Northern Ireland – Let’s Dance Again

It’s time to boogie into the night in one of Northern Ireland’s many social venues this summer. Whether you fancy a chilled-out gig, a bop on the dancefloor, classy cocktails or pints with the lads. Every city, town and village in Northern Ireland has something to offer night owls seeking an adventure. 

Northern Ireland – Let’s Dance Again

Kick it off in Northern Ireland’s capital city, Belfast by gigging at one of the various festivals. Or why not take yourself off to the vibrant city of Derry for a night of craic. It’s not just the cities of Northern Ireland that own the night. You can cruise Lough Erne for an evening dinner in Fermanagh or sing along with a live folk band in a traditional pub in County Tyrone.  

Discover Northern Ireland has put together a list of the best nightlife activities happening this summer in Northern Ireland.  

Belfast Trad Fest  – 23-29 July, various locations in Belfast 

Belfast TradFest returns with a jam-packed week of traditional music, song and dance, with musicians, singers and dancers from Ireland. Featuring a summer school and a full programme of concerts, workshops, talks, lectures, sessions, céilís and festival club. This week is the only one of its kind in Northern Ireland. It brings together both the Irish and the Ulster-Scots musical traditions, in a shared celebration of culture & heritage, see here

Summer Entertainment and Fireworks –20 August, Portrush, County Antrim 

Make your night sparkle and end the summer on a high in Portrush this August. This free event in Ramore Head is filled with live music, fireworks and entertainment from 8pm. If you fancy a night away from the kids in Portrush, you can start your night in the resort town off to a gentle start with a cocktail at the Ramore Wine Bar before hitting the tiles at the bar and nightclub that is the legendary Lush, see here.   

Cruise and Dinner – Sundays-Thursdays, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh 

Enjoy a relaxed cruise around Ireland’s only Island Town followed by dinner in a local restaurant. You will have choice from three of Enniskillen’s favourite eateries: The Westville Hotel, The Firehouse and the Crowes Nest. From Sunday to Thursday, enjoy a two-hour cruise onboard MV Kestrel on Upper and Lower Lough Erne. Your cruise departs at 4pm from the Round ‘O’ Jetty returning at 6pm. The trip includes a voucher to use in your chosen venue for food and drink, see here

Lough Erne Cruise
Cruise on Lough Erne before Partying in Enniskillen

Hole in the Wall Bar – County Armagh 

If you’re stopping in Armagh, keep an eye out for the 400-year-old pub, The Hole in the Wall. It is packed with character, history and a warm welcome. The Hole In The Wall dates back to 1615 when the building was originally a jail. Today the only inmate is Casper, the friendly parrot. The bar hosts frequent comedy gigs, live music the beer garden is perfect for those long summer evenings, see here.

Crosskeys Cottage
Crossed Keys Bar – Antrim

Dance the night away in Derry 

You’ll find a surplus of amazing places for tasty food and drink in Derry and of course, some craic. You will find giggles at the comedy nights in Mason’s Bar. Or enjoy a drink at The Grand Central Bar on Strand Road before taking it up a notch at the famous Peadar O’Donnell’s lively bar. The Coppins Bar in the City Hotel is the spot for those colourful cocktails. nAd if you’re not quite ready for bed then Sugar Nite Club in the city centre is a sweet place to begin your night anew, see here.

Through Toome to the Sperrins, County Tyrone/Derry 

There’s a world of folk and trad under the cosy thatched roofs of Seán Óg’s in Omagh and The Crosskeys Inn in Toomebridge. A journey through the Sperrin Mountains will bring you to Ireland’s highest pub, The Ponderosa. Here you can enjoy a night of Ceili and Craic, see here

Ponderosa Bar
Traditional Music and Ceili Dancing in the The Ponderosa, Ireland’s Highest Bar

Ireland’s Oldest Pub, Grace Neills – Donaghadee, Co Down 

Step back in time and enjoy a drink in Ireland’s oldest pub, Grace Neills. The bar was established in 1611 as The Kings Arms. It was named after Grace Neill who was given the bar as a wedding present by her father, Hugh Jamison. Grace Neills offers a wide range of tasty food and drinks, perfect for those long, summer evenings, see here.

For more information, and to help you plan your night out in Northern Ireland, visit www.discovernorthernireland.com

Joan Scales
Award-winning journalist, Joan has been writing about travel and tourism for many years principally for The Irish Times and lately for travel2ireland. Joan has appeared many times on television and radio talking about the business of travel and all its component strands. She is also a public speaker and has appeared at many international conventions and conferences.

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