Zorbing at the Jungle NI, County Londonderry.
Get into the action with our A-Z of fun and exciting adventures all over Northern Ireland.
From soaring high above your friends to racing past them there is something for your speed of adventure.
Take aim in the very place where Game of Thrones® was filmed at Castle Ward, or get tips on how to hit that elusive bullseye in the stunning setting of a forest park. The ancient sport of archery has never been more exciting.
Many activity providers in Northern Ireland provide archery as a key activity, within five minutes of instruction you'll be hitting the target then it’s just a matter of practice and a steady nerve to hit that bullseye.
Also known as land sailing, land yachting or sand yachting, let the power of the wind propel you across some of Northern Ireland’s stunning beaches at speeds up to 40 miles per hour.
Boat charter and cruising
Whether you want to immerse yourself in the surroundings of the stunning Fermanagh Lakelands or see the iconic sites of the coastline from a different point of view the best way to experience the water is to get on it.
Either take control of your own boat (bareboat) or charter a boat with a Skipper. Bareboat boat hire is only available on Lough Erne, where you can hire from a range of providers and make the most of unspoilt countryside, bars, restaurants and lakeshore attractions. There is also the opportunity to charter with a qualified and knowledgeable skipper on the majority of the main tidal Loughs such as Foyle, Belfast, Strangford and Carlingford.
From white knuckle sight-seeing sea safaris to leisurely trips exploring marine wildlife, a unique experience is guaranteed on the many boat trips across Northern Ireland’s waters.
There are a number of sea safaris along the stunning Strangford Lough or north coast, where you can view the famous Causeway stones from the water and take in the coastal wildlife on a high speed RIB with a local guide. If you prefer something more relaxed then a pleasure cruiser with commentary of the islands on Lough Erne is a must, or view Belfast from the water with a local skipper who can teach you a thing or two about the capital city and the fascinating Titanic Quarter history.
Starry night skies, freshly foraged food and shelters built from woodland - surround yourself in the beauty of the outdoors and get tips from the experts on a wonderfully wild experience.
Learn how to light a fire by friction, eat wild food fresh from the hedgerows or make a water tight shelter for the night from sticks and leaves. There are a number of activity providers who provide overnight trips and introductory courses in forest parks so you can learn the skills to survive in the outdoors.
From gentle paddles to adrenaline-fuelled white water, the rivers lakes and coastline of Northern Ireland were made for canoeing and kayaking.
Beginners can splash about on a sit-on-top kayak, have a go with an activity provider on calm lakes and meandering rivers or go flat water touring on one of the many canoe trails suitable for families and novices. With nine quality canoe trails, experienced paddlers will be blown away by the access to superb waters and great facilities and that's not to mention the breathtaking scenery and rugged settings.
For sea kayaking, the Northern Ireland coastline is spectacular with a choice of sheltered inlets or more exposed stretches where you can paddle past cliffs, headlands, sea arches, caves and islands spotting porpoises, seals, eider duck, cormorants and shags.
Coasteering and bouldering
A wet and wild experience you will never forget, experience the spectacular coastline like never before as you jump, swim and climb your way around the coast. Scramble up waterfalls, cannonball into plunge pools and body surf waves – the adrenaline rush will be unreal.
Slightly different from each other, Coasteering takes place along coastline with the north coast in County Antrim and Ballyhornan in County Down providing the best spots. While wet bouldering involves ascending a river; normally the picturesque Bloody-Bridge in Newcastle, County Down at the foothills of the Mournes. Being accompanied by an experienced guide is a must with activity operators providing all the essential equipment. All you need is a sense of adventure.
Discover Northern Ireland’s inner beauty as you enter the underground world of stalactites, stalagmites, underground streams, bizarre rock formations and hidden caverns. To find out if caving is for you visit the famous Marble Arch Caves and Geopark and take a boat ride deep into the caves. Or enjoy a group session in the Belfast ALP at Belfast Activity Centre, which contains over 200 metres of ‘realistic’ man made cave.
To try caving for real, Northern Ireland's caves are situated in two main areas in County Fermanagh, bisected by Lough MacNean Valley. Contact a caving provider where you can learn the basic skills from a professional.
Clay pigeon shooting
See who has the best shot with a bit of competitive rivalry in the countryside. Steady hands, a keen eye and quick reactions are the recipe for success as experts show you how to improve your technique to blast those clays from the skies. Even the young ones can have a go with laser options available. See other target sports available here
From the cliff faces of the Causeway Coast to the granite torrs of the Mournes, epic views await for those who wish to scale new heights. Northern Ireland is full of interesting climbs and rewarding views. If you are just starting off, a number of indoor facilities will help feed your hunger for heights as you practice technique.
