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.


Grow and Graze 
Saturday 11 September | 10.30am | £30pp | Meeting point: Castle Espie Reception (June and August dates available Thursday 24 June and Saturday 14 August)

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.  This 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.

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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 4 September 2021 by emailing ardsvic@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk | Booking fee applies.

SUP-NIC (Paddle and Supper) - £40pp 
Saturday 18 September |4pm - 6pm| Meeting place: Donaghadee Harbour

Paddleboarding from Donaghadee with a gourmet picnic  on the water. Enjoy getting on the water with this guided paddleboarding experience, take in our water’s edge views and hear local tales. Then as you rest on your paddleboard, tuck into a gourmet picnic from a local deli as you enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

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Booking fee applies |Suitable for beginners | All equipment provided | 18+ years | Please make us aware of any dietary requirements by 11 September by emailing ardsvic@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk  

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.