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Eat, drink and walk through the history of Mid and East Antrim

Londonderry Arms Hotel: Laura Cowan, MEA Strategic Tourism and Regeneration Manager, Denise O’Neill, Londonderry Arms Hotel, Mayor Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, David Roberts, Director of Strategic Development at Tourism NI.

Londonderry Arms Hotel: Laura Cowan, MEA Strategic Tourism and Regeneration Manager, Denise O’Neill, Londonderry Arms Hotel, Mayor Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, David Roberts, Director of Strategic Development at Tourism NI.


Visitors are being encouraged to explore the hidden history of Mid and East Antrim.The timely invitation follows the launch of a trio of new experiences in the local area, and follows the Council’s successful collaboration with businesses and Tourism NI.

 

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, said it was wonderful to launch the new visitor experiences.


“Our Borough is defined by innovation, energy and evolution,” she said.



“I can think of nowhere better to launch this exciting trio of tourism experiences to offer visitors even more opportunities by way of exploring the area. These new experiences, made possible through our partnership with businesses and Tourism NI, demonstrate our commitment to promoting our region as a captivating destination for locals and tourists alike.”


Dobbins Inn: Laura Cowan, MEA Strategic Tourism and Regeneration Manager, Mayor Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, David Roberts, Director of Strategic Development at Tourism NI, Kirsty Fallis, Dobbins Inn Hotel, Tour guides George McGrand and Adrian Hack

Dobbins Inn: Laura Cowan, MEA Strategic Tourism and Regeneration Manager, Mayor Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, David Roberts, Director of Strategic Development at Tourism NI, Kirsty Fallis, Dobbins Inn Hotel, Tour guides George McGrand and Adrian Hack


Discover the history of Carrickfergus through a guided 2km walking tour and immersive medieval food and drinks experience at Dobbins Inn.


The ‘Dobbins Dander and Dine’ allows guests to discover the story behind the legendary hostelry and its links to Carrickfergus Castle and the town itself, the oldest walled town in Ulster.



Join an expert local resident tour guide on a walk beginning in the shadow of the castle, incorporating the Walls Walk and many fascinating sites around the town, with the final stop at Carrick’s Hidden Tower House – Dobbins Inn, where you’ll finish off with delicious and simple food and drink inspired by medieval culture.


Kirsty Fallis, General Manager of Dobbins Inn, said she was “delighted to be offering this unique experience of Dobbins history and its importance through the years within the town”.


“I believe that there is much to learn and this experience will surprise, with lots of hidden gems and stories. It is a combination of history and hospitality not to be missed, Dobbins, Dander and Dine,” she added.



Visitors can also experience a music tradition unique to Ulster from the world’s loudest percussion instrument, the Lambeg Drum. Bellahill Culture and Cuisine is situated in Ballycarry - an area which is home to the oldest congregation of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.


Bellahill Culture & Cuisine: Laura Cowan, MEA Strategic Tourism and Regeneration Manager, Mayor Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, David Roberts, Director of Strategic Development at Tourism NI, Billy Thompson, Bellahill Culture & Cuisine.

Bellahill Culture & Cuisine: Laura Cowan, MEA Strategic Tourism and Regeneration Manager, Mayor Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, David Roberts, Director of Strategic Development at Tourism NI, Billy Thompson, Bellahill Culture & Cuisine.


Having been founded by Scottish settlers, it remains an area of strong Ulster Scots settlement with associated traditions, including the Lambeg Drum.


Apart from hearing the distinctive sound of a Lambeg Drum when a parade walks by, most people know relatively little about them, so here’s an opportunity to learn their story first hand from a man who owns, plays, teaches and lives this cultural tradition from the beating heart of Ulster.



In addition to an interactive history and music, ‘The Giant of Drums’ experience includes delicious Ulster-Scots food and drink menu options.


Completing the hattrick of new tourism offerings is Frances Anne Vane Afternoon Tea and The Churchill Lounge Cocktail Experience at the Londonderry Arms Hotel.


Laura Cowan, MEA Strategic Tourism and Regeneration Manager, Denise O’Neill, Londonderry Arms Hotel, Mayor Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, David Roberts, Director of Strategic Development at Tourism NI

Laura Cowan, MEA Strategic Tourism and Regeneration Manager, Denise O’Neill, Londonderry Arms Hotel, Mayor Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, David Roberts, Director of Strategic Development at Tourism NI


This will enable guests to discover the story behind Lady Londonderry and Sir Winston Churchill’s connections to the hotel.

 

Relax in a cozy lounge, enjoy cocktails of class and sophistication while learning of Winston Churchills family connections to a Carnlough hotel in Country Antrim, The Londonderry Arms.

 

Or Immerse yourself in the luxurious life of Frances Anne Vane, Marchioness of Londonderry with a regency-inspired Lady Londonderry afternoon tea experience.Funding for the project was provided by the Tourism NI Market Led Product Development Programme 2022/2023.

 


David Roberts, Director of Strategic Development at Tourism Northern Ireland, said:


“Since launching the ‘Embrace A Giant Spirit’ brand in 2019, Tourism NI has been working proactively to grow and diversify the range of experiences which can provide more reasons for people to visit Northern Ireland and stay longer.

 

“The three experiences being showcased in Mid and East Antrim really deliver on that Giant Spirit – distinctive local culture, story-telling, passionate and generous hosts. Building in local food and drink too ensures that the experience is authentic and memorable for the visitor.

 


“We look forward to working closely with Mid and East Antrim Council colleagues to support these experiences and the wider visitor offer in the months ahead”.

 

To find out more about these amazing experiences, visit www.shapedbyseaandstone.com

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