Stay, play & explore: Our local area2019-09-15T18:26:16+00:00

Project Description

Stay Play Explore (2)

Click the map to find our listed locations including our private charter destinations on Lough Neagh.

Stay

Laurel Villa Boutique Guesthouse in Magherafelt Town Centre provides a perfect central location from which to explore.  This Victorian house quietly boasts a long and interesting history and is a literary haven for poetry devotees, particularly admirers of the late Seamus Heaney.

Bay Cottage is a family run B&B on the shores of Lough Neagh.  It has the advantage of being a tranquil retreat but is also close to the airport and central to all locations in Northern Ireland.  As a guest here you will be well looked after and spoilt with home cooked locally sourced food to suit any dietary needs or preferences.

O’Neill Arms Country House Hotel is situated in Toome at the top of Lough Neagh.  It offers a country hotel feel with a warm Irish welcome in the heart of Mid Ulster.  The restaurant offers a great choice of dining experiences after a busy day exploring.

Walsh’s Hotel, located in Maghera, provides a warm welcome and a sociable Irish atmosphere.  With Jack’s Bar providing cocktails and a steady supply of entertainment, visitors can have plenty of fun before turning in for the night.

The Galgorm Spa and Golf Resort is a luxury hotel where you can relax and spoil yourself.  It is set in beautiful grounds which visitors will enjoy exploring and there is a diverse selection of dining and entertainment choices to suit your preference or mood.

A little guide of places to stay, things to do and see, and where to dine…

Play

The Jungle NI caters to children and adults of all ages with a huge range of exciting activities.  Zip-lining, tree top walks, zorbing, archery, paintball, and clay pigeon shooting are just a few things you can try.  Set in a rural location, yet close to major roads, there is also a café and accommodation on site.  Check the website for more information or to book.

For something a little different book a cooking experience with Jenny Bristow at her Cookery School just outside the village of Cullybackey.

The Crosskeys Inn is Ireland’s oldest thatched pub and a famous traditional music venue.  It dates back to 1654 and is situated just off the main Randalstown to Portglenone road approximately 30 minutes from Belfast. It is a ‘not to be missed’ unique experience.  You can’t escape the rich sense of history and heritage that pervades the atmosphere from the moment you step through the door.  Order a pint of Guinness, sit by the open fire, throw on some turf and enjoy the craic.

Todds Leap, set in Ballygawley County Tyrone has adventures for all ages.  From a giant swing to off road driving, den building and climbing walls.  Book a day pass or sleep over in cabins or glamping pods with a restaurant and bar on site.

For some Formula 1 excitement, try Railway Karting in Moneymore.  It has a great track and plenty of packages to choose from.  Kids and big kids will love this.

For nature lovers the World of Owls is Northern Irelands Premier Owl, Bird of Prey and Exotic Animal Conservation Centre situated in the picturesque Randalstown Forest.

Portglenone Forest is an ancient woodland with a diverse range of flora and fauna.  Set on the banks of the River Bann it provides scenic walks of different lengths.  From beautiful bridges, wells, wild garlic and blankets of bluebells in the spring, it is a multi sensory experience.  Carpark, picnic tables and toilets are provided onsite.

Explore

Seamus Heaney Homeplace is an arts and literary centre offering insight into the life and work of the local born internationally acclaimed poet.  Set in the heart of Mid Ulster it provides an inspiring exhibition, regular artistic events, education facility, sensory garden and creative zone.  The onsite café is highly recommended and the shop is stocked with bespoke locally crafted gifts.

An authentic heritage experience, not to be missed, is the Lough Neagh Fisheries Visitor Tour in the Eel Fishery at Toome.  Here you will be introduced to the myths of Lough Neagh, the Mesolithic history of the area, the fishing heritage that continues to this day and the science of eels.  This is a hands on tour which includes a visit to the factory floor (circumstances permitting) and a sample tasting of the unique smoked Lough Neagh eel.

