Something for September: Winterfell Festival and Kildare Village

The summer holidays are coming to an end and everyone’s getting back to a normal routine but although the family hours of free time maybe reduced, I still have a few suggestions to make the most out of your weekend.

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A fan of Game of Thrones why not check out the Winterfell Festival on Sunday 16th September at Castle Ward.

Recently I stepped into the world of the Stark family at Castle Ward, Co. Down. Meeting at the Clock Tower of the historic estate in the courtyard (which was used as a film location for the popular HBO programme Game of Thrones in season one) we were cloaked and transported to Westeros. We sampled storytelling (meeting actors who play Lord Ned Stark, Lady Stark and King Robert), we ate a Game of Thrones picnic in the beautiful surroundings of the Strangford Lough (provided by local restaurant The Cuan) and heard stories of White Walkers!

Our tour guides were well informed on all the film sites and I loved checking out filming locations around the estate including Audleys Castle which formed Freys Towers in the show. We even got a chance to learn some sword skills from trained extras. Although my highlight of the day was the archery, we stood on the very spot where young Bran Stark trained with his brothers and took our shot. I was absolutely useless but it was so much fun. Big Game of Thrones fan? Or even just looking for a fun family activity then this is the day out for you. With lots of places to eat and picnic on the estate, lots of nice of forest walks as well as the beautiful historic Castle Ward. The Winterfell festival also adds a full programme of events and entertainment including theatrical performances, live jousting, falconry,archery, a medieval village and Dire Wolves (yes, you can meet the actual dogs who played Summer and Grey Wind in the TV show!)
Tickets for the festival and full information can be found at www.national trust.org.uk/winterfell

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Fancy a shopping trip for you and your little shopaholics why not visit the shopping Mecca of Ireland; Kildare Village.

Last weekend I took a Sunday day trip to Kildare Village, the outlet shopping village outside of Dublin. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised I’d be hearing a lot about this outlet but having been spoilt by BIG outlet villages in the states, I’ve never really found anywhere that compares.
However Kildare Village is one of the most picturesque outlets I have every seen, covered in blossoms and with pretty shop fronts and even prettier cafes and pop up food carts I have to say it ranks right up there with Woodbury Common in New York!! And that’s just the aesthetic!


It also has some fantastic bargains and offers to be had from labels such as Prada, Michael Kors, Mulberry,Pandora,Swaroski and many many more.With lots of fun zones for the kids including the new Imaginosity zone and I’m sure they would love a black charcoal ice cream, it’s a fun day trip for all the family.
I popped down with the #NIBLoggerBrunch crew and we all had a lovely brunch, did some painting with prosecco then hit the shops. I got some beautiful new jewellery and some of the my favourite Rituals products for the half of the price but wanted to buy so much more, I think a Christmas shopping trip maybe in order!!! Plus if you are insta wannabie this is the place for you lots and lots of photo walls. Come on you know you want to make your friends jealous!!

Want to know more about Kildare Village find out all the details here: www.kildarevillage.com
Heading from Belfast why not make the journey stress free by taking the trip with McCombs check out there day trip options at: McCombs Kildare Village Shopping Trip

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