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Holiday Winter Warmers!!

Posted on December 23, 2014 @ 12:32 PM in Mountainbiking

If you’re riding Northern Ireland’s Mountain Bike Trails this holiday period, you’ll most likely be in need of a post-ride Winter Warmer to help with the ‘thawing out’ process! We thought we’d lend a hand by putting together some of our favourite MTB-Friendly pubs that’ll be sure to hit the spot!

This family run pub is located approx. 200 metres from the entrance of Castlewellan Forest Park and has an enclosed yard for bike storage and a gear room for your helmets, gloves and jackets etc. A favourite with local mountain bikers, you’ll always get a fantastic welcome at Maginns!

The Kilbroney
Located in the heart of Rostrevor village, the Kilbroney Bar & Restaurant welcomes mountain bikers with open arms serving up a range of lagers, stouts and ciders. The restaurant will also make up some take away lunches for long days out on the trails - this is a great spot!

The Mill Wheel Bar
This friendly local pub is located approx. 5 miles from the Davagh Forest Trails and hosts traditional music sessions most weekends. Food is served until 4pm Monday – Thursday and 10pm Friday – Sunday.

The Valley Hotel
Just minutes from the Blessingbourne Trails, this excellent family run hotel is located in the heart of Fivemiletown and boasts friendly staff, a cosy bar area and superb restaurant.

Visit MountainBikeNI.com for a full list of MTB-Friendly Places to Eat & Drink near each of Northern Ireland's mountain bike trail centres this Christmas & New Year! 

Chris Armstrong
Chris Armstrong  Mountain Bike Officer

Chris looks after all things mountain biking in Northern Ireland ...it's a tough job but someone's gotta do it!

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Posted on December 17, 2014 @ 4:50 PM in Walking

Winter often has the power to transform our landscapes.  From snow-capped mountains, to misty lakes and glittering frost there are many beautiful scenes waiting to be discovered. 

Whether you want to take a short dander along the banks of a frozen river or fancy embarking on a more adventurous snow-capped mountain ramble, Northern Ireland’s landscape is full of great walking opportunities that come into their own in the winter months.  As proof we’ve put together this photoblog showcasing some of Northern Irelands great walks in the winter season as sent to us by our WalkNI fans - thanks for submitting some great snaps!

Click on the links below for free downloadable route descriptions and maps to head out for your own winter walks. 

Mourne Mountains, Co. Down

There were too many fantastic photos for us to include here so make sure to check out the 'Snow Covered Mournes' Album on the WalkNI Facebook page for even more stunning shots from walkers. 

Barnett Demesne, Belfast, Co. Antrim

Barnett Demesne 

Gortmore to Hell's Hole, Co. Derry~Londonderry


Glenariff Forest Park, Co. Antrim

Glenariff Forest Park

Divis & the Black Mountain, Belfast Hills, Co. Antrim

Divis Mountain

Belfast Castle, Co. Antrim

Belfast Castle

Botanic Gardens, Co. Antrim

Botanic Gardens

Sperrins, Co. Derry~Londonderry/Co. Tyrone


Sperrin Mountains

Cuilcagh Way, Co. Fermanagh

Cuilcagh Way

Moyle Way, Co. Antrim

Moyle Way

Causeway Coast Way, Co. Antrim

Causeway Coast Way

Minnowburn and Giant's Ring, Belfast, Co. Antrim 


If you’re out walking over the festive period don’t forget to use #WalkNI on Twitter and Instagram or email s.nelson@outdoorrecreationni.com to share your winter walking snaps with us. 

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!

Christmas Gift Ideas for Her

Posted on December 5, 2014 @ 12:09 PM in Adventure

Still looking for the perfect gift for your mum, sister or other half?! Get her something completely different this Christmas and give her a thrilling activity experience she'll never forget...all while avoiding the busy shops! Check out some of our top picks for 2014:

Christmas Gift Ideas for Her

Rathlin Island Sea Tour, Portrush Sea Tours, Portrush, Co. Antrim

A fantastic boat tour around the fabulous North Coast and Rathlin Island. Experience the North Coast from a whole new perspective taking in spectacular sights from the sea including the Giant’s Causeway, the Skerries, the historic Dunluce Castle and much more!

