Carrickfergus Castle is to be transformed into a world of magic, witchcraft and wizardry during a special event next month.
The Department for Communities (DfC) are working in partnership with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to host the Wizarding Weekend (January 13-14).
Inspired by the world of Harry Potter, the event will allow visitors to get to grips with potions, wands, and even broomsticks.
“As a budding magical student you will be able to get some wand training, learning a few key spells to combat any rogue Death Eaters that might be lurking in the castle grounds,” a spokesperson for the Department said.
“You can also take a Potions for Muggles Class, while a magical professor will be at the castle to provide an introduction to broomstick flying.
“It isn’t all fun however – during your visit you will be able to talk to a prisoner of the magical penitentiary. But beware! This prisoner is notorious for escaping even the tightest magical prison, so you will need to use all your new magical powers to help the wizarding professors and students recapture the escapee.”
Visitors will be able to drop by the Great Dining Hall to talk to some of the wizarding students, and have the opportunity to be sorted into one of four magical houses.
World of Owls, a sanctuary based at Randalstown Forest, will be at the castle to let budding wizards see and learn all about these fabulous creatures.
Meanwhile, organisers are encouraging local traders to get involved in the day in an effort to forge greater connections with the town centre.
DfC is also working with Carrickfergus YMCA as its charity partner.
Kids from the YMCA will get an exclusive behind the scenes access tour the day before the event, including a workshop on prop making and event management.
The event takes place on Saturday, January 13 and Sunday, January 14, 2018. There are two wizarding sessions each day from 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm.
Tickets are available online at www.getinvited.to/dfched/wizarding-weekend-carrickfergus-castle
Prices are £17.50 per ticket, with discounts for groups - group of 3 £50, group of 4 £65, group of 5 £80, group of 6 £95, group of 7 £110, group of 8 £122, group of 9 £140, group of 10 £155.
Tickets are issued online via email.
If anyone wishes to buy a ticket but doesn’t have an email address, they can be purchased through the Visitor Information Centre at the castle.
The event is aimed at everyone, families and individuals. It is suitable for all ages from 5+ upwards.
It is not recommended for children younger than five years as some of the elements of the event may be frightening.
DfC is reminding visitors that due to the historic nature of the castle there are no lifts. Access to some areas of the event is by stairs and over uneven cobbled surfaces, and so it is not
suitable for buggies.
Anyone with mobility issues, disabilities or special circumstances is asked to contact DfC on the email or number below and special arrangements will be made for their visit.
Further information or queries should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or 028 9082 3207
This is a ticketed event only, everyone attending must have a ticket to enter the castle on the day.
The castle will be closed to general visitors over the weekend.