50 things to do in Northern Ireland

Discover and explore amazing spaces and places on your doorstep © National Trust / Bernie Brown

Discover and explore amazing spaces and places on your doorstep

This year we want to get even more families outdoors and closer to nature. Spending time outdoors is good for your heart and good for your soul, and we’ve a fantastic range of green spaces – perfect for trying out our list of ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’.

There are lots more great hints and tips to help you and your family become outdoor explorers at nationaltrust.org.uk/50things. Claim rewards, unlock special certificates and complete hidden secret challenges! Make sure to pick up your '50 things to do' activity booklet at a National Trust place near you.

Here’s just a taster of what you can do.

The Argory
• Skim a stone – adjacent to Blackwater River, The Argory is the perfect location for stone skimming.
• Hunt for bugs – surrounded by woodlands and gardens, there won’t be a shortage of bugs to discover under rocks and near the river!
• Canoe down a river – there are access points for the Black Water Canoe trail at The Argory and Bond’s Bridge.

Florence Court
• Discover what’s in a pond – there’s a huge population of all kinds of life beneath the water and mud.
• Go on a really long bike ride – explore the forest for hours with the fantastic bike trails at Florence Court.
• Run around in the rain – with plenty of wind and rain it’s best to enjoy it by having fun and running around!

Mount Stewart
• Hunt for bugs – discover a whole world of bugs and beasties at Mount Stewart, and not just in the gardens!
• Make a mud pie – with plenty of rain and our own lake to help make the best squelchy mud for pies.
• Create some wild art – take some inspiration from our topiaries and formal gardens and create something of your own.

Castle Ward
• Explore inside a tree – discover the inside of some of the oldest trees at Castle Ward and have fun playing hide and seek.
• Track wild animals – learn to recognise animal prints and tracks, and follow them if you can!
• Find your way with a map and compass – there are over 21 miles of trails for you to navigate through.

Downhill Demesne and Hezlett House
• Make a trail with sticks – how many sticks can you find and how long will you be able to make your trail?
• Fly a kite – the cliff top estate is the perfect open space for some windy kite flying.
• Go bird watching – with fantastic coastal views and a bird hide there are lots of birds to look out for.

Rowallane Garden
• Climb a tree – just the place to work on your tree climbing skills in the secret world at Rowallane.
• Roll down a really big hill – the gentle, rolling hill at the front of the house is perfect for some dizzying family fun.
• Make a grass trumpet – call to each other with your trumpets and see who can do it the loudest.

It's time to go outdoors.