The 'High Tea at Sea' voyage, Clearsky Adventure Centre, Strangford Lough, Co. Down

Arrange an afternoon tea with a difference! See the sights of Strangford Lough before stopping at a beautiful spot to enjoy a nice cup of tea and homemade scones. 

Segway Tour, Segway Express, Benone, Co. Derry~Londonderry 

Get ready to race along the beach on two wheels before taking in the historic sites of Benone! The ideal experience for those looking for something a bit different. 

Sunset Sail, Causeway Coast Sailing, Ballycastle, North Coast

Treat her in style with her own private yacht, head out toward Rathlin Island with friends to watch the sunset below the Atlantic Horizon. This is a fantastic way to take advantage of the views and includes a complementary glass of wine or coffee/tea. There will also be the opportunity to help sail the boat out into the bay.

Horse Riding Experience, Sheans Horse Farm, Armoy, North Coast

Saddle up and spend the afternoon trekking along the trails of the North Antrim Hills on horseback. Guided by an expert instructor she can enjoy 1½ hours of horse riding at her own level off road.

Hov a Go, Foyle Hovercrafting and Leisure, Limavady, Co. Derry~Londonderry
Experience the thrill of floating over the ground at speed.  After expert tuition take on fast straights and hairpin bends on the purpose built tracks on your very own hovercraft. 

Titanic Segway Tour, SegwayNI, Belfast

Guaranteed to be the most exciting sightseeing tour in Belfast, visit all the key sites where the famous Titanic was built and discover its fascinating history all whilst gliding along on your very own Segway!

Pod Glamping Adventure Package, Clearsky Adventure Centre, Castle Ward, Co. Down

Give a minibreak with a difference this year. Set in the heart of the spectacular Castle Ward Estate, enjoy a one night stay in the quirky heated camping pods, bike hire and a choice of an activity to do together from either archery or canoeing. Add an additional twist with the Game of Thrones Glamping Mini Break ideal for those who are fans of the show. Bed down for a night deep in the forests of ‘Winterfell’ before exploring the sprawling Demesne and its many filming location hotspots.

Rock Climbing for women, Far & Wild, Co. Derry~Londonderrry

The idea session for a woman looking to build her confidence and develop climbing technique. Whether she has climbed before or is new to the activity this women-specific session is designed to move at a pace that best suits her needs, accomplish her own personal challenges and quite literally reach new heights!

Tarzan Tree Top Adventure Course, The JungleNI, Moneymore, Co. Derry~Londonderry

Give her the opportunity to feel like Jane of the Jungle as she negotiates her way through 50 elements up to 40ft high including zip lines, bridges, scramble nets and a death defying powerfan descent. The Jungle NI's Adult Tree Top Adventure Course is sure to test his imagination and nerve! 

North Coast Sea Kayaking, Simply Sea Kayak, Co. Antrim

A fantastic opportunity to sample one of the iconic North Coast sea kayaking trails.  This truly unique experience includes a skills session and guided paddle, taking in the stunning views of the North Coast from the water and exploring locations only accessible by kayak!

Adventure Blast, Life Adventure Centre, Castlewellan, Co. Down

Combine two activities to make for a great day out. Hit the trails on a mountain bike and explore some of the 27.5km of green, blue and red grade trails before heading out in a kayak or canoe for a relaxing paddle on the lake. 

Try a Dive in the Sea, Aquaholics Dive Centre, Portstewart, Co. Antrim

This is one experience she will never forget as she explores the underwater world with Aquaholics and discovers a whole other side to the North Coast.

Diving Northern Ireland

For even more gift voucher experiences for her check out OutdoorNI.com

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Jayne Woodrow
Jayne Woodrow  Marketing Officer & Active Clubs Coordinator for Walking

Jayne joined the marketing team of Outdoor Recreation NI in March 2014. She oversees the marketing and communication on WalkNI, OutdoorNI and Walking in Your Community Project. Most recently she has been working with Parkrun Ireland & UK to introduce the 'Walk @ parkrun' initiative.

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