Countdown is on to Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival

The countdown is on to Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival - a week long maritime themed festival packed awash with family fun, food and sea-going antics. The festival kicks off tomorrow and will run until the 5th June. Pictured on Ballycastle beach with a replica Tall Ship to kick start the festival is Danielle Graham.

The countdown is on to Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival - a week long maritime themed festival packed awash with family fun, food and sea-going antics. The festival kicks off tomorrow and will run until the 5th June. Pictured on Ballycastle beach with a replica Tall Ship to kick start the festival is Danielle Graham.

Ballycastle and Rathlin Island are anticipating over 15,000 visitors to descend upon the coastal locations for a week long maritime themed festival which will be awash with family fun, food and sea-going antics.

The Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival, now in its fourth year, is a celebration of Northern Ireland’s rich and diverse maritime history and the unique stretch of water lying between Ballycastle and the magical island of Rathlin.

The festival will run from May 27 to June 5 and features a bustling schedule of events perfect for families, local foodies and boating enthusiasts, beginning with a unique boat blessing to open the festival.

From then on the activities are endless! Kids can take a ride on the famous Tall Ship, The Johanna Lucretia. Take part in a pirate-themed Children’s Treasure Hunt, learn about the tales of Vikings and the myths and legends around the Causeway Coast’s famous giant, Finn McCool.

Foodies shouldn’t miss Ulster’s inaugural Chowder Cook Off featuring live cookery demonstrations from none other than Paula McIntyre, and music lovers will want to hear country music sensation Lisa McHugh’s latest tunes.

All of this in addition to racing yachts and fishing trips, powerboats and traditional hand-crafted rowing boats (curraghs) – every pace and taste is catered for over the festival’s busy itinerary.

Caroline Carey, Tourism Development at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, said: “We are delighted to invite visitors back to Rathlin Island and Ballycastle for the fourth year of this superb festival. It is a fantastic mix of culture, entertainment, nature, sport and, of course, seafood.”

This year’s festival has been organised by the Council, Ballycastle Community Development Group, the Rathlin Development & Community Association, and the Ballycastle Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Sponsors include Tourism Northern Ireland, Malin Waters, Rathlin Boat House Partnership, Rathlin Island Ferry Ltd, Marine Hotel Ballycastle, Naturally North Coast & Glens Market and Causeway Coast and Glens Food Network.

For more information on the full Festival programme of activities in Ballycastle and on Rathlin Island, between 27th May and 5th June, visit www.rathlinsoundmaritimefestival.com.