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Enjoy a voyage of discovery at Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival

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Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival is set to make a splash when it returns to Ballycastle and Rathlin Island later this month.

From May 24th – June 2nd get closer to the maritime heritage of this very special part of the Causeway Coast and Glens through an exciting and engaging programme of events.

The celebration is packed full of seafaring, food experiences, artisan produce, live music and lots more on water and dry land while a mesmerising range of sailing vessels will bring the story of sea travel to life. For a must-see sight, watch as a flotilla makes its way across Rathlin Sound on Friday 31st May. A Viking longboat, drontheims and currachs, including the magnificent Colmcille and Menapian which at almost 40ft long are two of the largest of their kind in Northern Ireland, all feature in this magnificent fleet.

Looking ahead to the festivities, a spokesperson for Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council said: “Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival is a very special event, set in one of the Borough’s most scenic locations. We have worked closely with our community partners to deliver an exciting showcase of maritime connections which have brought Ballycastle and Rathlin Island together through generations. The Festival brings this to life through food, music, dance, arts, crafts, boat trips and watersports and there will be plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the very best of what the area has to offer.”

For foodies, the Ulster Chowder Championship is a must see in the Cookery Theatre on Bank Holiday Monday (May 27th). This is a fabulous opportunity to celebrate our sea food and skilled chefs. With a chance to compete in the world famous Kinsale competition next year it’s all to cook for in the seafront marquee!

New this year, The School of Irish Archaeology brings ‘The Big Dig’ to the festival. This fun hands-on workshop is educational, engaging and interactive offering the experience of a real life dig for Viking treasures and artefacts. Guided by a team of professionals, this dig gives children the opportunity to experience what it is like to be an archaeologist whilst learning about the lifestyles of their Viking ancestors.

On Rathlin Island, take an evening tour of the West Light Seabird Centre with the RSPB and watch as the red beam shines out across the sea over one of the biggest seabird breeding colonies in Europe. Visit an art installation in the unique surroundings of a cliff-edge Coastguard hut or meet the crew of the Mamoch Mor Currach and learn more about this inspiring community-built traditional boat for a taste of contemporary maritime culture.

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