Friday, 23 May 2014

Family Fun day Out

Come along to Stormont this Bank Holiday weekend for lots of family fun and entertainment in support of Children in Need. 

Activities and events will include: sheepdog trials, motorcycle display, treasure trails, food zone, laser game and dog agility competitions.

10am - 6pm

List of Events

Parliament Buildings
Children in Need Stand Northern Ireland Children’s University
Jump in and have fun with Kinect for page2image8304Northern Ireland Screen’s Digital Film Archive Stem Truck - Mobile laboratory/workshop
Jenny’s Cakes (Bangor) SEE.SENSE. page2image9488Story Teller - Lexy Higgins

Assembly Lawn - N.I. Karate-Do Wado-Kai
Sports Day - ‘Old school’ fun for all ages... including space hopper, egg and spoon and sack races. Even competitive parents can join in the fun! Small prize for the winner of each race.

Waterballs, trampolines and activity centre
Bikewheels and Broomsticks
Come and see to get a taste of some of the experiments that W5 does every day! If you come along to watch our science demonstrators in action, who knows - you might even get to volunteer! You might learn a little something along the way too! Check out our website at

Motorcycle Display Vintage and modern bikes

Junior Motorcycle Trials Demonstrations - Ards Motorcycle Club
N.I. 4 Kids Stand
Treasure Trails - Treasure Trails Ltd create fun and unique ways for you to explore part of our beautiful Stormont estate.
Foodzone - Crepes, Milkshakes, Pizzas, Coffees, Desserts, Cupcakes, Indian Wraps - from Spice Restaurant Templepatrick, Noodle Bar, Simply Irresistible BBQ, 6oz Steak burgers with Cashel Blue Cheese etc., Olives & Baklava, Speciality Cheeses, Bridgefield Farm Ice-Cream, Chocolate Fountains, Salad Bar, Fresh Fruit Salad, Strawberries & Cream, Fresh Fruit Smoothies, Old Fashioned sweet bar

& 6
PlayBall Sport Zone
Come along and take part in a variety of sporting activities organised by PlayBall, the state of the art floodlit sports facility situated in Stormont Estate Belfast. For further information on PlayBall please visit us at or check out our twitter and facebook pages for special offers and discounts.
Sheepdog Trials
Working sheepdog trials display by Eric Barfoot at 12 noon, 2.00 pm and 4.00 pm.
Sport Northern Ireland Activ8 Adventure
Activ8 encourages children and young people to do 60 minutes of physical activity every day and eat a balanced diet and uses eight simple steps to stay active and keep healthy. The Sport Northern Ireland Active8 Olympic Challenge
is a high wire assault course so you can enjoy balancing on the wooden bridge, climbing a cargo net and crossing the rope bridge - just three of the fun and safe ways to get physical. Primary schools can register for Active8 at

7 & 8
Environmental Exhibitors
The Ark Open Farm Assisi Cats Protection Belfast Adoption Centre Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust Dogs Trust DCAL - Inland Fisheries Group Green Party Hillmount Nursery Centre IKEA (Belfast) Mantella Environmental Education The National Trust Northern Ireland School of Falconry People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals Pets as Therapy Rare Breeds Survival Trust The
N. I. Road Safety Partnership - A chance to hear and see what we do. Why not try out our speed detection equipment R. S. P. B. Segway self balancing scooters Sustrans Ulster Wildlife Trust Volunteer Now - find out about local volunteering opportunities Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust Woodcroft Landscapes
World of Owls.
Special Olympics Ulster
providing information about sporting activities for anyone with an intellectual disability.

Monoevents - Large Slide, Bouncy Castle, Sky Jumper and Kiddies Ride
G Force Amusements
Juvenile Jet Ride Safari Train Ride Las Vegas Games; Carnival Crazy Funhouse
Kentucky Derby Rodeo Bull Indy’s Trail Fun House; Miami Thrill Ride
Bags of Bounce
Bouncy castles and inflatable play for the little ones.
Crafts - local and Children’s crafts

Monoevents - Slide and Bouncy Castle
Laser Games
Test your accuracy and agility with Escarmouche, Ireland’s No 1 Laser Games provider.
Employers for Childcare / FASA / N.I. Anti-Bullying Forum / Save the Children
NI Fire & Rescue Service - Fire Engine

Scruffts -
Follow in the footsteps of crossbreed Becky from Bangor. In 2012 Becky, owned by Margaret McKnight, qualified here and went on to make history as the first ever Scruffts winner at Crufts.

