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
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
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
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
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
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? 😊