This forum has posts in multiple languages.

Translate everything to English

Close
Translate

Automated translation is being used to translate posts & replies into your language and we cannot guarantee its accuracy.



Staycation

Staycation

Author
Message
Profile Picture
Posted Wed 5 Aug 2020 2:41 PM
View Quick Profile
Community Expert
Community Expert (49.8K reputation)Community Expert (49.8K reputation)Community Expert (49.8K reputation)Community Expert (49.8K reputation)Community Expert (49.8K reputation)Community Expert (49.8K reputation)Community Expert (49.8K reputation)Community Expert (49.8K reputation)Community Expert (49.8K reputation)
Gold Achievements 5 Silver Achievements 7 Bronze Achievements 31
Island of Ireland
Posts: 627
Group: Community Administrator Last Active: 4 minutes ago Visits: 8K
This summer we decided to stay close to home and explore Northern Ireland during our staycation. ⛱️ Some locations were places we'd already seen, some were newly discovered hidden gems. We even spent a night at the amazing Slieve Donard Spa & Resort!

Whitepark Bay 
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/05-08-2020/2fbb1d95-fdfc-4041-9f83-601b.jpg
This might just be my favourite part of the Causeway Coastal Route. Everything about it is beautiful, and it is only a short drive (or walk) to many of the other things to see in the area, like the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, Dunseverick Castle and Ballintoy Harbour.

Dunseverick Castle
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/05-08-2020/8478372f-8986-4377-91c7-e7d0.jpg
I'd never been to Dunseverick Castle before. It was a lovely place to stop for a bite to eat, and after that, we climbed all the way up to the ruins of the castle. Lots of friendly sheep like to hang out near the castle too. (Small tip, make sure to wear some waterproof shoes. The area at the bottom is quite marshy which resulted in wet socks.)

Tollymore Forest Park 
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/05-08-2020/c0022366-9baf-4d0e-a932-a12e.jpg
We left Belfast early on our way to the Slieve Donard Hotel, so we could stop at Tollymore Forest Park for a big hike before check-in time.

I'd been to Tollymore Forest Park before, but this was my first visit during summer. It was so beautiful and so green! The weather was on our side so we even went for a swim in the river. There are different trails to choose from, so there is something for everyone. We took the Black Trail, which is a 9-kilometre loop walk. 

Slieve Donard Resort and Spa
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/05-08-2020/303fc3c2-8835-43f3-9e0f-5c1c.jpg
Our stay in Slieve Donard Resort and Spa was magical. We had a room overlooking the sea and the Mourne Mountains, and the most comfortable bed I've ever slept in. 

Because of the Covid-19 restrictions, they had to adjust how the hotel is run, but it was all very well arranged. Besides making sure that you kept your distance from other guests, there were hand sanitiser stations everywhere, gym, pool and spa visits had to be booked beforehand, and the normal breakfast buffet is now ordered and brought to your table in the beautiful dining room. The staff was so friendly, and even with all of these requirements, our visit was super special. The cook even made us a delicious vegan breakfast that wasn't on the menu. I highly recommend staying here if you get the chance. 

Silent Valley
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/05-08-2020/3ce20d05-4743-4d95-93bc-d443.jpg
After checking out of the hotel we took the scenic Mourne Coastal Route to Silent Valley in the heart of the Mourne Mountains. Here you can find the Silent Valley water reservoir, surrounded by the Mourne Wall. We took the loop walk around the reservoir before making our way back to Belfast. 

There is so much to see and do in Northern Ireland, and our trips only provided us with more ideas on where to go next. Have you ever visited any of these locations, or do you have any other tips on what to do and see in the area? 😊


Profile Picture
Posted Wed 12 Aug 2020 4:00 PM
View Quick Profile
Community Expert
Community Expert (11K reputation)Community Expert (11K reputation)Community Expert (11K reputation)Community Expert (11K reputation)Community Expert (11K reputation)Community Expert (11K reputation)Community Expert (11K reputation)Community Expert (11K reputation)Community Expert (11K reputation)
Gold Achievements 4 Silver Achievements 4 Bronze Achievements 19
Island of Ireland
Posts: 87
Group: Community Moderator Last Active: Sat 19 Sep 2020 3:14 PM Visits: 1.4K
Such a great adventure, Melin! :)

