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It looks like summer has finally arrived in Northern Ireland, with sunshine and higher temperatures expected for the next week at least.
Many of us may be disheartened by not jetting off to sunny spots around the globe this summer, but when the sun’s out here, there’s no better place to be!
And there’s plenty to do right on our doorstep, especially for those thrill-seekers among us or those wanting to learn something new.
Have a go at diving, water-skiing, coasteering, surfing, or paddle boarding right here in Northern Ireland.
We’ve put together a list of some of the best local spots for water sports, to keep you entertained for a day out this summer.
Meteor Waterski Club
Meteor Waterski Club is only a 20-minute drive outside of Belfast, situated at Lough Henney, Co Down.
It’s made up of members who share an interest in water-skiing and wakeboarding, with the club boasting a private lake to allow members and visitors to ski safely.
Everyone is welcome to turn up at the club during an open skiing time and put their name down for a set on the water.
Sets last 10 minutes and the list is worked through on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Enniskillen Water Activity Zone
The Water Activity Zone is in the heart of Enniskillen in Co Fermanagh at the Erneside Shopping Centre.
It’s a real one-stop shop for water sports, where you can try your hand at canoeing, kayaking, or stand-up paddle boarding.
It has all the activities you could need for a fun-filled family day out or for groups of friends who want to explore Enniskillen, or further afield, from the water.
Booking is essential and you can find out more here.
Experience the thrill of catching a wave indoors at Northern Ireland’s first-ever indoor surf simulator.
Pumps fire a constant five-metre-wide wave sheet to challenge riders.
Designed for a variety of age groups and skill levels, Surf Belfast has four different performance settings to ensure the ride can be enjoyed by just about anyone.
Sessions must be pre-booked online via the Better UK app.
A session on the surf simulator lasts for 45 minutes, based on eight people per session taking turns to ride.
A minimum height restriction of 1.2 metres (4 feet) is in place.
Castle Archdale Boat Hire and Watersports
Try out Ireland’s first hydrobikes at Castle Archdale in Co Fermanagh this summer.
Hydrobikes provide a gentle, low impact total body workout – but this all depends on how fast you pedal!
It’s a perfect way to experience water sports, with adventurers aged 8 to 80 able to have a go, and the bikes are even dog friendly too.
The duration of a slot on the hydrobikes is one hour, and children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Prices start from £15, and you can book this unique experience online here.
Coasteering is one of the best activities to try out in Northern Ireland for all those adrenaline junkies out there.
It’s cliff jumping, bouldering, climbing, bellyflopping, clambering, and includes some underwater challenges, allowing you to see the coastline as an adventure playground.
The scenery is amazing at Coasteering NI in Ballintoy, with some of Europe’s most dramatic coastlines nearby, the team know the best spots to bring you to.
Experienced guides will start you off low and build you up to the Big Kahuna jump which is 45 ft!
Sessions can be tailored to suit all ages and abilities.
Get involved in one of the fastest growing sports in the world, and one of the best ways to explore the beauty of Northern Ireland’s coastline.
Islandmagee SUP (or stand-up paddle boarding) is an accredited paddle boarding school based at Portmuck in Islandmagee, Co Antrim, with experienced and qualified instructors.
They also paddle from nearby Brown’s Bay and Whitehead.
Group sessions last for two hours, and they also offer family sessions, four-week beginners courses, and guided SUP tours.
Sessions can be tailored to suit all abilities for ages 12 and up.
The Lake Kilrea offers an outdoor inflatable adventure park, but you can also have a go at canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boarding while there.
If you’re looking to steer clear of the water, they also offer a number of land based activities, such as archery, zip line, and climbing wall.
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