Music, film screenings, tours and children’s fun days – when it comes to bank holiday weekend events Belfast has it all. Or take a road trip to events in Co Down, Armagh or Londonderry.
From historic sites to family friendly ways to spend the day, here’s our round up of places to go this bank holiday weekend.
Ulster Museum will be open over the bank holiday weekend, offering free entry into a world of wonders past and present. Explore the animal kingdom, travel back to the lands before time and don’t miss the ancient Egyptian mummy! On Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 August, don’t miss live science demonstrations as part of Ele-mental 2019.
This bank holiday weekend, visit the 140 species of animal that live at Belfast Zoo! Get a close-up look at the elephants, giraffes, sea lions, penguins, apes, bears and much more; in what is one of the oldest tourist attractions in Northern Ireland. Pack a picnic or enjoy snacks from the café, while the kids explore the playground.
Crumlin Road Gaol
Take a trip to this 19th century Grade A-listed jail and follow in the footsteps of over 25,000 prisoners including murders, suffragettes and loyalist and republican prisoners. Enter the tunnel that connects the jail to the courthouse, explore C-Wing and visit the Condemned Man’s Cell where 17 men were executed.
Whitehead Railway Museum
Experience the wonderful world of steam trains at the Whitehead Railway Museum! Hear the story of a major railway accident in 1889, dress up in the children’s play area and enjoy refreshments in the Edwardian Tea Room. This award-winning museum has five fascinating galleries and is located on the Causeway Coastal route, just 30 minutes from Belfast.
Spend the bank holiday weekend ambling in the stunning gardens at Hillsborough Castle. The beautiful 18th century mansion, which is the official residence of the Royal Family when they’re in Northern Ireland, has 100 acres of ornamental grounds, a fabulous restaurant and gift shop. Book a tour of the castle to see the glamorous Throne room, drawing rooms and dining area used by the Royal Family for private entertainment.
There’s lots to explore at Castle Ward’s estate and gardens, which are open throughout the bank holiday weekend. Kids will love the farmyard and playroom in the Barn, while grown-ups can visit the artist’s studios and see the resident makers at work. Stroll some of the 36km of trails or rent bikes from the Clearsky Adventure Centre. And don’t miss the historic farmyard, the filming location of Winterfell in Game of Thrones.
Ideas & Inspiration
The bank holiday weekend is a great time to do something different. Go on a sightseeing tour, get lost in an art gallery or step out of your comfort zone at an adventure centre.
Take a Tour
Explore Belfast and Northern Ireland on a sightseeing tour led by a local, experienced guide. Choose from walking, bus, boat, bike and taxi tours, as well as tours themed on Titanic, Game of Thrones, Giant’s Causeway, and food and drink.
Sample the Foodie Scene
Spend the bank holiday exploring Belfast’s mouth-watering food scene. With independent restaurants and local producers crammed into every nook in the city, there’s always something new to discover. Visit a food market, take a food tour or indulge in a delicious meal out.
Breweries and Distilleries
Planning some bank holiday weekend drinks? Why not go and see where your favourite drinks are made, with a tour of one of our breweries or distilleries? Visit Echlinville Distillery, the home of Jawbox gin; Rademon Estate Distillery where Shortcross gin is made or Hughes Craft Distillery where RubyBlue berry liqueurs are crafted. Hilden Brewery offers tours and tastings of their craft beer, or take a drive up the Causeway Coast to Old Bushmills Distillery.
Family Day Out
Finish off the back to school shopping with a family day out in Belfast. Enjoy a shopping spree in city centre stores that have something for everyone, then make the day of it with a family fun activities and meal out, too. Read our guide for day out itinerary ideas.