from all the hype surrounding Christmas than to schedule a lazy winter day on the beach during the festive period…it certainly beats scrambling around the shops to find last minute presents or helping Gran complete her crosswords when she comes to stay for Christmas!

Beach Northern Ireland

For more detailed information on all beaches in Northern Ireland including their facilities, activities and events, please visit


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Beverley Magowan
Beverley Magowan  Senior Marketing Officer

Beverley used to be a keen horse rider but since joining a local cycle club in 2013 she has developed a passion for 2 wheels instead of 4 hoofs! Meaning she can often be found on a bike exploring the roads across the country!

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