Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Northern Ireland Potato Festival - Saturday October 4

The Festival this year will take place on the hard surface car park in front of the Causeway Hotel.

We will have  two marquees for food stands and exhibitors. This year we will also have another marquee for the Signature Kitchen of Food NI, a selection of chefs will be demonstrating throughout the day.

The Causeway Hotel will be used for Talks and Exhibitors downstairs in the function room and extension with a link to the exterior marquees.

Local restaurants will be providing potato menus on the day which will feature the potato in its many culinary disguises:  The French Rooms, Distiller's Arms, Causeway Hotel, Bushmills Inn and The Bayview Hotel, Portballintrae.

For more information please check back to our programme page which will become active and receive updates as we get them.

A Park & Ride shuttle bus will be operating from the car park in Bushmills. The Festival is free to attend but if you wish to visit the Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre then you will need to purchase a ticket.


There will be a range of Food Stands inside the Marquee, Food Producers, Exhibitors, Potato Growers, Trailer Stands.

Cookery Demonstrations in the Food NI Signature Kitchen throughout the day

1.00 - 1.45pm   Paula McIntyre - BBC Radio Ulster

2.00 - 2.45pm   Emmet McCourt - Irish Food Heritage project

3.00 - 3.45pm   Eimer Mullan - Thyme & Co

4.00 - 5.00pm   Paula McIntyre - BBC Radio Ulster

Country Markets

 Ballycastle Country Markets will be attending with crafts, art and home produce.

Talks in the Causeway Hotel

11.30am - The John Clarke Story - Maurice McCurdy

12.30pm - Potato Varieties Galore - David Langford

1.30pm -  Grow Your Own Potatoes - Carol Hall

2.30pm  Potatoes - A Very Important Food - Donna Wilson
Children's Activities
Young at Art, Face Painting, Balloon Making, Fairground Attractions, Mr Tayto, Finn, Una and Bennadonner, Art Competition
Helicopter Flights
Weather permitting we will have helicopter flight available during the day
Static Displays
Farm machinery

Sunday, 28 September 2014

National Trust - B57 Causeway Car-Park FREE Pass 2

"You may have a BT57 pass but you can't come in," 
said the National Trust gatekeeper, 
grinning broadly, as he waved me in.

If you have a local BT57 address then you can obtain a FREE car-park pass 
by taking a domestic bill to the Visitor Centre reception 
and completing the application form.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Causeway Coast Marathon 2014 - Saturday, September 27

The 2014 Causeway Coast Marathon will take place on 27th September 2014. Having established itself as one of the most scenic marathons in the world the 2014 event is set to attract participants from across the globe that will come to compete alongside fellow runners on this fantastic route.

With the addition of the Ultra Marathon distance (60km) in 2010 there is now an event for everyone from the serious Ultra Runner to the 10k specialists on the day of the event. In addition to the Ultra and 10km distances there are also Marathon and Half Marathon options. There is also a Challenge Walk along the 26 mile route of the Causeway Coast Marathon for those avid walkers out there, which is being hosted by Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke Association.

All Causeway Coast events will be fully way-marked and will follow the paths, tracks, beaches and coastline of the Causeway Coast Way - probably one of the most spectacular coastlines in the whole world. The entire route passes through magnificent coastline scenery with fine views of wide bays, sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs and offshore rocks, all of which characterise the Causeway Coast, making its beauty and uniqueness world famous. All events will run through the world famous Giants Causeway with the Ultra and Marathon events passing close to the actual Giants Causeway stones.

As with all 26 Extreme events, there will be a high level of support and feed stations en route. Participants in all events will be chipped timed by our timing partner Champion Chip Ireland and we will provide split times and finish times for all participants after the event.

Marathon start Portballintrae - 9:30 am
Challenge walk - marathon route - 7:30 am
Half start in Ballintoy - 12:30 pm
 10k between Dunseverick and the Causeway - 14:30 pm

Most scenic marathon in the UK or Ireland.

First 13 miles of the ultra marathon - Portstewart to Portballintrae
Start 7:15 am

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Portrush and an esplanade built on sand

10th Sep 2014: Closure of steps at East Strand, Portrush

Closure: Coleraine Borough Council is advising residents and visitors that both sets of steps at East Strand in Portrush will be closed for up to five weeks for repair and reinforcement work. Council apologises for any inconvenience this may cause. Council will keep residents informed as to when the steps will reopen again.

I thought, perhaps, that the sea had wrought havoc once again on the new esplanade at Portrush's East Strand but I'm told that the current works are a pre-emptive measure.

Extra layer of breeze blocks being added to the wall supporting the steps

This shambles poses serious questions about the quality of the public procurement process.