Is your crossbreed the next Scruffts Family Crossbreed Dog of the Year? Scruffts is the nation’s favourite crossbreed competition, the Kennel Club is co-ordinating Scruffts heats throughout the UK during 2014. Registration will begin at 10.00 am and Judging will commence at 12 noon. The winners from today’s heat will be invited to Discover Dogs 2014 at Earls Court 1, London in November for the semi-final where they will compete for a place at Crufts 2015.
Dogzone - Dog Agility Competitions organised by Whinney Hill Kennels. Jubilee Veterinary Centre
Guide Dogs for the Blind Association

Sizzler Family Ride - G Force Amusements
Stage Programme
11.00 - 11.30 11.30 - 12 noon 12 noon - 12.30
12.45 - 2.45 3.00 - 4.00
Urban Fitness Dundonald (Fusion of group fitness for men and women) Punch & Judy Show - the best one in the country!
Urban Fitness Dundonald
(Fusion of group fitness for men and women)
Freefall - one of Northern Ireland’s most in demand bands, with a combined experience of over 30 years in the business.They recently played to 55,000 people at Belfast City Councils Monster Mash event at Titanic Belfast. Check out YouTube.
Red Hot Roosters - have played from pub gigs to the Waterfront Hall in their home town
of Belfast. The biggest show they’ve ever played was in Germany, in front 57,000 people, but because of their commitment, passion and experience every gig is special no matter what size.To have the privilege to play in front of their home crowd at Stormont for the first time, is something they are very much looking forward to, would like to thank everybody involved ...and from the

Sunday, 18 May 2014

What's on this week?

Well we have had the North West 200 where the Northern Ireland boys did us proud.

Michael Dunlop completes the double.
William Dunlop wins wet first super bike.
This week we have the continental market in Belfast and Newtownards, where you can see and taste the delights of food from around the world.
Stormont is due to have a Family Fun day on the 26th May
 While in Belfast there is the Marine Titanic Festival from the 24th - 26th May when a fleet of Tall ships arrive.
Lots on to visit and discover when you come and stay at Whitethorn Cottages, North Down.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Day 3 of the Giro d'Italia

 Day 3 started off in Armagh, the final stage of the Giro d'Italia in Northern Ireland. Around 200 cyclists set off from the city at the start of the 187 km route.
 This is the route for you to see where they will ride.
The 2 Armagh Cathedrals altered their morning service times to accommodate the start of the race
German rider Marcel Kittel won stage 2 on Saturday which took in some of NI's most scenic routes all just an hour or two from Whitethorn Cottages. If you fancy getting on your bike and seeing the scenes of Northern Ireland come and stay at Whitethorn Cottages.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Belfast goes Pink

Belfast is Buzzing and the bikes are belting around, everything has turned pink. Belfast at its best welcoming people from all around the world.

Brilliant for Belfast to be seen in a good light, millions of people all over the world will see what Northern Ireland is like behind the scenes.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Watch Northern Ireland on TV and then you will want to come and visit us!!

Giro d’Italia 2014
Northern Ireland will host the opening stages of the Giro d’Italia in 2014. This annual multiple stage bicycle race is primarily held in Italy and along with the Tour de France and Vuelta a España, the Giro makes up cycling’s prestigious, three week-long Grand Tours.

The Grande Partenza or ‘Big Start’ of the Giro d’Italia will take place over three days from 9 - 11 May 2014 and involves routes in Belfast and Armagh before moving on to Dublin.

About the Giro d'Italia

First held in 1909, the Giro d’Italia is a long distance road bicycle stage race held for professional cyclists over a three week period in May and June annually.