Antrim Gardens and Clotsworthy House are a hidden gem in Antrim town.  These historic 400 year old gardens are beautifully restored and offer visitors many wonderful surprises. Clothsworthy House was built c1843 by the 10th Viscount Massereene and houses a Garden Heritage Exhibition, café and gift shop.  Many events and exhibitions are held here throughout the year.

Springhill House, a 17th century plantation house boasts a Celebrated Costume Collection and even a resident ghost.  With fine portraits, furniture, walled garden and grounds there is plenty to see and many enthralling tales to listen to.

Hill of the O’Neill and Ranfurley House  is the ancient stronghold of the O’Neill Dynasty and stands overlooking the town of Dungannon.  It is now restored as a people’s park with adjoining exhibition and guided tours available.

Tullyhogue Fort, the inauguration site of the O’Neills is a short distance away from Hill of the O’Neill, and is a very special and atmospheric experience.  There is free onsite parking, picnic tables, no entrance fee and information boards along the path.  This is a real Hidden Gem, best found on Google Maps due to insufficient sign posting.

Beaghmore Stone Circles and cairns date which back to the late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age periods around 2,000-1,200 BC are located near Cookstown in County Tyrone. They were discovered quite recently in or around 1942.  So far more than 1,250 specific stones have been identified making it one of the largest formations of its kind. Archaeologists believe that only a portion of the total site has been revealed. Bones, fireplaces, flint tools, burial cists and a broken porcellanite axe head are some of the artefacts recovered during excavations that took place in 1947 and again in 1965. The site is believed to have been associated with burials and religious ceremonies.  Parking on site and no entrance fee.

Tirnoney Dolmen, located outside of Maghera at the side of a small road, is a prehistoric tomb at least 3000 to 6000 years old.  It is interesting for history lovers and a photographic opportunity unspoilt by any unnecessary modernity.

Our Lady of Bethlehem Abbey, located on the outskirts of Portglenone, is part of the Cistercian Order which was founded in Franc at Citeaux in Burgundy in the Year 1098. Taking its inspiration from the Rule of St. Benedict the Cistercian life was to be one of the secluded communal intercession, contemplative prayer with manual work given its prominent position.  The monks living here assemble in church eight times a day for prayer and Mass. The monastery has a guesthouse for short retreats, a Repository, a café, and a craft shop selling a wide range of souvenirs including Irish Linen and emblems.

Island Turf Crafts is a museum and gift shop.  The hand crafted gifts using 5,000 year old Irish peat from some of our oldest bog lands are the perfect way to bring a little bit of Ireland home.  Visitors can not only watch the craftsmen here at work, they can also enjoy the bog museum which displays the lifestyles and habits of pre-historic Ireland and the artefacts from Irish bog lands.  Exhibits include bog oak sculptures, numerous turf products, a simulated peat or turf bog, and bones and large antlers from a Great Irish Elk dating back some 15,000 years.

Dine

The Lock Keepers Cottage on Toome Canal offers a tasty light lunch or treat and refreshment.  It is also a Waterways Heritage Centre providing an exhibition with archival material and information about the Lower Bann and Lough Neagh.  A great place to stop and relax before or after a boat trip.

The Old Thatch Inn is a traditional thatched pub and restaurant between Castledawson and Toome.  It was established in 1832 and offers a quintessential atmosphere to enjoy refreshment or a tasty meal.  There is a lovely Poets Corner paying homage to our local Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney, and a spacious outdoor space for summery days.

The Wild Duck pub and restaurant in Portglenone sits on the edge of the River Bann.  A great dining experience and just a few steps off the boat on our River Bann cruise.

Dawsons restaurant in the pretty village of Castledawson serves traditional Irish cuisine in beautiful surroundings.  It has a welcoming atmosphere and this is reflected in their online reviews.

+44 (0) 7864 684857

call or text Tim to book or make enquiries

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