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Pirate ghost ship party at Exploris Aquarium From 28 October To 31 October


The sunken Pirate ship has risen from its watery depths this Hallowe’en and the Pirate ghosts are running wild at Exploris Aquarium. Come dressed in your scariest costume and chase these pesky ghoulish pirates back on to their ship.Don’t be scare, lots of spooky craic and activities for all you ghosts and ghouls.Check the Exploris website for more information.

Please note, events could be subject to change.

Opening times

10:00 – 18:00
Last admission 17:00

Game of Thrones Winterfell Festival – 24 September 2017

Winterfell Festival (002)

The National Trust invites you to step into the world of the Stark family at Castle Ward on Sunday 24 September 2017 for Northern Ireland’s very own Winterfell Festival.

This is a Ticketed Only Event, expecting to be a quick sell-out, so make sure to get the date in your diary. Click on the Book Now button or Visit National Trust – Winterfell Festival at Castle Ward

This one day festival is not to be missed! It’s an opportunity to discover the setting of the Stark family home, see first-hand theatrical re-enactments from the fantasy TV series, meet an actor from the show, watch spectacular games unfold in a mystical landscape and enjoy lively music, local food and much more.

Winterfell Festival promises to fully immerse Game of Thrones fans into George R. R. Martin’s mythical world of Westeros. Set within an 820 acre historic demesne on the shores of Strangford Lough – Westeros and Winterfell Festival await you.

King’s Tournament Games
Festival gates will open at 11:00 on 24 September and at 12 noon a fanfare will herald the arrival of the King’s procession as he visits House Stark at Winterfell for The King’s Tournament Games. Irish Arms, a historical reproduction company, will perform a series of medieval jousting shows on horseback throughout the day. Sword sparring, archery demonstrations, jesters and falcon flights will add to the atmosphere in the tournament ring where visitors will be able to feast on roast hog washed down with local cider.

Amongst the medieval themed stalls, armourer Boyd Rankin, who starred as Mikken in Game of Thrones will showcase a selection of the weapons he forged for the world famous TV series. Special guests will also include two of the original Stark family Direwolf dogs.

Experience life in Winterfell
The iconic Winterfell Tower House will be open throughout the day and fans can join Winterfell Tours on a skirmish to Audley’s Castle before having their very own green screen photo taken in the Winterfell Courtyard where the Stark family famously lined up for the King’s arrival. An interactive show and workshop with Shadow Puppets themed on Game of Thrones will take place in the historic courtyard and can be enjoyed by all.

Travellers will also be encouraged to walk down the Kingsroad to the Inn at the Crossroads where they can pull up a pew and listen to stories from A Song of Ice and Fire Series One being performed by Footsteps theatrical company, while dining on venison pie and ale.


Adult £22.50
Child (10-16 yrs) £10.00
Under 10 yrs Free
Family (2 Adults, 2 Children 10-16 yrs) £60.00

Otter Mayhem From 28 May To 29 May in Portaferry

Otter Over There !!

Portaferry, To celebrate World Otter day, Spring Bank Holiday and Ards and North Down Puppet festival we our combining the three events into one big Otter Mayhem 2-day Event, taking place on Sunday 28th and Monday 29th May.

The fun begins at the Front of House where you’ll be given your welcome pack full of all the fishy goings on what’s happening that day, it will also include a Quiz like no “Otter” so pens and pencils at the ready.

As you begin your journey you’ll swim through our Viking Shores to the Tropical Beaches, flowing into our pirate’s cave for an underwater viewing experience on your exciting aquatic learning experience where you will meet our fin-tastic Exploris entertainer who will be roaming around the Aquarium.
On Sunday 29th Little Gem Puppets Production of the Three Little Pigs will be showing at 12pm and 2pm. An interactive, fun show that engages all audiences – You otter not miss it!!

Travel through to the outdoor seal sanctuary, where you’ll learn about our successful seal rehabilitation program.

(*Please note all seal have been successfully be released at this time- keep an eye on our social media pages for updates on rescues.)

Float on down to meet our stars of the event; our Small-Clawed Asian otter family where you’ll learn lots of interesting Otter facts (Otter quiz tip) Check-in to our social Media accounts for a 360 view and live stream of inside our otter holt. Otter feeding times are not to be missed! Drifting upstairs to get up close and personal with our reptilian friends. Our constrictor pals will be out on display during set times throughout the day. Get as close as you can get without getting wet with our native animals during our open pool demonstration throughout the day.

Throughout the day get messy in our Crabby Crafts Club with themed Otter puppet arts and crafts and make the day memorable with our mer-mazing face painter.

Fish-ally relax after a fun filled day and enjoy the amazing food and beverages in the Craken Café.

It will be an event like no Otter!