Activity providers will be happy to take you out to climb and abseil quarries, cliffs or mountains, whether you are a beginner or looking for tips for the most epic spots to tackle.
From Giro routes with tough climbs to flat off-road towpaths following ancient canal routes, pedalling on two wheels is one of the best ways to get off the beaten track.
Diving in Northern Ireland will open up a treasure trove of spectacular underwater landscapes, 400 seaweed-covered wrecks and amazing marine wildlife of seals, lobsters and sponges covering the ocean floor.
Try a dive in the sea for the first time or get tips on the best places to explore from a qualified PADI centre. Discover a torpedoed cruiser off Rathlin Island, the Alastor, a large motor yacht which sank in 1946 in Strangford Lough, the Sumatra, the largest sailing vessel wrecked on the Antrim Coast which rests of Islandmagee and even a World War II German submarine lying off the coast of Portstewart.
Dry slope skiing
Dry slope skiing We may not always get the snow in Northern Ireland, but you can still experiencing the high octane fun of snowsports.
Craigavon Golf and Ski Centre has a dry ski slope, where you can learn proper ski technique from a qualified instructor or have a laugh with a spot of snow tubing.
Coarse, game and sea fishing – anglers are spoilt for choice when it comes to fishing in Northern Ireland. Rod in hand, take time to soak in the scenery at unspoilt locations ideal for your next catch or reel in a big one on a chartered fishing trip off the coast.
Northern Ireland is widely regarded as one of Europe’s best places for coarse fishing, with many competitions at Lough Erne. If you are more interested in game fishing, the best time for this is from February through to October. When it comes to sea fishing our coastline boats a wide range of species ranging from, pollock and mackerel from the rocks, to cod and turbot from the shores and a wide range of fish from the deep such as skate shark and tope.
A silent and graceful way of flying without an engine, soar above green fields and coastline below on this exhilarating yet peaceful experience.
The Ulster Gliding Centre is perfectly placed to make the most of the local conditions, where gliding training is provided at one of the finest soaring sites in UK and Ireland, in a beautiful setting beneath the cliffs of Binevenagh on the shores of Lough Foyle.
High ropes and ziplines
Swing from the trees, hold your balance on rope bridges and race to the top of towers. Home to a treetop adventure course as well as Ireland’s longest zipline, it helps to have a head for heights in Northern Ireland. Challenge yourself with lots of exhilarating obstacles high above the ground before getting a rush like no other descending on a zipline.
Try out the treetop adventure course at Jungle NI in County Londonderry or brave it down the longest zipline at Todds Leap in Tyrone. There are also a number of other outdoor activity providers with high ropes frames to tackle.
Saddle up, hit the trail and kiss your worries goodbye. Have a guided trekking experience on secluded off-road trails in the Glens of Antrim or majestically ride your way through a forest park, both great ways to experience fabulous rural surroundings.
Northern Ireland offers a diverse mix of riding locations, from dramatic coastline and quiet loughs, to lush woodland and private estates. There are numerous riding centres for the novice and experienced, as well as a wide range of equestrian events to participate in.
Fly over land and water on a cushion of air in a high performance hovercraft and experience the thrill of controlled drifts, fast straights and hairpin bends on a purpose built track complete with water hazards.
FoyleHov Activity Centre is the only provider of hovercrafting in Northern Ireland. Hop in their two-seater hovercraft which can be driven solo or in tandem with a willing partner.
With wind and waves in plentiful supply and a choice of wide sandy beaches, Northern Ireland is the perfect place for kitesurfing. A power kite will tow you along at speeds of up to 30 miles an hour.
When the wind is from the north, the Causeway coast beaches are best and when it’s from the south, Tyrella Beach in County Down is the most popular location. Book a session with an activity provider for some expert advice.
Reach out and touch the clouds on a microlight experience. Get airborne in a small, light but safe aircraft on an introductory lesson and feel the wind in your hair as you soar like a bird through the sky.
Take an introductory flight with an activity provider, no experience is necessary. Or if you have your own private pilot’s licence, fly over the Mournes Mountains, Strangford, Sperrins, Giant’s Causeway or Antrim Coast for some of the best views going.
With over 140km of purpose-built trails Northern Ireland is widely regarded as one of the most exciting mountain bike destinations in Europe. Grab your helmet and your fearless spirit; it’s time to tackle downhills, berms and rock features with something for riders of all abilities.
Most of the trail centres have bike hire so you can ride the trails on some of the most up to date kit or get the kids sorted without the hassle of transporting bikes yourself. Rostrevor Mountain Bike Centre, Co. Down features the most extreme mountain biking with black trails and downhills as well as red options while Castlewellan in County Down and Davagh in County Tyrone have a range of trails to suit families to experts with green, blue and red trails. Other official mountain bike trails include Barnett Demesne in Belfast, Blessingbourne in Tyrone and Castle Ward in County Down.
