Time to Staycation

Let’s stop moping about the lack of travel this summer and focus on what’s great right under our noses. The Causeway Coast and Glens is the perfect setting for a staycation and all our favourites are getting set to re-open its doors as a tourist destination.

We reckon there are three camps for visitors to the North Coast – 1) those with a holiday home there already (aka – get me to 26th June so I can go); 2) previous day trippers (we’ll come back to you in a moment); and 3) those who have never been (What. The?? Keep reading, you heathens!)

If you’re in the mood for a summer getaway, here are some of the places loved by the international travel writers and bloggers we’ve brought to sample the tourism experience in the area.

If you have only ever visited as a day tripper, you’ll be amazed at the choice of fantastic overnight accommodation. There’s an abundance of boutique hotels, luxury B&Bs and fabulous 5-star self-catering accommodations scattered across welcoming towns and villages across the region. Go off the beaten track a little and support the local hospitality industry. In many places, it’s worth it for the breakfast alone!

Here’s our travel writers’ top five places to stay on the Causeway Coast:

Bushmills Inn (Bushmills) www.bushmillsinn.com Starting with a classic dating back to the 1600s, the much loved 4 star Bushmills Inn is simply gorgeous, with pub grub to die for and a roaring log fire which can be a welcome after a blustery beach walk any time of the year. It has 41 luxurious bedrooms and suites, an AA Rosette restaurant, a cute little private cinema, a courtyard patio and, wait for it, a helipad! (for when Rory McIlroy drops in for a round of golf).

Blackrock House (Portrush) www.blackrockbandbportrush.com When we say that Blackrock House is a luxury B&B, we mean LUXURY. It fuses modern style with authentic North Coast living, with sweeping views across the Atlantic. It’s walkable into town and is a great base from which to explore the area. On Portrush’s West Bay, overlooking the beach, you will open those curtains in the morning and simply breathe it in! Oh, and did we mention the breakfast?!

The Salthouse (Ballycastle) www.thesalthousehotel.com The Salthouse is a luxury eco hotel perched above Ballycastle, also offering breathtaking views over the Atlantic (it’s the coast, right?).

The Salthouse has 24 beautiful bedrooms and suites and if a view of the sea isn’t your thing, there are rooms looking over the stunning Glens of Antrim countryside. Ballycastle has a host of little shops, pubs, foodie destinations and some of the best fish and chips on the coast. An adventure on Rathlin Island is also must if you’ve never been – just hop on the ferry in Ballycastle harbour and explore on foot or bring your bikes.

Saltwater House (Portstewart) www.saltwaterhouse.co.uk – Saltwater House has been much loved by our international journalist visitors. It’s a stylish 5-star beach house which has been recently restored and interior designed in a calming colonial coastal style with pale tones, wooden shutters and painted furniture. The moment you walk through the doors, you’ll be transported to another world: relax. Portstewart Strand is one of the broadest, flattest and most breath-taking beaches around and of course, Portstewart is the home of Morelli’s ice cream – aaah, take us there now!

The Maison (Bushmills) www.thefrenchrooms.com/maison-accommodation  – Et voila! If your planned trip to France this summer has been cancelled, fear not, we have just the alternative. The MAISON is a newly renovated ‘unique and chic’ townhouse in Bushmills, overlooking the River Bush. It boasts a french-inspired 5-star luxury experience, with rafted window shutters, reclaimed wood and unique décor pieces sourced from its amazing sister property – the French Rooms. This accommodation is fantastic and with a small number of rooms, we’d advise getting on it pretty fast. This place is, how do they say it in France…Magnifique!

For more information on accommodation options in Causeway Coast and Glens visit: www.visitcausewaycoastandglens.com

Russell Lever is ASG’s travel PR expert and he has brought international travel writers and bloggers to Northern Ireland from all over the world. If your destination needs some PR exposure, get in touch: russell@asgandpartners.com

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