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Family friendly stays in Northern Ireland

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Northern Ireland has a lot to offer for a family break- sandy beaches, forest parks with adventure playgrounds and lots of great outdoor activities.

But 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, a good location near lots of family friendly activities and most importantly, good outdoor spaces for family BBQ’s and keeping the kids entertained while we are there.

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 8 guests, WIFI, Smart TV & Netflix , great outdoor area with patio, BBQ, children’s swing set and 4G pitch! In a quiet location, it is only 5 minutes drive into 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 per night based on a 2 night minimum stay.

Hillside Holiday Home, Rostrevor, County Down

Hillside is a big Georgian house sleeping up to 10 guests in four bedrooms. They can also add additional beds and cots if required. Large living room with books and games for the children, dining room, country kitchen and large enclosed garden with BBQ, playhouse, football and basketball nets. Dog friendly.

Only a few minutes from the beach and not far from Kilbroney Park. Located in The Mournes, there is plenty to do during the day in the surrounding areas.

Prices from £240 per night.

Blessingbourne Estate, Fivemiletown, County Tyrone


Blessingbourne offers pet friendly accommodation set among 550 acres of woodlands, lakes and nature with a range of activities available onsite- bespoke walking trail, fishing, mountain bike trails, the Carraige & Costume Museum and a working farm with cows, ponies, peacocks and chickens- there will be plenty for the children to see and do!

A range of accommodation onsite. The Gate Lodge for up to 5 guests. Some of the apartments also sleep up to 5. All pet friendly. Prices vary. Apartments from around £150 per night (based on 2 night stay). The 5* Gate Lodge around £200 a night.

Blessingbourne also welcome groups if you are thinking of taking your extended family away.

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 6 in 2 bedrooms. The main double bedroom has an ensuite and room for cot (they provide a proper cot not a travel cot which I love), the other room is huge with a double bed, single bed and single pull out.

Open plan living/kitchen/dining with stunning views over the hills and fields. The kids love looking out at the cows as it is on 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 just some places you could explore no more than 30 mins drive from Dan’s Wee Cottage. There are also walking trails at Slieve Croob close by too.

A luxury stay from just £150 per night midweek/ £170 per night weekends (min. 2 night stay)

Maddybenny Campsite & Cottages, County Antrim

Located just 1 mile from 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 onsite catering for 5- 9 guests. Set on a 120 acre farm there is so much space for the kids to enjoy, outdoor seating for picnics and BBQ’s and the children will love the animals too! There is also an outdoor play area onsite. Most of the cottages are dog friendly (surcharge applies)

Prices per night vary depending on the cottage but are affordably priced from around £150 per night (minimum stays apply)

Photo credit: @Instagram


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