Paintball and combat
Separate your friends from your enemies and prepare to do battle on one of the many creatively themed paintballing game zones in Northern Ireland. Dressed in a full kit of camouflage, face goggles and armed with your weapon you’ll feel like the ultimate warrior.
A number of providers also offer airsoft (similar to paintball but with more realistic weapons) and laser skirmish or laser tag, which is perfect for a younger age group.
Imagine floating high above the cliffs at Magilligan or over one of Northern Ireland’s many hills, with nothing but the sound of a gentle breeze or a waterfall far below. Developed from parachuting canopies in the late 1980s, paragliding allows you to soar effortlessly on windward slopes and across country in good conditions.
There are a few paragliding schools which teach complete beginners to the more accomplished, with one-day courses the best way to learn and soak up the beautiful scenery of the surrounding area.
Rally and off-road 4x4 schools
Get behind the wheel in a rally car for a race around the track at one of Northern Ireland’s rally schools or slow down the pace but keep the adrenaline pumping as you conquer muddy climbs,drops & hazards on an exhilarating 4X4 off road course. Either way this is certainly no daily commute!
Northern Ireland has a comprehensive list of Off Road Driving and Rally Schools where there is no better way to get started than under the watchful eye of a qualified instructor. No experience is required for either activity and for the majority of cases you don't even need to have a drivers licence to have a go.
Sailing From waters teeming with wildlife in Strangford Lough to the vast lakes of Fermanagh and the iconic Causeway Coast, our waters are made for sailing. Learn the ropes on a dinghy and go exploring yourself or set sail into the sunset aboard a yacht with your very own captain.
The best coastal waters for sailing include Carlingford Lough, Strangford Lough, Belfast Lough and the Antrim Coast. For inland sailing, Lough Neagh and Upper and Lower Lough Erne are the two best areas to head for.
These revolutionary two-wheeled machines offer a unique and thrilling way to explore Northern Ireland. Take a guided tour of the Titanic Quarter and zoom round the slipways. Or if you feel a bit more daring put your skills to the test on an obstacle course before heading off road. For something more relaxing enjoy a segway safari through beautiful scenery along natural forest trails.
Skydiving and parachuting
Experience freefall from 13,000 feet at Northern Ireland’s only skydive and parachuting centre, Skydive Wildgeese, County Londonderry. As you fall through the sky you will be rewarded with breathtaking views – if you can keep your eyes open that is!
Go from instruction to jump in the one day with a tandem skydive where you are attached to an instructor. They also offer static line parachute jumps if you are willing to brave it on your own. Either way you will get a view of Northern Ireland like never before.
Whether you want to experience the rush of standing up for the first time or are searching for the next big wave, Northern Ireland’s coastline boasts some of the best surf around. The surf scene is based on the North Coast which is home to several surf schools and surf shops.
Hire a board or book a lesson, the best waves can be found off the coast of Portrush, Portstewart and Portballintrae.
Explore the beauty and variety of the Northern Ireland landscape by foot. From the dramatic climbs of the Mourne Mountains and Causeway Coast to stunning forest trails with waterfalls in the Glens of Antrim, there are walks for all abilities.
In the west, Fermanagh and the Sperrins offer rolling hills and picturesque rural scenes. Strangford Lough offers an abundance of wildlife to view from the shores of the lough while the Belfast Hills will provide you with the best views of the city and its iconic buildings.
See for yourself the vistas that inspired C S Lewis and Seamus Heaney or go on a magical fairy hunt with the kids; every walk tells a story.
Waterski and wakeboarding
Get your thrills on the many fantastic flat water rivers and lakes that Northern Ireland has to offer with waterski and wakeboarding. Towed from a speedboat, experience the closest feeling to walking on water as you skim along on your skis or attempt tricks on a board.
Northern Ireland is blessed with some excellent inland water with the flat waters of Lough Erne, Lough Neagh and sections of the Lower Bann River all popular spots.
For something a bit different, there’s also a cable wake park at the Titanic slipways, no boat required!
A challenging activity, wind and waves are what makes for an adrenaline inducing time on the water and there are a number of top spots both coastal and inland where you can get your windsurfing fix.
The north coast is a favourite for adrenaline junkies searching for speed and wave riding. Lough Neagh and Lough Erne provide excellent sheltered conditions for those learning the basics and on a windy day can provide exhilarating flat water blasting.
Roll down a hill inside a giant inflatable ball at speeds of up to 30mph. Hydro (the zorb is filled with water) and harnessed (riders are strapped in without water) options are available, both of which will give you an equally unique and exhilarating experience.
Other activity centres offer body zorbing, where a smaller version of a zorb is used covering a player’s upper body and head for games such as bubble football and human bowls.