As many of you will know, 2016 marks Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink – a celebration of our fantastic local producers.
It’s been a brilliant year so far for everyone that loves to eat, with highlights including Breakfast Month (January); Love Local (February); and our particular favourite – Brewing & Distilling (April).
Now, just in time for summer, it’s Love NI Meat month. All month.
Love NI Meat
Tourism Northern Ireland are marking this time of year by declaring August “Love NI Meat” month as part of Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink, in celebration of NI’s array of fantastic producers of meat and the many great places to enjoy it.
Tourism NI’s Communications and PR Officer Finola Guinnane explains why Northern Ireland is a great barbecue destination:
“During the height of summer, there will be many people enjoying barbecues, and we would encourage everyone to get out and experience some of Northern Ireland’s beautiful outdoor spots to enjoy their food and when we get it, the weather!”
“All around Northern Ireland, there are parks, beaches and forests that are all the more enjoyable in summer weather and many have specific areas designed for barbecues providing a beautiful backdrop and a change from our backyards this summer.”
Tourism NI has put together some places to enjoy a barbecue, as well as an introductory list to some of NI’s best loved and award-winning meat producers.
Great Spots for a Northern Ireland Barbecue
In Northern Ireland you are never far from the coast and one of our many beautiful beaches. The perfect way to spend a summer evening with family or friends is to go to one of these spots for a barbecue, and there are lots of options!
Full of personality; situated in a stunning location overlooking Strangford Lough, the lawns rise up to the unique 18th century house with its gothic appearance.
The paths wind their way through exotic gardens and enchanting woodland before opening out onto the quiet shores of the Lough. With its open areas, gardens and children’s parks, it’s a perfect spot for a family picnic or barbecue.
Tollymore Forest Park, Co. Down
Situated at the foot of the Mourne Mountains a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Here the rivers Shimna and Spinkwee meet and there are many fascinating plants and trees to be seen. With enchanting walking trails, designated areas for barbecues, a ‘Big Deer’ adventure play park for kids and key filming locations from HBO’s Game of Thrones, it is an ideal spot the whole family can enjoy.
On the shores of Belfast Lough, Hazelbank Park offers fantastic views of Belfast, Carrickfergus and County Down.
In the summer you can have a picnic or a barbecue on the grass or go down to the shore for a paddle, with walking routes offering all ages the chance to walk or cycle along well-kept traffic-free paths.
Sir Thomas & Lady Dixon Park
One of the most popular parks in Belfast is Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park. Covering over 128 acres, the park is made up of rolling meadows, woodland and the popular Belfast International Rose Garden.
Donated to the people of Belfast in 1959 in memory of her late husband Sir Thomas, the park contains a children’s playpark, picnic tables and a barbecue area.
In Limavady, Benone Strand is made up of seven miles of golden sand against a backdrop of mountains and cliffs with stunning views across to Donegal.
This beach in Portrush is situated just off the breathtaking Causeway Coastal Route and is known for its distinctive limestone cliffs.
Murlough Natural Nature Reserve
Meanwhile Murlough Natural Nature Reserve is a beautiful dune landscape with miles of beaches, yellow and gray dunes and sand flats. When it comes to gorgeous spots around the coastline, Northern Ireland is spoilt for choice.
For further information check out discovernorthernireland.com or join the conversation online with #EnjoyNI16.