Belfast Telegraph

In pictures: 15 quirky Northern Ireland escapes

Blackhead Lightkeeper’s House, Co Antrim. Blackhead is a fully restored lighthouse that boasts bright rooms with antique furniture and lighthouse paraphernalia. Built during the heyday of Belfast shipping in the early 20th century, the lighthouse was responsible for guiding ships including the Titanic through Belfast Lough. Guests will enjoy the magical setting on the stunning Antrim coast and can relax watching the sun rise over the Irish Sea or experience the elements at the height of a storm.
Blackhead Lightkeeper’s House, Co Antrim. Blackhead is a fully restored lighthouse that boasts bright rooms with antique furniture and lighthouse paraphernalia. Built during the heyday of Belfast shipping in the early 20th century, the lighthouse was responsible for guiding ships including the Titanic through Belfast Lough. Guests will enjoy the magical setting on the stunning Antrim coast and can relax watching the sun rise over the Irish Sea or experience the elements at the height of a storm.
Belle Isle Castle and Estate, Co Fermanagh. The perfect country escape in luxurious surroundings. The 17th century castle, once home to generations of nobles, hosts eight luxurious guest bedrooms which are uniquely decorated with antique furniture. The castle has a range of antique furnishings as well as works by Russian, Irish and English painters. Belle Isle is also home to a well known cookery school, the perfect activity for those who would like to try something a little different and learn some new skills.
Tepee Valley Campsite, Co Armagh. Located outside the small town of Markethill and has exceptional views over farming countryside, down to the Cusher River and across to Slieve Gullion in the distance. Here you will experience peace and quiet within a choice of either a traditional Native American Tepee or inside a perfectly furnished gypsy caravan
Whitehill Cottage, Brookeborough, Co Fermanagh. Guests can take a step back in time in Whitehall Cottage, which is nestled within the stunning grounds of Colebrooke House - a beautiful historical neo-classical mansion just outside of Brookeborough. he cottage is beautifully restored and offers luxurious modern facilities whilst retaining the period features of an original Irish cottage. For those who like to keep active, activities such as fishing, cycling and tennis are all available within the grounds.
The Barbican, Glenarm, Co Antrim. The Barbican is a castle positioned beyond an old stone bridge over the Glenarm River. Built in 1825, this medieval miniature castle is a perfect romantic hideaway in one of Ulster’s oldest villages. The property boasts its own roof garden and is the ideal location for a weekend to get away from it all and relax with loved ones.
Rentadonkey. If you don’t want to be confined to the one place, why not explore the magnificent scenery of Northern Ireland by renting out a self-drive, retro VW Campervan. The campers are fully equipped with everything needed to camp in comfort from a coolbox to cooking equipment and an awning and guide book. This will certainly be a short break with a difference and is the perfect way to spend a weekend with friends or family.
Tullylagan Country House, Co Tyrone. One of Northern Ireland’s best kept secrets. Set within 30 acres of landscaped grounds, this family run 19th century estate offers 15 period style bedrooms which have been redesigned to be comfortable and elegant. Guests can relax in the lobby bar, enjoy a meal in the triple award winning Kitchen restaurant or take in the beautiful surroundings on a leisurely stroll.
Jungle NI, Magherafelt. Bask in the splendour of the great outdoors whilst staying comfortable and cosy, by staying in Jungle NI’s Glamping Pods. The pods offer spacious surroundings and are the perfect accommodation for those who like to go camping but hate to brave the weather in a tent. Each pod sleeps up to eight people and are within easy access of toilets, showers and a communal campfire.
The Bothy, Co Tyrone. A converted traditional stone barn nestled in the heart of the Sperrin Mountains. The building was recently restored with exposed wood, brick and stone and now has beautiful French doors leading to a sun room creating a warm and relaxed setting. This is the perfect destination for a couple who would like a weekend break to get away from it all.
Spelga House, Co Down. This large detached, high spec modern house sits in front of a dam wall on top of the Mournes and is the highest located house in Northern Ireland. It boasts spectacular views of the surrounding Mourne Mountains and is only seven miles from the lively resort town of Newcastle. This unusual property is ideal for families who would like to get away to a cosy, luxury retreat or a group of friends who would like to spend some quality time together.
Cruising on Lough Erne. Would-be sailors will enjoy a visit to the Fermanagh Lakelands where they can hire out a luxury cruiser, stay in comfortable surroundings whilst taking in the stunning scenery of Lough Erne and explore everything that Fermanagh has to offer.
Killyleagh Castle, Co Down. Built in the 12th century, this is the oldest inhabited castle in Ireland and contains two self-catering apartments within the castle’s towers. This truly unique accommodation allows holiday makers to be ‘king of the castle’ on their short break and guests can also avail of the swimming pool and tennis courts within the grounds.
Drenagh Estate, Limavady. This beautiful estate is set against 1,000 acres of parkland and has been the home of the McCauslands family since the 1600s. The stately home is available to rent and with eight bedrooms, guests can invite lots of friends along to enjoy the elegant delights of the billiard room, home cinema, indoor pool and walled garden.
The Governor’s Lodge, Omagh. This lodge is situated in the centre of the Baronscourt Estate and dates back to 1890. This delightful two storey building has recently been renovated and can accommodate up to 4 people. This is the perfect place for keen fishers as the estate has some of the best pike fishing in Ireland on offer across three interconnected lakes.
Corick House Hotel, Co Tyrone, is an original Georgian house decorated in period style. All 43 guest rooms and suites have been individually designed and decorated to an exceptional standard giving a classic, luxurious feel. Guests can feel like they have stepped back into the Georgian era whilst also enjoying stunning views of the gardens, valleys and local countryside.

From cruisers to castles and gypsy caravans to glamping, Northern Ireland is jam-packed with unusual places to stay for a short break.

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