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.

JULY
Paddle the Port - £50pp
Friday 9 July | 6.30pm - 8.30pm | Meeting point: The Slip Inn, Portaferry (June and August date available Friday 18 June and Friday 20 August)

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 

Booking fee applies | Suitable for beginners | All equipment provided | 18+ years | Please make us aware of any dietary requirements by 2 July 2021 by emailing ardsvic@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk | Clothing: wear comfortable clothing. We don't plan on getting wet but bring a change just in case. 

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.


Wetland Wednesdays at Castle Espie - £30pp - SOLD OUT
Wednesday 14 July and Wednesday 21 July  | 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 paddle boarding 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.

Wednesday 14 July - SOLD OUT

Wednesday 21 July - SOLD OUT

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.


Viking Adventures on Strangford Lough - £45pp
Saturday 17 July | 2pm - 4.30/5pm | Meeting point: outside the Slip Inn Portaferry

Kayaking with a ‘Walk & Talk’ tour along the shores of Strangford Lough. Learn what it was like to be a Viking on this new experience for 2021.  
Let John from Mobile Team Adventure guide you on the water as you discover the strength needed to steer the longboats to shore!  There sure will be some laughs.  Then as you dander along the lough shore be entertained by Brigid from Sustainable Journeys Ireland as she shares stories about the Vikings in the Strangford Lough area and the legacy they have left in hidden treasures (some yet to be discovered), language, sayings, craft skills and surnames. You will have the opportunity to see and examine Viking artefacts and see how the Vikings dressed for battle! Finish the experience with a drop of Mead at the Slip Inn.

This fun experience will be a great escape but one that will create many memories and Instagram moments!

Book now 

Booking fee applies | Suitable for beginners | All equipment provided | 18+ years | Please make us aware of any dietary requirements by 10 July 2021 by emailing ardsvic@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk 


Wetland Wellness - £45pp
Saturday 31 July | 7am | Meeting point: Castle Espie reception, 78 Ballydrain Road, BT23 6EA. 

Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and the essence of stillness with Castle Espie and SuphubNI.
 
Join us for a dawn paddleboard on Strangford Lough lead by SuphupNI and explore the beauty of wildlife and nature whilst embracing the natural healing power of the water around us. Meditate amongst the gentle, moving trees in the mystical woodland and awaken your senses as nature wakes up around you. Be still and breathe in the beauty and stillness and forget the everyday stresses that surround you. Round off your unique experience with a healthy breakfast provided by The Kingfisher Kitchen at Castle Espie.

Book now

Booking fee applies | Suitable for beginners | All equipment provided | 18+ years | Please make us aware of any dietary requirements by 24 July 2021 by emailing ardsvic@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk | Clothing: wear comfortable clothing. We don't plan on getting wet but bring a change 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.