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Client Blog: A staycation in Northern Ireland

Staycation has somehow come to mean a second choice of holiday because we cannot go abroad. I can assure you it is not, as holidaying in the UK is still very much a first choice for many.

My wife has family in Northern Ireland so we and two friends decided at the last minute to visit before summer 2020 really ended.

So we set off to Stranraer and stayed overnight at the grand old lady of hotels, The Northwest Castle Hotel. Here we enjoyed a silver service meal in surroundings from a bygone era that added to the charm.

The ferry from Cairnryan only took two hours and was very comfortable despite a bit of a blow off the Irish Sea.

Northern Ireland is a beautiful country with ever changing scenery and weather.

We stayed at the Seagoe Hotel in Portadown in sunshine and the Silver Birch in Omagh in torrential rain. However, whilst we were there we managed to go to the Ulster American Folk Park. A must visit for anyone interested in Irish history.

Each town and village offer so much and are well worth strolling around to savour the Northern Irish lifestyle; a visit to a bar or coffee shop allows time to sit and reflect.

Talking about reflecting, a trip to the Marble Arch underground caves near Enniskillen, with the river running through them, was absolutely stunning.

We stayed in renovated cottages that night in the grounds of Florence Court, an 18th century country house. It stands proudly in its own grounds, a monument to its former time of grandeur.

Any visit to Northern Ireland must include the award winning Titanic Quarter with its must see museum and hospitality area in Belfast. Hours can be spent imagining what might have been had she made it to New York.

The city is now very much in the 21st century and caters for all tastes... ours was Kelly’s Cellar in Bank Street, the oldest pub in town with Guinness and Irish stew to die for.

All this is in five days in a country only a 10th the size of England. We will return again and again as there is still so much to see.

Jonathan Curran


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