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9 ways to relax and unwind in north Down

Indulge in a little luxury with a short break in north Down.

If you are looking for somewhere to relax and unwind, here's 9 ways to ensure a mini break to north Down rejuvenates the mind:

1. Enjoy a blissful weekend of pampering at the luxurious Culloden Estate and Spa, overlooking Belfast Lough. Many of the guest rooms in this five-star hotel provide breathtaking views of the North Down shoreline and across to the County Antrim coast. The Culloden is the perfect place to unwind as it hosts everything you need for a relaxing break.

Lay down your bags in your exquisitely decorated bedroom and head to the Spa which offers the perfect haven to enjoy some time-out. Here you can choose from a range of soothing  and reinvigorating treatments to allow any tension or stress to melt away. You may also use the thermal suite, relaxation rooms or swimming pool to truly make the most of your experience.

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2. Once you have indulged your senses, take a five minute drive to Helen’s Bay Beach in Crawfordsburn Country Park. Walk along the beautiful sandy beach which has been recognised with a Green Coast Award. It is hugely popular in the Belfast area, and if you’re lucky you may even spy a porpoise or seal as you tread on the shores.

3. Alternatively, a three minute walk from the hotel will transport you to days of old at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. Discover what life was like in Northern Ireland over 100 years ago as you wander through the beautiful parkland, where you will encounter costumed locals in cottages, farms, schools and shops. At the Transport Museum you will find one of the most comprehensive collections in Europe featuring locomotives and vintage motorbikes, along with historical exhibits.

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4. Back at the Culloden Estate, dine in ultimate style at the award winning Mitre restaurant. Leading chef Paul McKnight presides over the kitchen of this warm and welcoming restaurant, which serves modern Irish Cuisine using fresh local produce and handpicked herbs from the Culloden’s very own organic garden. With menus suitable to all tastes and waiters who ensure your glass never runs empty.

5. After dinner, visit the Cultra Inn which is nestled in the beautiful surrounding grounds of the hotel. Take in the stunning evening lit views while you enjoy a drink by the welcoming log fire. The bar is also home to live entertainment to keep you enthralled before you retreat to your quarters.

6. The scenic and tranquil Crawfordsburn Country Park is home to two excellent beaches with guaranteed spectacular scenery. Take a walk through peaceful meadows and marvel at the stunning waterfall. Don’t miss visiting Grey Point Fort, a historic monument in state care which was completed in 1907.

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7. Royal Belfast Golf Club in Holywood is the oldest golf course in Ireland. It provides a true test of golfing skill and enjoys one of the most scenic settings with unrivalled views of Belfast Lough and Antrim. It is meticulously maintained with impeccable greens and a colourful backdrop in spring.

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8. Located in Holywood, Red Ruby Rouge has had praise from national press including Grazia and Vogue. This boutique shop houses a collection of otherwise unavailable lines, and focuses on emerging designers from all areas of the globe. This unique spot is a go-to for style with substance.

9. Before returning to daily life, refuel with the most important meal of the day. Breakfast at the Culloden Estate and Spa ensures you have the best possible start as they offer the widest selection of locally sourced produce. Choose from full Irish breakfasts, Bushmills Whiskey infused porridge or a classic Continental buffet. Leave full and content, re-energised for the week ahead.

To book a break in Northern Ireland, visit www.discovernorthernireland.com.

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