Summer starts here

April 24, 2013

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May Day traditionally marks the end of Spring and beginning of Summer and we for one cannot wait to welcome the summer! Why not celebrate the start of summer with a great day out, a concert, family fun or an outdoor adventure this bank holiday weekend. It’s all happening right on your doorstep…check out some of our highlights taking place across northern Ireland.


Rostrevor Mountain Bike Festival

4th – 6th May – Rostrevor

Rostrevor Mountain Bike Festival 2013 commences on 4th until 6th May in Rostrevor Forest, a fantastic location for Mountain Biking with some of the best scenery – out of the forest and into the mountains.

Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival

2nd – 12th May – Belfast

Music legends Adam Ant and Dexys are amongst the big music headliners for the festival. Northern Ireland’s most dynamic and exciting arts festival returns on the 2-12 May to transform Belfast’s city centre with a beguiling riot of live music, comedy, spoken word, visual arts and a host of other eclectic treats. Other acts this year include the likes of DJ Yoda, Amadou and Mariam, Lucy Rose, The Fall, Mary Gauthier, British Sea Power, Neil Cowley Trio, Nathan Fake, Angel Olsen, And So I Watch You From Afar. There’s a great line-up of comedy also on the bill including Andrew Maxwell, Daniel Kitson, Richard Herring, Mark Thomas and Sean Hughes. Get the full line-up here:

Festival of Fools

2nd – 6th May – Belfast

The streets of Belfast City Centre and Cathedral Quarter will come alive for five days to the sound of laughter and the sight of acrobatics, music and comedy as the Festival of Fools celebrates 10 years of coordinated comedic chaos. From 2 – 6 May, artists from around the world will be coming to perform at one of Belfast’s most popular events – the annual street theatre festival celebrating the international language of laughter.

Jamboree in the Park

3rd – 5th May – Fintona, Co. Tyrone

This May bank holiday weekend sees the return of the Jamboree in the Park in The Ecclesville centre in Fintona, this is one of Ireland’s largest indoor county music festivals. Headline acts for 2013 include Nathan Carter, Derek Ryan and More Power To Your Elbow. Live acts and country DJs will provide entertainment from 7.30pm all 3 nights right through until the early hours. So why not dust off your dancing shoes this bank holiday weekend, car parking is free and food and drink will be available on site.

City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival

2nd – 6th May, Various Venues, Derry-Londonderry

Venues throughout the city will be packed to the rafters as music fans flock to catch some of the biggest names in jazz, blues, jive, swing and dance, in what has become Ireland’s biggest jazz extravaganza. Headliners include Soul Rebels (New Orleans), who have been described by Rolling Stones Magazine as ‘Utterly uninhibited hip-hop hybrid, not to be missed’ and play The Nerve Centre on the opening night (Thursday 2nd May). The Overtones will perform in the Millennium Forum on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th of May. The Playhouse Theatre will become the weekend home to some of the hottest names on the Irish jazz scene at the moment. From Thursday 2nd – Monday 6th the intimate surroundings of this venue will be filled with the sounds of the Dark Energy Trio, David Lyttle & Jason Rebello, John Leighton, Louis Stewart with Gay McIntyre and the Paul McIntyre Trio.

Grand Vintage Ball

4th May -  The Venue, Derry-Londonderry

It’s time to don your best vintage threads, put your dancing shoes on and throw some impressive shapes at the Grand Vintage Ball. The Venue 2013 gets a lavish makeover in homage to the city’s cultural and social past, revisiting the music, styles, trends and fashions of the 1920s-1960s. Glamour, great music, dancing and fun are guaranteed as you jive, waltz and quickstep the night away. During the day, vintage enthusiasts and casual admirers of all things retro can browse the Vintage Fair and sample the food, fashion, design, music and culture of bygone day.


Apple Blossom Fair

4th May, Louhgall Park, Co. Armagh

The Orchard County of Armagh – with the picturesque village of Loughgall at its heart – is widely known for its apple growing tradition. The annual Apple Blossom Fair is a chance to sample different apple produce and enjoy the rural ambience. Each May, the entire area of Loughgall bursts into colour with stunning pink and white blossom to provide a spectacular backdrop for this special event.  Visitors can enjoy orchard tours, demonstrations, local foods, craft stalls and entertainment and much more…

Family fun in Fermanagh

6th May

You’ll find lots of family fun  this May Day in Fermanagh. Why not take a Cot Trip in the stunning Crom Estate, enjoy this wonderful opportunity to see the Estate from a different perspective. Cruise around the lough in Crom’s 100 year old traditional craft. (Weather dependent) If you fancy a quicker pace then why not head down to the McAleer’s May Day Rally at Trory. Watch over 100+ rally cars from Subaru Inpreza, Mitsubishi Evo to Ford Escorts. First car away 10am

Annual Tulip Festival in Glenarm

Glenarm Castle is delighted to announce the return of our annual Tulip Festival, now in its seventh year, on the May Bank Holiday Weekend. The Estate gardeners have planted some 8,500 tulips which will provide the most spectacular and colourful display for visitors to delight in. Representatives from Blooms Bulbs will also be available to discuss all your bulb requirements for the coming season, and Mr Reg Maxwell, former Head Gardener of Belfast Botanic Gardens will be on hand to offer his expert advice. Visitors can also enjoy tours of the castle on 6th May 11.30am – 4pm

Merry May Day

6th May – Holywood, Co. Down

Join in some original May Day merriment in Holywood this year with a jam-packed schedule of fun and entertainment. This year, the family fun will take place on Monday 6th May from 10am-4pm. The town, which boasts the only Maypole in Ireland, will be filled with over 70 stalls including an Italian Speciality market. Families can celebrate May Day in Holywood with children’s activities, street entertainment, a diverse menu of music and dance, all adding up to a great day out for the whole in family.

For more information on what’s on this weekend go to:

Make the most of the May bank holiday weekend with a short break, you’ll find great offers on accommodation with many hotels starting from only £49 per room. And if fancy something a bit more unique why take a Glamping trip in Northern Ireland rent one of our cosy cottages, you’ll find plenty of inspiration here:


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