31 Jan 2023
Make 2023 the year you give yourself the gift of a sustainable holiday in unspoilt Northern Ireland.
An upsurge in the popularity of sustainable stays in Northern Ireland means there is now a wide range of low-impact and environmentally friendly accommodation options to choose from. Not only that, you can also revel in a host of eco-friendly activities and savour fabulous locally sourced food – everything the responsible traveller would want in a trip or a tour.
Here is a selection of sustainable properties that offer giant adventures, while looking after planet Earth.
A stunning example of luxury sustainable accommodation, The Salthouse hotel and spa is a carbon-neutral eco resort overlooking the seaside town of Ballycastle on the famous Causeway Coastal Route in County Antrim. There are 24 bedrooms in the hotel and six three-bedroomed eco lodges in the grounds, with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean all around. All rooms benefit from ‘smart’ building management technology, there are no single use plastics and the hotel even has its own borehole for water. With electric car chargers on site, wind turbines, solar panels and more, it’s the perfect away-from-it-all eco haven.
Killeavy Castle Estate
Luxury and sustainability also go hand-in-hand at this estate in County Armagh, renowned for its eco-friendly credentials and the owners’ passion for the environment. From saving water to zero plastic, sustainable practices are at the heart of the four-star 45-bedroom hotel, plus self-catering gate lodge. Guests can enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of the estate’s working farm and restored walled garden, which supply the superb restaurant with fresh seasonal produce. Amazing experiences are to be found close to the castle or on site, including woodland and mountain walks, electric biking, golf and distillery tours, and even forest bathing.
Ballylagan Organic Guest House
This sustainability champion is green, serene and loaded with pure organic goodness. The restored farmhouse has been around since the 1800s, but now generates its own electricity, uses organic towels, bedlinen and toiletries, environmentally friendly cleaning materials and there is no single use plastic to be seen. An adjacent lake is stocked with brown trout, and there is pony riding, two walking trails and lots of animals to see. The spacious rooms are complemented by the onsite tea shop and organic farm shop selling the most delicious and nutritious home-grown produce.
Birch Eco Cottage.
The Avish Cottage
Set on a wooded hillside outside the Walled City of Derry~Londonderry, this 250-year-old traditional dwelling has been carefully restored into a charming country getaway using original materials including lime and hemp plaster and warm natural cork flooring. Guests are invited to treat the cottage and grounds as a home-away-from-home and can help themselves to fruit and vegetables planted in the gardens, have a barbeque in the patio or retreat inside to the living room with the wood-burning stove and upright piano. Secluded and sleeping 4-6 comfortably, this is an excellent base if you want to see the stunning Causeway Coast, the Walled City or County Donegal.
Birch Eco Cottage
Located deep in the Mourne Mountains of County Down, this self-catering Green Tourism award-winner operates off grid and is carbon neutral. Surrounded by birdsong, clean air and wonderful views, it lets you reconnect with nature and each other. Powered entirely by solar and wind power, the cottage’s eco credentials include an outside composting loo, hot water provided by a woodstove and low voltage lighting. You can charge your phone but there is no mains electricity. Spend days in the surrounding woodlands, feed the onsite hens and enjoy the produce from the gardens. Or head out for activities and adventures in the nearby forest parks, mountains or beaches.
Unwind in the tranquil and unique surroundings of a newly restored 1720s Georgian manor house, new on the scene for 2023. It’s just been added to the six four-star self-catering cottages already available on site at Limepark. The manor house offers four luxuriously finished bedrooms with four-poster beds, a host of excellent facilities and is ideally placed between the beautiful Glens of Antrim and the Causeway Coast. The grounds are a mixture of manicured lawns and wildflower gardens with a communal fire pit for guests to enjoy. The estate is sustainable, utilising solar power and wind energy, and also featuring an eco-sewage system and electric car charging point.
The Salthouse hotel and spa Ballycastle.
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