The country is home to a number of period mansions which are available to hire or stay in for a taste of life from a period drama. Offering great value for money and a unique experience, they are the ideal way to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve, at less than you might think!
Ardtara Country House, Co. Londonderry
Ardtara is an elegantly restored 19th Century mansion, situated between Belfast and the Giant´s Causeway. Once the home to the Clark family, world famous linen makers, Ardtara is now widely regarded as one of the finest country house accommodations in Northern Ireland.
The nine spacious en-suite bedrooms are all individually styled with deluxe king-size beds, charming antiques and original grand (working) fireplaces. All set in the privacy and quiet of eight wooded acres. Ardtara offers all the comfort, atmosphere and high standards of food and accommodation expected by the most discerning visitor.
Ardtara is the perfect location – just a short distance from Northern Ireland´s finest golf courses and convenient to the lovely Antrim Coast, Giant´s Causeway and the Glens of Antrim. The City of Londonderry is just an hour´s drive away and guests often enjoy taking a guided tour around the city walls.
One night’s B&B from £99 based on two people sharing. Romantic getaways including four course dinner in the AA Awarded restaurant from £155 per night for two
Newforge House, Co. Armagh
Cradled in mature gardens and green fields in the village of Magheralin this Georgian Country House, built in 1785, has been in the family for six generations. Newforge boasts light and airy reception rooms and six individually designed bedrooms. Period features and antiques blend seamlessly with contemporary comforts - fireplaces, shutters and cornicing, for example, have been lovingly restored, whilst elegant modern bathrooms and excellent beds have been added to ensure guests enjoy a most relaxing stay.
First class food is an important feature with particular care taken to source local seasonal produce.
– Two-night’s accommodation for two, including lunch and 3-course dinner, from £170 pps
Belle Isle Castle, Co. Fermanagh
Belle Isle is situated on one of eight islands that are owned by the Estate on Upper Lough Erne, with a bridge connecting it to the mainland. Expect an authentic Country House atmosphere without the frills of modern restorations and furnished with a fine collection of antiques and pictures. There is a tennis court, croquet lawn and boats for hire.
At the heart of Belle Isle´s 470-acre estate, the 17th-century castle, once home to generations of nobles, welcomes groups of up to 16 guests. They have recently completed a careful refurbishment with the conversion of the existing bathrooms to en-suite while retaining the original period details of the bedrooms. The castle now features seven luxurious en-suite bedrooms
The Belle Isle Cookery School offers both day and residential courses. It is run by the resident chef Liz Moore and is supported by Michel Roux. Liz´s expertise and easy-going manner combined with a wonderful sense of humour, make for fun-filled sessions in the cookery school.
– To exclusively the castle for up to 16 people, costs start at £1,775 for a three-night break