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On Saturday 28 September the hugely popular food festival, the River to Lough Festival returns to the shores of Lough Neagh.


This years festival celebrates Lough Neagh Pollan, the first product in Northern Ireland to be awarded Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status.


The festival begins at 11.00am at the Lough Neagh Fishermen’s Co-op where tickets (Adults £2, children go free) can be purchased providing access to all venues and activities.


You will meet the fishermen and learn how they prepare and fish for pollan, scientists will explain the process while showing off many fascinating creatures from the lough, including live species in aquariums.


 You can follow the pollan life cycle trail, find out what they eat, where they breed and what makes them so special.


And we are waiving the usual £13 admission fee to the Visitors Centre for visitors to The River to Lough Festival which we firmly believe will be the ultimate Taste The Island food festival


A treasure trove of local delicacies will be available to sample and buy in the Food Pavilion and Ruairidh Morrison from North Coast Smokehouse will prepare and hot smoke pollan to whet the appetite.


There will be food demos from celebrity chef Paula McIntyre and local chefs creating dishes with Lough Neagh Pollan, other fish from Lough Neagh and a range of local ingredients to inspire the inner foodie and The Elk Complex and O’Neill Arms Hotel will be serving pollan on their menu throughout the day.

Sneak preview of Chef Sean McKeever’s (The Elk Bistro) – Tempura battered pollan fillets on potato & scallion pancakes with pickled red onions and Asian style dipping sauce.


At the Lock Keepers Cottage, you can enjoy food and craft demonstrations before trying your hand at canoeing from Toome Canal jetty or taking a leisurely stroll along the Canal Walk and hopping on a RHIB for a short cruise up the Lower River Bann and onto Lough Neagh.


The River to Lough Festival has been supported by Tourism NI through the Taste the Island Events Scheme. Taste the Island is a three month celebration of our food and drink and we are delighted to be a part of the programme which aims to put a sustained focus on our wonderful foodie experiences.



You can find out more information about locations, event timings, car parking, where to stay and where to eat on the River to Lough website with links here and below to access the event’s social media handles.




Don’t forget to use our festival hashtags #TasteThePollan #TasteTheIsland #EelsAreTasty

Look forward to seeing you there!