So far, my staycation has brought me not too far from my home either, for a super fun activity: canoeing!
Looking at the map, with so many beautiful options of bays and loughs nearby, we decided to start with the ones in County Donegal.

https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/12-08-2020/aea68980-ecc9-4c3d-b1c5-0336.jpg

The first excursion has been to Woodquarter, in the Mulroy Bay, near Kerrykeel. It’s a place with plenty of wildlife, herons and other birds to watch, a picnic area where to enjoy some food or some rest, a lot of fishing spots, and a pathway through the wood for a relaxing walk (I did it with my dog while waiting for my turn to go on the canoe).

https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/14-08-2020/c0cb6308-4348-48b5-9dc0-23f1.jpg

On another day, we reached the shore of the beautiful Gartan Lough, where the Gartan Outdoor Education and Training Centre can assist in planning the perfect adventure — it was closed when we were there, so if you want some help you may want to contact the centre prior your visit, as opening times may be different this year.

The view was incredible, with the Derryveagh Mountains and Glenveagh National Park lying just across the lough.

https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/12-08-2020/b9f0ce3b-0276-4291-802d-f474.jpg

I can't wait for more canoeing to do!
Profile Picture
Posted Fri 14 Aug 2020 5:50 PM
View Quick Profile
Community Expert
Community Expert (1K reputation)Community Expert (1K reputation)Community Expert (1K reputation)Community Expert (1K reputation)Community Expert (1K reputation)Community Expert (1K reputation)Community Expert (1K reputation)Community Expert (1K reputation)Community Expert (1K reputation)
Gold Achievements 1 Silver Achievements 1 Bronze Achievements 13
Island of Ireland
Posts: 21
Group: Community Moderator Last Active: Wed 23 Sep 2020 10:33 PM Visits: 401
What a fun activity! 😊🌊

A few weeks ago we went to Cobh! It's a vibrant and colourful town in Cork harbour.

https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/14-08-2020/4e4cdf6c-ca0b-44c7-a902-9d31.jpg

The view was amazing from the impressive St Colman's Cathedral.

https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/14-08-2020/ad27fbe9-152a-4371-8fb2-8f2c.jpg

On the other side, we saw the famous "Deck of Cards", a row of colourfully painted houses with the St Colman's Cathedral in the background.
Photo tip 📷: to have the Cathedral in our photo, we went to the small park square across the street! 

https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/14-08-2020/bcf4bc78-8182-43af-8b49-bbe1.jpg


Cobh is a town rich in history and the Titanic Experience Cobh met our expectations. 🚢

https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/14-08-2020/2e0b7e4f-59cf-4dba-b714-6f6a.jpg

Our tickets were boarding cards with the details of one of the 123 final passengers to join the Titanic. It was a very emotional tour.

https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/14-08-2020/260e4ecf-ae34-4e16-8575-3ea9.jpg

https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/14-08-2020/d65466c1-3877-46c5-81b4-034f.jpg


On our way back home, we stopped at Fota House & Gardens. 🌺🌳🌴🌸

https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/14-08-2020/bbe0d7de-fb4f-4f3a-9ba5-495c.jpg

We also had a quick stop at Blackrock Castle Observatory! 🏰

https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/14-08-2020/d08e0fdf-3fea-41b2-a690-6283.jpg

Profile Picture
Posted Sun 23 Aug 2020 1:18 PM
View Quick Profile
Community Expert
Community Expert (9.7K reputation)Community Expert (9.7K reputation)Community Expert (9.7K reputation)Community Expert (9.7K reputation)Community Expert (9.7K reputation)Community Expert (9.7K reputation)Community Expert (9.7K reputation)Community Expert (9.7K reputation)Community Expert (9.7K reputation)
Gold Achievements 4 Silver Achievements 4 Bronze Achievements 19
Island of Ireland
Posts: 76
Group: Community Moderator Last Active: Yesterday @ 5:01 PM Visits: 1.3K
I went to visit Castle Ward and it was really beautiful this time of the year.
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/23-08-2020/cd0d5300-d845-4ee4-aaa3-999f.jpg

