The summer is stretching out ahead of us and if, like us, you are still deciding what to do with friends or family, perhaps you’d consider planning a little Northern Ireland based staycation? Just think, no passport control, no currency exchange, no chance of prickly heat (unless we get really lucky!), just pack the car and you’re on your way.
We’ve whittled our ‘must visit’ list down to a few of our favourites and hopefully they’ll inspire you with some staycation ideas.
Staycation in Northern Ireland
Bath Lodge, Ballycastle
First on our list, and a true favourite is the Bath Lodge in Ballycastle. Perfectly located at the end of a stretch of golden sand, Bath Lodge is a family home with views of Rathlin Island and Scotland. Rented out throughout the year, the main house sleeps 10 with an extra 5 catered for in the Garden House. The building might have old bones but it has all mod cons and on a good day (well really any day), you can nip down through the garden to the beautiful sands and make the most of beach life with swimming, crabbing, and body boarding. In a quieter moment you can enjoy spotting wildlife from seals to sea birds, pods of porpoises to dolphins. Bath Lodge is within walking distance of Ballycastle town centre where you’ll find everything you need. Don’t miss a visit to Ursa Minor Bakery for the most incredible sourdough in the land.
Finn Lough Resort
A great option for couples, families, or small groups, Finn Lough Resort in Co. Fermanagh is a beautiful destination which aims to bring you back to nature while providing all the luxuries that any good vacation should include. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, you could try one of the Forest Bubble Domes, a spherical transparent bubble situated in the woods and giving you a magical 180 degree view of the night sky. If it’s family space you need, the resort offers a range of lakeside and woodland lodges, all beautifully decorated and catered. Dip in and out of activities as you please (the Element Forest Spa, Lough Erne kayaking and dusk fire pit picnics were our favourites) and just make the most of this quiet retreat in one of our most beautiful natural spots.
Combining peace and family freedom with hotel level luxury, Castle Leslie offers excellent self catering lodges in a lovely stone courtyard, just slightly set apart from the main Castle Leslie building. The estate dates back to the 16th century and is set in 1,000 acres of woodland and countryside dotted with lakes and wildlife. Spend your days pony trekking, spotting wildlife, and roaming the grounds, dropping into the main house for a delicious breakfast and enjoying the treats laid on in your self catering accommodation for a movie night with the kids towards dusk. Good old outside fun in a stunning location.
Mountain Sky Glamping
The Mountain Sky Safari tents are found on Ash Park Farm, at the foot of the Sperrin Mountains, an area of outstanding natural beauty and understandably so. Imagine all the outdoor fun of camping, but with all the comforts and necessities that might make your getaway feel more like a holiday. Think wood-burning stove, a cosy sofa, luxury bedding (and even a bed!) and everything else you might need. Are you in?! We plan to spend our days making the most of the glorious walks around the mountains and the evenings toasting marshmallows on the open fire and disconnecting a little from everyday life (we’re pretty sure the lack of wifi here will contribute nicely to actual conversations too!)
Slieve Donard Hotel and Spa
For location alone, the Slieve Donard deserves a visit. Nestled in the beauty of the Mourne Mountains, in the buzzing coastal town of Newcastle, it is a glorious destination for families and couples alike. Whether you’re there for the world famous golf course, to hike Slieve Donard itself or to hang out eating ice cream and slotting 2ps into the shows on the Newcastle promenade, there is something for everyone. You could happily spend all your time in the hotel which boasts a glorious spa, excellent restaurants and luxury accommodation. Equally, you don’t need to go far to find a delicious dinner at Mourne Seafood or the Bucks Head in nearby Dundrum as a change of scenery. This is luxury on our doorsteps!
Abbey Insurance Brokers
Whether you plan to holiday abroad or enjoy the staycations on offer in Northern Ireland this summer, our team of Abbey experts are available to help you with any travel and insurance questions you might have. Contact us on 08000 66 55 44 or request a callback.