Northern Ireland has a lot to offer for a family break – sandy beaches, forest parks with adventure playgrounds and lots of great outdoor activities. Our guest contributor Michelle Davis has some great suggestions for family-friendly staycations.
Family Friendly Staycations in Northern Ireland
What makes the perfect stay when you’re taking the kids away? With four small children of my own, I need somewhere spacious with enough beds, and a good location near lots of family friendly activities. Most importantly, good outdoor spaces for family BBQs and keeping the kids entertained. Here are a few of my favourite family friendly places to stay in Northern Ireland.
Fairhead Lodge, Ballycastle, County Antrim
When it comes to Northern Ireland, the North Coast is still the most popular location for beaches, tourist attractions and amazing scenery. Fairhead Lodge in Ballycastle sleeps up to eight guests, and has WIFI, Smart TV and Netflix.
There is a great outdoor area with patio, BBQ, children’s swing set and 4G pitch. In a quiet location, it is only a five-minute drive to Ballycastle for eating out and shops. And of course, the choice of day trips is great – Ballintoy, Dark Hedges, Giant’s Causeway, Portrush and more. Prices start from a reasonable £140 (€163 approx.) per night based on a 2-night minimum stay, This Hotel is near The Giants Causeway which is good for tourists to relax, see here.
Hillside Holiday Home, Rostrevor, County Down
Hillside is a big Georgian house sleeping up to ten guests in four bedrooms. They can also add additional beds and cots if required. It has a large living room with books and games for the children. The country kitchen is ideal for big family dinners.
The large enclosed garden has a BBQ, playhouse, football and basketball nets and is dog friendly. It is located in the Mountains of Mourne and close to the beach and Kilbroney Park. Prices from £240 (€280 approx.) per night, see here.
Blessingbourne Estate, Fivemiletown, County Tyrone
Blessingbourne offers pet-friendly accommodation and is set among 550 acres of woodlands, lakes and nature. There is a range of activities on site; a walking trail, fishing, the Carriage & Costume Museum. Mountain bike enthusiasts will love the 13km trails. The working farm has cows, ponies, peacocks and chickens- there will be plenty for the children to see and do.
The range of accommodation includes the Gate Lodge for up to five guests and apartments. Prices vary. Apartments from around £150 (€175 approx.) per night (based on 2-night stay). The 5* Gate Lodge around £200 (€233 approx.) a night. Blessingbourne also welcome groups if you are thinking of taking your extended family away, see here.
Dan’s Wee Cottage, Dromara, County Down
This traditional cottage set in the Dromara hills just opened for bookings last year after a complete transformation. Dan’s Wee Cottage sleeps up to six in two bedrooms. The main double bedroom has an en suite and room for cot (they provide a proper cot not a travel cot).
The open plan living/kitchen/dining has stunning views over the hills and fields. The kids love looking out at the cows, as it is a working farm. Great outdoor terrace with seating and fire pit and a wood burning hot tub… perfect for parents to relax when the kids go to bed.
Montalto Estate, Mountpanther Farm, Tyrella beach, Castlewellan Forest Park and Newcastle are some places you could explore within 30 mins drive. There are also walking trails at Slieve Croob in the Dromara Hills. Luxury stays from just £150 (€175 approx.)per night midweek/ £170 (€198 approx.) per night weekends (min. 2-night stay), see here.
Maddybenny Campsite & Cottages, County Antrim
Located close to Portrush, Maddybenny has long been a family favourite. As well as a campsite with grass and hard standing pitches, there are a variety of self-catering cottages catering for up to nine guests. Set on a 120-acre farm there is plenty of space and a play area for the kids to enjoy. The outdoor seating is perfect for picnics and BBQs. Most of the cottages are dog friendly (surcharge applies)
Prices per night vary depending on the cottage but are affordably priced from around £150 (€175 approx.) per night (minimum stays apply), see here.
You can see other properties that Michelle has visited including homes for honeymooners and gorgeous glamping sites, see here.