For the second year in succession, the Life Adventure Centre based in Castlewellan Forest Park, has won a prestigious award as the Best Family Activity Provider in a Northern Ireland-wide contest run by OutdoorNI.com in association with Surf Mountain.
People using the Mourne’s now are assured that they have a quality national winner on their doorstep looking after their outdoor activities and needs. The outdoor scene in Northern Ireland has grown in recent years, but right at the crest of the wave is the Life Adventure Centre who set up ten years ago and have grown from strength to strength.
The national awards are now in their fifth year and recognise the diverse range of activities, locations, and businesses involved in creating a vibrant outdoor activity scene in Northern Ireland. The winners in this hotly contested competition were selected by the public over the eight categories.
Congratulating the Life Adventure Centre, chairman of Newry Mourne and Down District Council, Councillor Mickey Ruane, said: “We are delighted to hear that Life Adventure has been voted as The Best in the Family Activity Provider category in the OutdoorNI.com awards.
“This is the second time they have won and they are ideally situated in a prime location in the Mournes. It opens up a a gateway of opportunity when it comes to what the Newry Mourn and Down region can offer.”
Upon receiving the award, John Keating, director of the Life Adventure Centre, said: “We’re delighted to have won this award for the second time running and feel it’s a fantastic achievement for our team especially when you reflect upon the three other providers we were up against.
“At the Castlewellan Life Adventure Centre we have lots of water and land based activities to choose from activities suitable for all ages and abilities. We would like to thank everyone who voted for us and we look forward to action-packed family days in 2016.”
Life Adventure Centre Director Martin McMullan explained: “We offer a wide range of activities including archery but the mountain biking is the most popular. We now have new Kreidler electric mountain bikes with Wee Hoo Kids trailers. These batteries allow a range of 50 kilometres over rough or level terrain before they need charged. These e-bikes are really great for the elderly and disabled and people who just may not be very fit. They simply eat the hills up and are just amazing.
“Canoeing on the picturesque Castlewellan Lake is also very popular but we can do sea kayaking if someone wanted to try that.
“Basically, we can provide the whole outdoor package in the one location. So if a family or group wanted to stay over for a few days on the campsite or in Castlewellan or locally, we could organise their outdoor experience for them. We are open seven days a week throughout the year, but the business does peak in the summer during the school holidays. Altogether we have five full-time trained and experienced staff and we can draw on part-time instructors and guides if required.”
Martin added: “We are delighted to be a part of the new drive in tourism in South Down and we feel that this industry will grow in years to come in the Mourne’s. We certainly are up for the challenge. We attract people from Belfast and Dublin and across Ireland north and south, and we hope that from the business that we generate there will be spin offs into the local area.”