16 March 2023

Get Into the Green this St. Patrick’s Weekend

This Friday is St. Patrick’s Day, a day to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland and a brilliant long bank holiday weekend. There are always plenty of events and parades happening, people dressed up, the odd pint of Guinness and surprisingly a lot of green themed food.

Why not earn those green dyed cupcakes by escaping to the lush green outdoors of Northern Ireland, taking in it’s beautiful trails and places? We’ve got the best recommendations for anyone looking to explore the land of St. Patrick and getting green in other ways this weekend.


Nothing says St. Patrick’s Day in Northern Ireland more than Slemish. It was the legendary first known home of Saint Patrick when he was in Ireland, a risky destination considering at 1500 feet tall is it the central core of a volcano (albeit one that is extinct). It is believed that Saint Patrick spent six years on Slemish working as a shepherd. Still a popular location to spend the bank holiday, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council organize an annual trek up Slemish with Park and Ride services to get to the site.St Patrick’s Day at Slemish | Mid and East Antrim Borough Council

If you don’t fancy trekking up the hill but want to appreciate the view, why not jump on your bike and cycle around from the ECOS Centre to Glenarm with views on the right day across the Braid River valley and beyond with the added bonus of the pretty village of Broughshane and Slemish Mountain situated along the route.

Kilbroney Forest Park & Rostrevor Forest

At Kilbroney Forest Park and Rostrevor Forest, mountain, stream, sea-lough and valley conjure up a scenic wonderland. The perfect ‘green’ escape offers a wide range of facilities and services for all the family.

There are a number of trails to choose from within the forests, from walking to mountain biking, so make a day of it and get into the green. Be advised the mountain bike trails here aren’t unfortunately ‘green’ and so only experienced mountain bikers should try them.


Okay, so it isn’t super green, but Portstewart is a north coast haven for Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations, including fun family events such as the Duck Dive for people to take part in. The Duck Dive is held in The Crescent, along the promenade, but if you walk along the Port Path you’ll find the beautiful Portstewart Strand. Away from the fancy dress and activities, you can take a relaxing stroll along the beach and listen to the waves crash in, or stop for a coffee at Harry’s Shack. You could also take the path round to Portrush to see what’s in store for the celebrations there (hint: it involves plenty of pints and music).

Blessingbourne Blue Mountain Bike Trail

If you really want to escape for the weekend, and get in amongst the green trees, Blessinbourne is a perfect location to take your mountain bike for a spin. This flowing blue trail is packed full of twists and turns with some exhilarating swoopy sections through the estate woodland. It can be taken as fast or as slow as you like and so is suited to families/groups holding a range of abilities. You can also find a pump track for younger kids on site, as well as an appropriate green trail that allows for biking and walking around the scenic lake.

Keep an eye out for the impressive Blessingbourne peacocks too!

Botanic Gardens

If you want to keep close to Belfast City Centre then Botanic Gardens is a great spot. You could check out the parades through the city and escape for a quiet walk through the park, explore the palm house, tropical ravine, rose garden or the Ulster Museum – it’s always good to have an indoor location nearby with the current weather changes!

There are plenty of events throughout the city including a walking tour, traditional music, Titanic celebrations, a 10km run and many more: St Patrick’s Day Events in Belfast | Family Friendly, Free, Things To Do | A blog full of ideas and inspiration | Visit Belfast


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