Walking around the estate you can enjoy views like this one:
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/23-08-2020/153315ac-d042-44fc-9245-b22a.jpg

And of course, the garden around the Mansion House were in full bloom.
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/23-08-2020/663c38cf-d935-4d20-b7b3-77be.jpg

Profile Picture
Posted Mon 24 Aug 2020 11:03 AM
View Quick Profile
Industry Member
Industry Member (27.6K reputation)Industry Member (27.6K reputation)Industry Member (27.6K reputation)Industry Member (27.6K reputation)Industry Member (27.6K reputation)Industry Member (27.6K reputation)Industry Member (27.6K reputation)Industry Member (27.6K reputation)Industry Member (27.6K reputation)
Gold Achievements 3 Silver Achievements 3 Bronze Achievements 19
Northern Ireland
Posts: 188
Group: Approved Community Member Last Active: 2 minutes ago Visits: 2.1K
https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/24-08-2020/28debf08-a769-458c-8788-5841.jpg

The start of a great weekend on the Causeway Coast.  Portrush East Stand, perfect for a long, leisurely walk.

https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/24-08-2020/bc3d97bd-9f22-4bf5-8e52-0a34.jpg

An excellent picnic location at Magheracross Viewing Point.  Can you spot Dunluce Castle camouflaged on top of the cliff?  The fortress was built around the year 1500 by the Macquillan family.  The headland in the distance is The Giant's Causeway.  The appearance of the rainbow was "the icing on the cake"!

https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/24-08-2020/514023e6-7a0b-4f14-815f-2031.jpg

Travelling further east towards Ballycastle we came across some "locals" sunbathing down on Whitepark Bay Beach.  The herd grazes on the extensive dune system that frames the bay but their favourite pastime seems to be taking it easy down at the water's edge.

Enjoy your own staycation!
Anne

Profile Picture
Posted Tue 25 Aug 2020 11:49 AM
View Quick Profile
Community Expert
Community Expert (66.4K reputation)Community Expert (66.4K reputation)Community Expert (66.4K reputation)Community Expert (66.4K reputation)Community Expert (66.4K reputation)Community Expert (66.4K reputation)Community Expert (66.4K reputation)Community Expert (66.4K reputation)Community Expert (66.4K reputation)
Gold Achievements 4 Silver Achievements 4 Bronze Achievements 27
Island of Ireland
Posts: 480
Group: Community Moderator Last Active: 2 hours ago Visits: 4.7K
As many of us have, I decided that this year I would visit some places that are not too far away from where I live but have heard about often.

The first place was Ards Forest Park just outside Dunfanaghy, County Donegal. There are plenty of great loop walks in the forest, well signposted and some lovely views to make it even more special.

https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/25-08-2020/2b249f58-6684-4fc2-a773-8a0c.jpg

I would recommend using the car park as a base as most of the walks start there and there are toilets and a coffee hut. It's €5 in coins to get into the car park but as I say well worth the small cost.

With an excellent choice of walk lengths and difficulty, it is possible to see beaches, forest and even their own "dark hedges" walk!

https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/25-08-2020/298bdd3b-6f2e-40f8-991f-66c9.jpg

https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/25-08-2020/def5e330-5833-45c1-8034-f8b0.jpg

https://d2b4i25io5fq3v.cloudfront.net/25-08-2020/5e0f8c2a-80c4-4973-a14c-056c.jpg

We managed to spend a good 4 hours and if you have enough time and energy, a longer stay is possible, I will certainly be returning.
Profile Picture
Posted Fri 4 Sep 2020 12:14 PM
View Quick Profile
Community Expert
Community Expert (66.4K reputation)Community Expert (66.4K reputation)Community Expert (66.4K reputation)Community Expert (66.4K reputation)Community Expert (66.4K reputation)Community Expert (66.4K reputation)Community Expert (66.4K reputation)Community Expert (66.4K reputation)Community Expert (66.4K reputation)
Gold Achievements 4 Silver Achievements 4 Bronze Achievements 27
Island of Ireland
Posts: 480
Group: Community Moderator Last Active: 2 hours ago Visits: 4.7K
Another place we decided to visit was the Marble Arch Caves in County Fermanagh.