Exploris, Northern Ireland’s only Aquarium and seal sanctuary re-opened in August 2016 and to date we have welcomed an amazing 100,000+ visitors from home and abroad but we are continuing to develop and enhance our visitor experience with the opening of our new soft play area to an extensive Craken Café menu, for breakfast, lunch, coffees and treats with lots of goodies for the kids to eat!

Performance Times – 10:00 – 18:00

#LoveExplorisNI #worldotterday

Biggerféis Ardglass 26 – 29 May 2017

View of Ardglass

Ardglass, Downpatrick, Friday 26th:

The festival opens with a speech and piper at Jordan’s Castle at 7pm. This will recreate the opening of the castle in 1911. Followed by a guest talk on Francis Joseph Bigger and his revolutionary friends and connections to the Howth Gun Runners at Ardglass Golf Club at 7:30pm (cost £2). The evening rounds off with traditional musical entertainment in The Old Commercial Bar.

Saturday 27th:

On Saturday morning at 11am, a clifftop folklore walk leaves Curran’s Bar and will travel through a landscape loved by Bigger. This includes a lunch of local specialities (Tickets are £20). In the afternoon, a free talk will take place on the history of Ardglass with a local historian at 4pm. At Ardglass Golf Club in the evening a guest talk will be given by Roger Dixon from National Museums NI at 7:30pm. The topic will be the contribution of Francis Joseph Bigger to the heritage of Ulster, including many sites on the Saint Patrick’s Trail (cost £2). Evening entertainment will follow at Curran’s Bar from 10pm.

Sunday 28th:

On Sunday afternoon at 2:30pm tours of Ardglass will be available with the Harbourmaster and historian. Leaving from the Saint Nicholas’ Church in Kildare Stree, this includes many who called Ardglass home (cost £10). This is followed at 4pm by a bi-lingual talk in Jordan’s Castle given by BBC reporter Kevin Magee.

Monday 29th:

Monday will see Jordan’s Castle open to the public from 1:30. The final event is a luxurious coach tour which will leave from Ardglass at 3pm and explore the sites restored by Bigger. The sites included are Saint Patrick’s Grave, Down County Museum, Raholp Church, Chapeltown, and Ardtole Church. This returns to Ardglass for a meal of local delicacies at 6pm in Doyle’s Bistro (Tickets cost £20). Book at: https://

Contact Details: Ardglass Development Association
Duane Fitzsimons

Tel: 0783544193

Visit Strangford

Activities such as kayaking, fishing and sailing are popular on the Lough, and for the more adventurous the sea safari or canoe trails are a real treat. Activities on land include walking and cycle trails, golf, bird watching and horse riding.

There are also many fascinating attractions to be explored and enjoyed. Spend an afternoon at one of the two National Trust properties in the area, Mount Stewart House and Gardens or Castle Ward, which has mountain bike trails in its grounds. Stately homes and stunning gardens are prominent in the area, largely due to the sub-tropical micro-climate around the Strangford Lough area.

Delamont Country Park offers waymarked walks, a miniature railway and the Millennium or Strangford Stone – the largest megalith in Ireland and Britain – while the large collection of native and exotic water birds and wildlife at the tranquil Castle Espie Wetland Centre offers an amazing outdoor learning experience.

Inch Abbey (Game of Thrones fame)

is steeped in Christian heritage sites, the area forms part of the Saint Patrick’s driving trail – indeed the area to the south east of the Lough around Downpatrick is commonly known as Saint Patrick’s Country due to is close links with the saint and is known the world over as the burial place of Saint Patrick.

With over 150 attractions of all kinds in the area, Strangford Lough is just waiting to be explored.

Why not discover Strangford along with a weekend or a mid-week break at Number 42 Strangford visit for availability and rates.

Winter at Winterfell

Winterfell has Dark Hedges too!
Winterfell has Dark Hedges too!

Castle Ward, County Down, and its lands were home to House Stark before the Boltons’ seige. Here, you’ll find the crenelated 16th century ruin that doubled as Winterfell and its courtyard. Not far away is Audley’s Field on the shore of Strangford Lough. This is exactly where Jaime was captured – and released.

Enjoying the Winterfell sunshine are visitors from Austria on a Game Of Thrones location tour – nice outfit guys!!

Visitors from Austria at Winterfell (AKA Castleward Strangford)
Visitors from Austria at Winterfell (AKA Castleward Strangford)

Happy Halloween from Number 42 Self Catering at Strangford

There’s something strange happening at the Downpatrick & County Down Railway this Halloween. There’s ghosts on the platforms and ghouls on the train, it can only be the return of the Phantom Flyer for the railway’s Halloween Ghost Trains!
There’s something strange happening at the Downpatrick & County Down Railway this Halloween. There’s ghosts on the platforms and ghouls on the train, it can only be the return of the Phantom Flyer for the railway’s Halloween Ghost Trains!

Bake off........check out Claire's hand work!1
Bake off……..check out Claire’s hand work!1