The Giro is hosted primarily in Italy, with a tradition of the start of the race being held outside the country. The Giro is one of the three Grand Tours (the others being the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España), and is part of the UCI World Ranking calendar. It is considered to be second only to the Tour de France in terms of prestige in the cycling world.

The Giro is viewed around the world by a potential audience of 800 million, and 12.5 million people attended the Giro in 2011. The 2012 Giro was completed over 21 stages (three of which were in Denmark) and involved 22 teams with over 200 of the world’s best riders taking part.

Coming to Northern Ireland

Over 200 of the top professional cyclists from across the globe will be in Northern Ireland to take part and there will be a supporting programme of events and activities.

There will be three days of pre-race celebrations in Belfast, followed by spectacular opening stages in Northern Ireland before racing from Armagh to Dublin. After the opening three stages the cyclists will fly from Dublin to continue the race in Italy.
Giro d'Italia 2014 - It all starts here - Big Start Northern Ireland
The 2014 Giro d'Italia Official Promotional Video can be viewed here

Good Morning Britain is live from Belfast Titanic

Belfast is live on Good Morning Britain, promoting to the World the Start of the Giro Italia.
Earlier this week if you had passed the area you would have seen the Harland and Wolf crane has turned Pink this week getting into the spirit of things.
For everyone here for the excitement enjoy your weekend, may the sun shine.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Giro d'Italia is coming!

Belfast Welcomes the Giro D'Italia!

Get on Yer Bike! Giro Festival

3rd - 11th May

Belfast City Council is running an eight-day Giro festival, Get on yer Bike! to celebrate Belfast being chosen as the starting point of the Giro d’Italia.  They've chosen themes of food, fashion, art, architecture, music and performance, and have shaken them up and give them an Italian and pink twist!  Click here for information on all the events and activities as part of the Giro Festival. 

Giro D'Italia Big Start
8th - 11th May

Belfast and Northern Ireland are hosting the Giro d'Italia Big Start (Grande Partenza) from 8 to 11 May 2014 with three days of unmissable cycling action and a special pre-race event in Belfast on 8th May.  There will be a range of events and activities before and during the races, including a fabulous celebration worthy of Italian cycling traditions and the maglia rosa (the pink jersey).  For further information on the Giro D'Italia Big Start, click here.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Circuit of Ireland comes to North Down

The Circuit of Ireland is roaring into Ards on Friday 18 April. 

The Circuit kicks off in Newtownards at 9am with a Time Control in Conway Square and continues to two stages in the borough as part of the day's rallying. 

The world famous rally then returns to Newtownards at 7pm for the ‘Ards Super Stage’. This unique town centre stage will see 120 cars compete in timed heats around the centre of Ards with birds-eye spectator areas right around the special stage.

The 2014 Circuit of Ireland has been billed by ERC organisers 'Eurosport Events' as one of three ‘legendary’ events alongside the Acropolis and Corisca rallies. It takes place on 17-19 April and will be the first fully asphalt race of the European Rally Championship.

Conway Square will play host to some car themed family entertainment throughout the day (11am to 7pm),including a very special appearance from ‘Roary the Racing Car and Big Chris’, with race simulators from the Eddie Irvine Experience, static displays of rally cars and army reserve vehicles and the Cool FM Roadshow providing music.

The outline timings for Friday 18 April are:
9am                          Time control at Newtownards Town Hall, Conway Square, to start competitive stages
9.15am                     Stage starts at Loughries

10.30am                    Road closure at Ballygowan Stage

11am - 7pm               Rally-themed Entertainment in Conway Square

12.45pm                    1st Stage at Ballygowan

4pm                           Newtownards town centre road closures
                                 (High Street, Mill Street, Gibson's Lane,Regent Street, Frances Street and Castle Place)
                                  Pedestrian access continues.

6.15pm                      2nd Stage at Ballygowan

7.10pm                      Ards TT Super Stage
                                 Special timed stages around Newtownards town centre.

8.30pm                      Roads re-open at Ballygowan

9.00pm                      Newtownards town centre roads re-open.