Experience fascinating places and our warm welcome like never before in Ards and North Down.

***With restrictions in Northern Ireland beginning to ease we ask that individuals plan ahead and please check local guidelines on the NI Direct website ***

Click here for the main Experience page. You can also experience our wide open spaces, charming towns and captivating history on a guided walking tour, find out more on our Summer Guided Walking Tours page.


Yoga in the Walled Garden at Helen's Bay | Sunday 8 August |10am |£35pp - SOLD OUT

Join us this summer for a unique yoga experience in the Walled Garden, Helen's Bay. Wind down and stretch out your Sunday morning with yoga and a well-earned brunch, connecting with nature in the serene beauty of the garden. After a welcome cup of herbal tea, Jude Dellow- Perry, (The Salty Yogi) will lead you through a 90-minute energising and restoring morning flow practice. Lorraine Small (The Walled Garden Helen’s Bay) will then provide a delicious, alfresco, brunch using freshly prepared, seasonal ingredients from the Walled Garden. You will receive a gift bag to take home.

Book now - SOLD OUT

Booking fee applies | 18+ years  | 90-minute yoga class, open to all abilities and levels however due to Covid regulations it is necessary to bring your own mat. |This experience takes place outside so please dress appropriately| Please make us aware of any dietary requirements by 31 July by emailing ardsvic@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk  

Wetland Wednesdays at Castle Espie - £30pp - SOLD OUT
Wednesday 11 August | 10am-12.30pm | Age 6 - 14 years | Meeting point: Castle Espie reception, 78 Ballydrain Road, BT23 6EA. 

Be a wetland explorer this summer with SuphubNI and WWT Castle Espie. Explore Strangford Lough on this unique paddleboarding experience led by SuphubNI, and get up close to nature in a way you have never experienced before. After your paddleboard, grab a net and delve in to pond dipping in Castle Espie’s dedicated Pond Zone. We have everything you need to discover a whole new world of wetland species: nets, trays, magnifying glasses and identity cards. Our friendly Learning Team are also on hand to help and answer any questions you may have. Round off your day with a mini beast hunt to remember, and learn all about the mini beasts you can find in the woodlands at Castle Espie and at home in your back garden.

Booking fee applies | Suitable for beginners | All equipment provided | Children do not need to be accompanied during the session, parents/guardians can avail of a reduced entry to Castle Espie or use the Kingfisher Café at this time.

Grow and Graze 
Saturday 14 August | 10.30am | £30pp | Meeting point: Castle Espie Reception (September date available, Saturday 11 September)

Enjoy a unique day out with Tracey’s Farmhouse Kitchen and Castle Espie Wetland Centre. Learn how to ‘grow your own’ then reap the benefits in the kitchen! Join our expert Gardening team at the Gardener’s Bothy in Castle Espie and learn how to grow your own and take care of your garden in an environmentally friendly way.  The session will be followed by a traditional Irish bread making experience with Tracey from Tracey’s Farmhouse Kitchen, using heritage apples picked from the orchard at Castle Espie. Have you ever tried a delicious local sweet treat - Potato Apple Cake or Pirrie Apple Pie as the Ulster Scots called it? Now is your chance! Roll up your sleeves and allow Tracey to help you make your own Potato Apple Cake, using only a few ingredients which will all be from the local area.
Enjoy your delicious home baked treat with tea or coffee, whilst you relax and take in breath-taking views over Strangford Lough, and end your day with a relaxing walk around the Castle Espie reserve. (Access to reserve for remainder of the day will be included with cost) | Please make us aware of any dietary requirements by 7 August 2021 by emailing ardsvic@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk | Booking fee applies.

Book now

Paddle the Port - £50pp 
Friday 20 August | 6.30pm - 8.30pm | Meeting point: The Slip Inn, Portaferry  

Join us for this new kayaking experience on Strangford Lough.  The team from Mobile Team Adventure will guide you through this evening paddle.  Take in the beauty of your surroundings and let go of a busy week!  Learn about the history of the Port while on the water!  After, Mary will welcome you to the Slip Inn where the craic will continue over a tasty bowl of homemade chowder or vegetable soup.  The fun doesn't stop there, Mary and her team will teach you how to make the perfect Irish coffee or pour your own pint of Guinness.  This experience will take you to the heart of Portaferry and the warmth of it's people. 

Book now If you wish to make a weekend of it the Portaferry Hotel are offering a special accommodation rate for all ticket holders.  Please contact the team directly on 028 4272 8231.

Booking fee applies | Suitable for beginners | All equipment provided | 18+ years | Please make us aware of any dietary requirements by 13 August 2021 emailing ardsvic@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk | Clothing: wear comfortable clothing. We don't plan on getting wet but bring a change just in case. 

SUP-aoke - £30pp
Friday 20 August | 7pm | Meeting point: Bangor Marina

Like paddling?  Like singing?  Yes... then you will love this experience. Iain from SuphubNI will guide you through a fun paddleboard session that will take you out onto Belfast Lough.  You will paddle out to a floating platform and climb aboard and the stage is yours!! Sing your favourite song and enjoy the craic.  Let the seals and wildlife  be your audience in the this fun experience.  Iain will video your big moment if you wish - so that you can share this once in a lifetime experience with your friends. 

Book now 

Booking fee applies |Suitable for beginners | All equipment provided | 18+ years | *You will be required to let the organiser know which song you would like to sing one week in advance!

Dawn SUP and Pilates with breakfast - £25pp
Saturday 21 August | 7am | Meeting place:Bangor Marina

Start the day on Belfast Lough. This beautiful paddleboard session, followed by pilates will allow you to ease into the day while surrounded by beauty. Iain your guide from SuphubNI will help you glide out into the water, leaving all your stresses behind.  You don't need to have paddleboard experience as Iain will be on hand to help and support.  Melissa will then guide you through a beautiful pilates workout before returning to shore to tuck into Morning Glory Granola and Clandeboye Yogurt.

Book now

Booking fee applies |Suitable for beginners | All equipment provided | 18+ years | Please make us aware of any dietary requirements by 14 August by emailing ardsvic@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk 

Doggy Paddle - £25pp 
Sunday 22 August |Ballyholme Beach | Meeting Point: Bank's Lane Car Park, Ballyholme Beach, Bangor
Session 1 starts: 9am | Session 2 starts: 12 noon

Dogs just love to be with their owners, so why not try this new canoeing adventure.  You and your four legged friend can take to the water instructed by John from Mobile Team Adventure.  John will have his dog Ed with him also so it is sure to be an EDventure!
Join us at Ballyholme Beach for this fun experience.  Enjoy the craic and take in the beauty of Belfast Lough.  All equipment will be provided.  After, the star of the show, your dog will be given a little doggy treat bag to take home.
PS you don't have to have a dog to take part!

Session 1: 9am - Book now    Session 2: 12noon - Book now 

Booking fee applies | Suitable for beginners | All equipment provided | 18+ years | Please make us aware of any dietary requirements by 15 August 2021 emailing ardsvic@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk | We don't plan to get wet but bring a change of clothes just in case.

Please note:
*All providers will adhere to social distancing guidelines in accordance with government advice on the Covid 19 pandemic.
**These experiences may be subject to change or cancellation due to Covid 19 restrictions and guidelines. Any events cancelled by the organiser, under all circumstances, will be fully refundable.  We will contact you as soon as we know an event has been cancelled and refund the ticket price and any booking fees.
***Photos and/or video footage may be taken during these events. All events and activities are subject to change and may be weather dependent – best efforts will be made to inform you of any changes.