Chris ScottSinéad KennedyMickey Regan
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Get Ready to Get Wet in 2021!

Posted on May 20, 2021 @ 4:50 PM in AdventureCanoeingBeachesLocal Outdoors

Get Wet NI


The average person would have jumped at any opportunity to get outdoors in a fun setting this time last year, let alone doing it with other people and the ability to learn a new skill! Covid-19 has fundamentally shifted our relationship with the outdoors and created a new appreciation for the ability to do things, to enjoy ourselves and savour life.

It is the perfect time then, to GetWet – a campaign intended to introduce people to watersports in a fun and educational way. GetWetNI kicks off from the end of May with a series of free or much reduced cost taster events throughout Northern Ireland, and will run throughout the remainder of the summer. Below, we’ve listed just a few of the ones we think you might be interested in! But feel free to check them all out on our website,

Girls in Angling

Camowen Community Anglers are running a free session on angling at Altmore Fishery in Co. Tyrone on Sunday 30th May.


All equipment is provided for you on the day, you just need to bring your own wellies and waterproof gear. Better still, the organisers are running a competition and have prizes to be won throughout the day! If you’re interested in attending, it runs between 11am and 3pm; just drop them an email to

Quoile Yacht Club Taster Events

The Quoile Yacht Club in Downpatrick are running multiple taster events that include dinghy sailing, paddle boarding, canoeing, and cruising. If this doesn’t get you excited, we’re not sure what will! The day is suitable for anyone from the age of 8 up (with under 16s requiring a parent or guardian to be present), and will be lead by qualified instructors.

Again, this event is completely free so you’ll never have a better opportunity to experience these incredible watersports than this. Sessions run between 11am and 12:30pm, 12:30pm and 2pm and 2pm and 3:30pm, and you’ll be able to speak to members and officers of the club throughout the day as well.

To get involved in the day, simply email and indicate your preferred session time, how many people are in your party and if any are under 18 and provide a contact mobile number for yourself.


Sculling for Water Enthusiasts

Lagan Scullers Club are offering the chance to try your hand (both hands actually, and your arms… also your legs) at rowing in the Lagan, again providing an amazing opportunity to both develop a new skill, get some good exercise in and also see Belfast from a completely different perspective.

A little bit of ‘water confidence’ is needed for this course as, to reduce physical proximity, you’ll be in a single boat, with a coach in another boat just alongside you to keep you right.

The sessions themselves are limited to only 4 places per day so the spots will book up fast. With only four places, it means you’ll be receiving a significant amount of training over the two hours (one of which you’ll spend in the water, the other out of the water). You’ll get to see the variety of boats on offer, try the rowing machine, learn the different rowing movements and then – how to control your boat on the water! These sessions are £10 and will run every Sunday throughout June. To book, email


Try Kayak Racing

Belfast Canoe Club are the only club in Northern Ireland currently offering tuition in the Olympic discipline of kayak racing. Running on Sunday 6th June and Wednesday 9th June, it’s a fast moving, exciting and energetic sport that the people who do it live for. You’ll not be tackling any rapids in this session though, don’t worry. Instead, you’ll be on the placid water of Lough Henney, outside Lisburn which is uniquely suitable for this sport.

During the session, you’ll learn the difference between kayaks and paddles used for racing and ‘normal’ kayaks; the principles of paddling fast as well as then an hour’s coaching on the water.

The training is open to everyone, but the club have advised that their equipment is generally not suitable for children under the age of 10. A maximum of 8 people can attend per session and competent paddlers and those interested in getting involved in racing will have the opportunity to join the club.

To book on, email with your choice of date.


Re-Discover Watersports at Cushendall Sailing and Boating Club

This is another extravaganza of different water sports discipline and absolutely not to be missed out on. CSBC are welcoming people to come along to try out sailing, standup paddleboarding, canoeing and sea swimming, all under the eye of qualified instructors and with all equipment supplied. The sessions will run across two days, on Friday 18th June and Saturday 19th June, between 6pm and 8pm both evenings and between 1pm and 3pm on the Saturday afternoon.

In addition to the fantastic watersports opportunities, there will also be a BBQ with firepits on the club patio on both evenings, and the clubhouse bar will be open.

If you’d like to book on, you can do it via the clubs website. Visit now! 

For more events, head to 

Kerry Kirkpatrick
Kerry Kirkpatrick  Assistant Marketing and Events Officer

A true North Coast water baby, happiest when on the beach.

Winners of the 2020 - 2021 MountainBikeNI Awards

Posted on May 6, 2021 @ 1:04 PM in Mountainbiking

Welcome to the MountainBikeNI Awards, sponsored by Chain Reaction Cycles!

It’s a wonderful time of year where we can celebrate the very best of mountain biking in Northern Ireland thanks to hundreds of votes across multiple categories, recognising different sectors of the industry. Despite a slight delay due to Covid-19, we now have the results. (Drum roll please…)

Crash of the Year

There He Goes is an apt name for this video. It cuts out quite suddenly - one because there was some colourful language, and secondly because the cameraman was (we assume) a good friend and stopped recording to rush to provide aid. We'll let the video do the talking here:


Favourite MTB Trail Centre in NI

Making history in the MountainBikeNI Awards, we have a tie! Both Castlewellan and the fresh faced newcomer Gortin Forest Park MTB Trails, were tied with the most votes in this category!

As things get back to normal it means you’ve even more reason to get the bike out and visit these two trail centres (as local Covid 19 restrictions allow; see current regulations for mountain biking here.)


Most Active MTB Club

The new category to the MTBNI Awards had a LOT of interest. The winner however ended up with a strong margin – congratulations Gortin MTB Club! If you don’t already, make sure to give them a follow as they showcase what Gortin has to offer.

Best MTB Event in 2020



(Though a special shout out to the one or two groups that did manage to run an event!)


Favourite MTB Trail Section in NI

It’s a triple whammy for the Stream Trail section at Davagh Forest, fighting off stiff competition from both the black trails in Castlewellan and some of the newer trails at Gortin Glen Forest Park.

Speed and fun are the order of the day if you haven’t ridden the Stream Trail before. Also, what the heck are you doing?! Go try it right now!


Favourite MTB Friendly Café

You guys seriously love Urban. Taking the crown in this category for a record breaking 4th year running, we totally understand why. The service, the quality and the location are all unbeatable.

Even more impressive this year, they’ve been open pretty much non stop since the first lockdown. Congratulations to all the team!


Favourite MTB-Friendly Accommodation in NI

Their first time appearing in the MountainBikeNI Awards, we're delighted to reveal that the winners are Sperinview Glamping! Located just a few minutes from the trails, the relatively new business is ideally located for mountain biking, enjoying the epic views of the Sperrins and, of course, is situated right beside the upcoming OM Dark Sky Observatory.

MountainBikeNI actually visited Sperrinview Glamping in 2019 - check out our blog on it here.

Thanks for following the MountainBikeNI Awards! The winner of the Chain Reaction Cycle sponsored competition was Warren Campbell:

Congratulations to him! Keep up to date with all the happenings in the mountain bike scene in Northern Ireland by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Ethan Loughrey
Ethan Loughrey  Mountain Bike Officer

Hardest thing about Mountain Biking? Definitely the trees.

Northern Ireland's Outdoor Adventure Blog