Belfast Telegraph

Luxury Co Down guesthouse for sale

By John Mulgrew

A luxury Co Down bed and breakfast popular with US tourists and golfers has gone on sale for offers around £1.3m.

Maureen Courtney is the current owner of The Briers country house and bed and breakfast — a large nine-bedroom licensed business just outside Newcastle.

She bought and restored the house three years ago when she moved from Hertfordshire.

“I came over three years ago  and began to build the business up,” Maureen said. “I’m also a psychotherapist, and wanted to find a nice spot with a big premises, and run retreats as well.”

The Briers, which is being sold off by Lindsay Graham, includes the main building along with two three-bedroom cottages set on around two acres of land at the foot of the Mourne Mountains.

It is currently run by Maureen and a small steam of staff.

Rooms start from around £100 a night, including breakfast, with deluxe rooms starting at £120.

“It’s a big premises and people are surprised when they come in — it’s down a lane and not really noticeable,” Maureen said.

The Briers attracts a wide range of visitors, including people keen to play the nearby Royal County Down golf course — one of the best in the world.

“We get a lot (of visitors) from the US, coming for two or three nights,” Maureen said. “A lot come for weddings and for holidays. I have three staff that work for me, and I am thinking about employing more people. I am still spending money and have had the electrics done in the kitchen.”

Maureen is selling the business because, as she explained: “I’m on my own and getting older... it just gets too much really. I’m really planning for the future.”

Elsewhere, in Co Tyrone, a bar and restaurant are up for sale because of the current owner’s retirement.

The Gables bar and restaurant, which is based on the Cookstown Road outside Dungannon, is continuing to trade as normal.

It is currently owned by husband and wife team Malachy and Joanna Hughes.

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