The leaves are turning and the nights are drawing in but autumn offers plenty to enjoy in Northern Ireland.
Striding through a gorgeous landscape on a bright, crisp day, delving into the fantasy world of Game of Thrones, or celebrating Halloween – these are just some of the autumnal delights to be enjoyed in Northern Ireland. Here are five awesome activities to try this autumn.
A designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Sperrin Mountains provide a stunning backdrop for the two-day (14–15 October) Sperrins Walking Festival in which two unique walking experiences combine hiking and storytelling in the company of experienced guides. The Trees of Banagher Glen is a moderate looped walk stretching for 10km, while Life in the Bog is a challenging 12km looped walk that climbs to the summit of Mullaghaneaney.
Wondering where to spend Halloween? Head for Europe’s biggest Halloween festival in Derry~Londonderry. The four-day extravaganza takes place within the city’s historic walls and promises a dazzling street celebration of all things spooky. Follow the Awakening the Walled City trail to see amazing illuminations, aerial performances and pyrotechnics. Don your gruesome garb and join in the colourful carnival parade and look out for the spirits of Samhain who will haunt the city streets.
Get a behind-the-scenes view of one of the most successful TV series ever made. The world’s only official Game of Thrones Studio Tour takes you on a journey that shows how visionary artisans brought the story to life. You’ll walk through original sets, view authentic props and storyboards and hear from key members of the production team about costume and set design and how the spectacular special effects were achieved.
Autumn is the season for the apple harvest so a visit to Armagh Cider Company to discover the art of cider-making is the perfect autumnal experience. The tours take place at Ballinteggart Farm where you will visit the orchards and learn the whole process of making cider from blossom to bottle as well as enjoy a sample tasting. The cider is made from Armagh Bramley Apples which have PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) status from the European Commission.
There is nothing nicer than crunching through fallen leaves on an autumn hike through a beautiful forest park and Northern Ireland has plenty to choose from. In County Tyrone, Drum Manor Forest Park is an eighteenth-century demesne that has a butterfly and Japanese garden, arboretum, and mixed woodlands to explore. Or head for Tollymore Forest Park in the foothills of the majestic Mournes in County Down to discover natural and manmade curiosities and see the Game of Thrones shoot location where the Stark dire wolves were found.
To learn more about everything that Ireland has to offer visit Ireland.com.