5 Things To Do In Northern Ireland this Summer
June 1, 2012 Laura Caldwell 0 Comments
Whether it’s one of those rare sunny summer days, or a typical rainy day off, there’s something for everyone in our list of five things to do in our fair province this summer!
1. Belfast Film Festival
Running from 31st May to the 10th June Belfast Film Festival, “showcases both local talent, and the best in new International cinema” and will feature films shown in unusual places such as on a boat on the River Lagan or in St Anne’s Cathedral. Opening and closing night films include Good Vibrations directed by Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn, and Whole Lotta Sole directed by Terry George. The Festival not only features films but also workshops and talks by the creative teams behind Good Vibrations, Whole Lotta Sole and Shadow Dancer. A highlight of the festival is sure to be Stephen Rea in Conversation, where Marie-Louie Muir will conduct a public interview with Belfast born actor Stephen Rea who has appeared in ‘Nothing Personal’, ‘V for Vendetta’, ‘Michael Collins’, ‘Interview with the Vampire’, ‘The Butcher Boy,’ ‘I Could Read the Sky’, and ‘Breakfast on Pluto.’ As the festival spans all across Belfast and will show such a wide variety of films, documentaries, interviews and workshops there’s sure to be something for everyone.
2. Titanic Belfast
If you haven’t already, visiting the world’s largest Titanic visitor’s experience is a must this summer. This £90 million building is in the heart of Belfast’s Titanic Quarter and celebrates all that the Titanic had to offer, whilst simultaneously mourning the loss of lives on that tragic voyage. The building features 4 90ft ‘hulls’ which emulate the Titanic herself and the inside of the building contains ten galleries: Boomtown Belfast, The Shipyard, The Launch, The Fit-Out, The Maiden Voyage, The Sinking, The Aftermath, Myths & Legends, Exploring the Wreck and the Ocean Exploration Centre – each of which contain a series of interactive exhibitions. There’s also a gift shop where you can pick up some souveniers of your day out, a cafe and a restaurant.
For a more comprehensive overview of what Titanic Belfast has to offer have a quick look at our previous article on our personal experience: http://www.pastiebap.com/2012/05/titanic-day-out.html
3. Ulster Museum
Situated at Botanic, the Ulster Museum is fun for all the family. Recently refurbished, the museum is worth another visit even if you’ve been before. It’s free admission so you might as well give it a try on a rainy summer day (which sounds like most of our summer to be honest) even if you don’t think museums are your thing. The Ulster Museum features exhibitions on everything from the Spanish Armada to Egyptian Mummies and with the new Age of the Dinosaur exhibition it’s sure to excite and intrigue. The Age of the Dinosaur exhibition is running from 18th May to 16th September and features seven life-like animatronic dinosaurs which move and roar through a Jurassic forest. A video can be seen here.
4. Go to a Home grown Music Festival
Times are hard, you guys and money’s tight, so why not forgo your usual summer holiday or festival in England or Scotland for something a bit more local. This year’s main festivals are Glasgowbury and Pigstock and PastieBap is heading to both! Set in the heart of the Sperrins, Glasgowbury just gets better and better and this year Northern Irish legends Therapy? will be headlining on Saturday 21st July. Other acts include Fighting With Wire, Axis Of, Kowalski and Pocket Billiards.
Pigstock this year will run from 1st July to 3rd July and acts such as Fighting With Wire, Not Squares, Pocket Billiards, Gascan Ruckus and Mojo Fury will be rocking Killinchy all night long. According to the Pigstock website, “there will be 28 bands playing across three stages over two days, a food village and the Pigstock bar. Local artist group Firsty! will be helping to make it visually the most colourful and interesting Pigstock to date!” And let’s not forget the hog, the delicious suckling pig which gives Pigstock it’s name!
5. Land of Giants
On the Titanic Slipways on 30th June, Land of Giants will have arrived. Land of Giants is the largest outdoor arts event ever held in Northern Ireland. Featuring a cast and crew of over 500 people, Land of Giants is staged by Giant Events Company and features state-of-the-art digital animation, dramatic special effects and fireworks.
According to the Land of Giants website, “the theme for the event draws inspiration from the many Giants identified in the shared and diverse history and society of Northern Ireland – Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver, the legendary Finn McCool, Harland and Wolff’s iconic Samson and Goliath, the ships the Olympic and Titanic and of course the Giant’s Causeway – as well as the vision of Northern Ireland and its population as being giant in terms of ideas, talent and heritage.” Land of Giants is an event shrouded in mystery and we’re very excited to see the epic spectacle on 30th June!
Other exciting events this Summer include Belsonic, the opening of the Giants Causeway visitor’s centre, Gay Pride, the Irish Open and the Olympic Torch Relay, so get out and enjoy all that Northern Ireland has to offer.