Downhill Beach's golden sands stretch out towards Magilligan Point and is one of the longest beaches in Ireland. Mussenden Temple stands on the cliff, from where there are views of counties Donegal Coast, Antrim and Londonderry.
Take your pick of these magical 5* castle retreats or stately manor homes, all in the most stunning locations in Northern Ireland. And all with plenty of interesting things to see and do around them. So, make dreams come true with a castle stay in Northern Ireland - even if it is only yours for a few days.
Standing at the end of an old stone bridge across the Glenarm River, The Barbican Gatelodge is a charming building complete with gothic windows and a stone turret staircase. Early evening delivers the most spectacular views here. So get ready to head up to the roof garden to see the coastline in all its twilight glory. This self-catering accommodation is the perfect romantic hideaway and the ideal starting point for a road trip to discover the dramatic Causeway Coast, stopping off at the 5* Giant’s Causeway and 4* Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge en route. From the wonderful to the quirky, this is Northern Ireland’s past and it’s all yours to explore. There’s the perfect spot out there for your romantic getaway, so go get it.
Built in the 12th century by Norman knight, John de Courcy, Killyleagh Castle is the oldest inhabited castle in Ireland today, sitting close to the shores of Strangford Lough. The towers, where your self-catering property awaits, are by comparison mere newcomers. They didn’t put in an appearance till 1620s and are actually built into the defensive walls of the castle. For the record, they go by the names of Ava and Blackwood.
Just 26 miles from Belfast and close to Larne, the enchanting Ballygally Castle Hotel (4*) sits at the tip of the Causeway Coastal Route, with views all the way across the Irish Sea. The castle dates back to 1625 and today is the only 17th century building in Northern Ireland still used as a residence. Character, charm, original beamed ceilings and restful contemporary décor add to the welcoming atmosphere. As does the reputedly friendly ghost. If you’re feeling brave enough, there’s a ‘ghost room’ in one of the towers where you can investigate the goings-on for yourself.
If you like that top of the world feeling, Helen’s Tower is just made for you. In fact, it’s a castle just made for two, with sky-high views that go on forever. Perfect for a romantic getaway. Hidden on the edge of a winding country lane, this enchanting three storey, stone tower nestles deep in the woods on the Clandeboye Estate, perched high above the rolling hills of County Down with wonderful forest walks nearby
A privately owned home, Narrow Water Castle is located in an idyllic setting overlooking Carlingford Bay and Warrenpoint. Dating back to the fifteenth century, the Elizabethan revival style castle was built next to the original home, Mount Hall where the luxurious 5* self-catering apartment is. Two elegantly refurbished bedrooms have traditional furnishings and sumptuous bed linen to ensure a great night’s sleep. And the bathroom has a definite air of romance with a free standing double slipper bath on Moroccan handcrafted tiles. Guests are welcome to explore the grounds and, as there’s an excellent equestrian centre within the estate, should you wish to explore it on horseback that can be arranged too
The exceptionally romantic, 19th century Victorian Crom Castle is set in 1900 acres in one of Northern Ireland’s most important conservation areas. The stunning castle estate, overlooking the waters of Lough Erne, is surrounded by the most beautiful parkland. Which you can enjoy to your heart’s content as a guest in its 5* West Wing self-catering accommodation. Impeccably decorated in warm and inviting colours, the charming West Wing apartment is tastefully furnished in period style. And has its own private entrance and terrace, with views across the Fermanagh countryside from every window
The fairy-tale 4* Belle Isle Castle nestles by the water’s edge in the grounds of the Belle Isle Estate. A splendid, double-vaulted entrance hall sets the scene and rooms are beautifully decorated in the style of a majestic stately home. Explore the grounds and you’ll realise why the Estate has been designated a Special Area of Conservation. Then, if you can tear yourself away for a day, take a trip to the Marble Arch Global Geopark to discover Fermanagh’s fascinating underworld beneath Cuilcagh Mountain. The scenic drive to the top of the mountain is worth the trip alone