5 Cracking Days out this Easter
Nestled right along the edge of Lough Neagh, Ballyronan Marina stands out as one of the most accessible locations to experience the lough from. With a great range of activities and facilities to keep the family entertained and all for free, it’s the perfect place to spend your Easter weekend at. For parents bringing young children to the site there’s lot’s to keep them entertained with including a play park, sand pit and of course, lots of ducks to feed. For older generations the stand out is the walk along the breakwater and through the small woodland. It is a small walk but it is one worth visiting regularly to enjoy the woodland wildlife as well as the loughs diverse variety of birds.
The site includes a good range of facilities cover all of your regular needs including bathrooms, a caravan park and ample parking. The two minute walk into Ballyronan village will cover the rest of visitors needs with a shop, pub and chippy. Ballyronan Marina is perfect for a simple and inexpensive day out at Easter.
If you’re in the area on Monday 17th April, why not bring your kids to the Easter Monday Fun Day? It’s free!
Antrim Castle Gardens:
Hidden quietly in the middle of Antrim Town, Antrim Castle Gardens is a fantastic treasure filled with enticing sights, sounds and history. The wonderful gardens are perfect for a Sunday morning walk out with family, with the ground stretching to include walks through their community garden, events pavilion and wooded walks around the gardens. For those interested in the history of the site, there are fantastic remnants of the parks past with an ancient motte, italianate tower, castle ruins and much more to keep even the most inquisitive of visitors happy. The site provides a good range of facilities including toilets and a cafe with the nearby Antrim Forum providing a great opportunity for families looking for even more fun.
For those with kids on Friday 21st April the site will be host to a Kids N Castles event, it’s free and well worth checking out.
One of the lesser known sites around Lough Neagh, Ballance House consistently delivers fantastic and diverse events that celebrate the house’s history and it’s ties to New Zealand’s history. The House’s prominence is a result of the house being the birthplace of the 14th Premier of New Zealand, John Ballance. This strong link to New Zealand’s political past is used as a springboard by the Ulster New Zealand Trust to celebrate the culture of New Zealand. This is a perfect evening out for anyone with an interest in learning about and experiencing other cultures and with the various displays and exhibitions on show, there is plenty to enjoy here.
As part of their diverse range of events, Ballance House is hosting a Spring Fair on May 6th including lots of New Zealand favourites, don’t miss out.
Lough Neagh Discovery Centre
Opened in 1993, the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre is home to a great variety of walks on the southern shores of Lough Neagh and around the nearby wooded areas. The area is a fantastic choice for nature lovers with the wide range of wildlife that frequents the centre and the nearby environments. Visiting the centre is sure to be a treat for little ones as it’s a fairly regular to see plenty of ducks in the area may of which are happy to rest mere feet from passersby. The Lough Neagh Discovery Centre is host to a useful information centre which can help direct you to any of the fantastic nearby facilities and activity providers as well as this, the centre offers a fantastic Cafe with great views out towards Lough Neagh. Bathroom facilities are also provided with the centre.
During Easter weekend Oxford Island will be host to an Easter Trail, with Sheets available for £1 from the reception area, perfect to keep the kids entertained this Easter.
Ecos Nature Park:
A renowned spot to enjoy nature from, the Ecos Nature Park in Ballymena is perfect to enjoy a quiet and relaxing Easter day out. Ecos Nature Park is home to a range of Bird Species including lapwing, sky lark and snipe offering great pickings for any bird watchers in the area. Along with the birds, the park is also home to a wide range of butterflies and insect life that call the meadows and surrounding lands home. With the great diversity in plant and wildlife that the park possesses, it’s a great place to come and see some of the rarer and harder to find animal species in Northern Ireland.
For those who love helping nature, visit the Beelicious Big Bee Event at Ecos Nature Park on the 22nd April.
Visit our website for further information about Lough Neagh & Its Waterways: discoverloughneagh.com