Categories: Seasonal Inspiration

Will rain stop play? Absolutely not. And nor will it dampen our spirits. Northern Ireland is no stranger to rain admittedly. So, we’ve had quite a lot of practice at coming up with what to do on a rainy day in Northern Ireland. In fact, in our humble opinion, some experiences may even be enhanced by the rain. Or liquid sunshine, as we prefer to think of it. 

Surfing in the rain? 

Well, let’s face it. You’re already on a surfboard. How much wetter can you get? 

Besides, there’s nothing quite so pretty as raindrops bouncing off the surface of the sea. There are fantastic surfing beaches all along the Causeway Coastal Route. Portstewart Strand is a year-round hit with surfers and Portrush and Portballintrae are popular spots too. There’s something for all levels and, if you’re interested in lessons they are generally available.  

Go with the flow 

Flumes, a lazy river, aqualand, water slides and a diving pool are all part of the fun at Lagan Valley LeisurePlex in Lisburn. Or check out Northern Ireland's first 50 metre swimming pool at Bangor Aurora Aquatic & Leisure Complex. Here you’ve got a choice for three swimming pools, plus waves and more flumes. Both are guaranteed to burn off a lot of kiddie energy. And perhaps some adult energy too. 

Raingear at the ready 

There’s something special about walking in the rain when you’re all geared up for it with wellies, raincoats and the rest. It’s even more special when you discover the hundreds of breath-taking scenic walks that Northern Ireland has to offer. Take the sea air along the coast, follow a river trail or play hide and seek through a forest park. Whether you stick to a designated walking trail or go for a casual family stroll, all that fresh air is sure to lift your spirits. 

Hop on a high-speed sea safari 

Zoom across Strangford Lough on a high speed Rib. This is sightseeing with a difference. So keep an eye out for seals, islands and the Lough’s pumping whirlpools. Or take a trip to Rathlin Island to meet the puffins. If you’re in luck, you might even see a dolphin or a basking shark along the way. 

Get cooking with some local flavor 

At Tracey’s Farmhouse Kitchen, in her 17th century thatched cottage on the shores of Strangford Lough, traditional Irish recipes rule. So it’s aprons on to try your hand at soda bread, wheaten bread and, local favourite, potato bread.  

Or take yourself off to one of Northern Ireland’s many farmers’ markets or farm shops to pick up some fantastically fresh local produce. Tastiness guaranteed. 

Take a waterfall walk 

There’s a magical waterfall walk through Glenariff Forest Park in the Glens of Antrim. Just follow the boardwalk paths through the river gorge to see rainbows in the spray. Or visit Cladagh Glen’s Marble Arch to see water from the underground cave system re-emerge to cascade down a 300 million-year old natural limestone ‘staircase’. Now, where would they be without the rain? 

Let’s go shopping 

If you fancy a spot of retail therapy, you’re in the right place. Belfast, of course, is home to great shopping centres and unique independent stores. So too is much of the rest of Northern Ireland. Derry’s delightfully Dickensian Craft Village is a mix of artisan outlets, restaurants and coffee shops. While in Moygashel, the Linen Green has stunning homewares and interiors shops – plus fantastic and very individual fashion stores.  

Cosy up with a book or two 

The Linen Hall Library, Belfast’s oldest library, is the perfect spot to while away a rainy hour or two. Take a look at the unique collection of C.S. Lewis books and discover what inspired the East Belfast-born creator of Narnia. Or visit the 18th century Armagh Robinson Library to see the former archbishop’s collection of artefacts and rare books. 

A day at the museum 

Whatever you’re into, there’s a museum here to match your interests. From the Ulster American Folk Park to Derry-Londonderry’s Tower Museum to the History of Belleek Pottery museum. There’s even a Headhunters Barber Shop and Railway Museum. Yes, really. 

Catch and Sea 

Set sail on a unique ‘Catch and Sea’ tour to experience the extraordinary Causeway coastline from a whole new angle. Oh, and you’ll also catch your own breakfast, which will be cooked for you back on dry land. Enjoy. 

So, that’s ten rain-busting ways to get through the day. Bet you never thought there’d be so many ways to have fun. But then that’s Northern Ireland all over.