Coastal getaways book up quickly, but there are lots of scenic and beautiful escapes to be found further inland. Here discover affordable breaks in stunning rural settings
During lockdown, we all daydreamed about those bucket list Irish places that you have to tick off your list. Of course that meant that accommodation and restaurant bookings are hard to come by in in-demand locations along the Wild Atlantic Way, North Coast and sunny south east. Thankfully, there really are so many breathtaking places to stay in Ireland, and a restful break in the countryside can be just as restorative and enjoyable as staying by the sea. Here are some intriguing staycation ideas in some of Ireland’s most lush, green locations.
Taste of luxury
Bellinter House, Meath
Bellinter House is a unique place to stay, with all the charm of an elegant country house, but with a fun contemporary decor and lots of creature comforts. It’s perfect for a romantic break or a girlie getaway, particularly as the spa has reopened its doors to guests.
If your skin has lost its lustre after lockdown, book in for Crystal Clear microdermabrasion, a new addition to the spa menu. This exfoliating treatment gives instant results and is really effective, and after your treatment you and your pals can unwind in the outdoor hot tub. The Bathhouse spa also offers seaweed baths and massages too.
The luxurious bedrooms with extra large comfy beds are all individually designed, and the bathrooms have deep baths, power showers and luxurious toiletries, so you can unwind in comfort. bellinterhouse.com
Ballykealey House, Carlow
Carlow is a primarily rural county, making it a great destination for hikers and explorers. You can hike the Blackstairs Mountains or Mount Leinster, or enjoy leisurely strolls or even paddle a kayak along the Barrow Way. There is an abundance of wildlife too, whether you’re a birdwatcher or enjoy nature walks with the kids. The county has a trail of gardens that are worth a visit too, so you can pick up some tips or just admire the beauty of these manicured homes and country estates. Carlow Tourism‘s recent Wander Off The Track campaign is encouraging Irish holidaymakers to discover all the county has to offer.
Ballykealey House is a beautiful hotel, nestled beneath the Blackstairs Mountains. The 19th century house offers luxurious overnight stays with decadent evening meal as a package, or bring the whole family and avail of the spacious self-catering lodges on the grounds. The two storey houses have the luxurious feel of a hotel with added space, privacy and flexibility that will suit families or for catch ups with friends. Win a self-catering stay at Ballykealy Self-Catering Lodges worth €900 here!
Ard Nahoo, Leitrim
To really switch off, escape the hustle of the ‘return to normality’ and book a staycation in solitude at Ard Nahoo. The eco retreat offers cosy cabins, yoga classes and relaxation in the peaceful surrounds of the Leitrim countyside.
With lots of walks nearby, and a hot tub to sink into after a day of hiking and yoga, these cabins are a gorgeous option to stay in if you’re after a relaxing self-catering break in a quiet setting. Available to book for a week long stay, arriving on Fridays, the cabins are ideal for couples looking for a unique break. ardnahoo.com
Killashee Hotel, Kildare
A staycation in Kildare gives you endless options — fantastic shopping nearby, a central location to discover Ireland’s Ancient East and lots of walks and exciting visitor attractions nearby. And booking into Killashee ensures your holiday has that spark of something special, with the Victorian grandeur of the original house, acres of gardens and wild woodland trails to explore.
For families in need of a break from home after months of lockdown, Killashee Hotel has a package that has something for all members of the family. Two adults and up to three children can stay for two nights, with a three course dinner on one evening for just €360. Also included is a two-for-one access pass to Russborough House, a 20% discount on admission to the Irish National Stud Visitor Centre, 10% discount card for Kildare Village, plus access to the 25 metre swimming pool. killasheehotel.com