Cavan House

People who enjoy the great outdoors will adore a self catering stay in Cavan House, luxurious farmhouse accommodation in County Down. Set at the foot of the Mourne Mountains Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it has on the doorstep some fabulously scenic walking, cycling and mountain biking trails, golf courses, horse riding opportunities, great fishing and a wealth of wildlife.

It’s also a very rewarding area to explore by vehicle, being less than 20 miles from the beautiful east Irish coast of Dundrum Bay and within reach of Belfast, Dublin and fascinating visitor attractions.

Built in 1841, Cavan House has been refurbished to the highest standards, as attested by a 5 Star grading from Northern Ireland Tourist Board. It sleeps nine people sumptuous surroundings which include a large, private garden and patio great for children’s play and al fresco dining. It has quality entertainment equipment including WiFi and Sky TV and guests are welcome to bring along their well behaved family pets. A cleaning service is available if wanted.

Cavan House

The house stands just outside Rathfriland, a large hilltop village which commands stunning mountain views. Local attractions include a heritage railway, Murlough Beach Nature Reserve and the Tollymore and Castlewellan Forest Parks. The Bronte Homeland Drive and Interpretive Centre details the boyhood of Patrick Bronte before he fathered some of Britain’s best loved authors.

Cedar Cottage

Enjoy the best of all worlds while self catering in Cedar Cottage, Warrenpoint, County Down. You’ll be staying in 4 Star luxury barely 50 yards from the beach and within the Mourne Mountains designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, yet only a stroll from the local shops, restaurants and amenities. The charming town sits on Carlingford Lough, which divides Northern Ireland from Southern Ireland, roughly 50 miles from either Belfast or Dublin.

Cedar Cottage is a recently modernised two-bedroomed retreat. It provides spacious and tasteful accommodation for four with attractive features including an en suite master bedroom and a bright conservatory overlooking a well-kept private garden.

Guests enjoy a delightful open plan kitchen and dining room, a cosy sitting room and ample appliances including multi-channel TV and kitchen equipment including a dishwasher and microwave oven. Ever helpful hosts Norman and Rachel Purdy live next door. As well as achieving that 4 Star rating from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, they pride themselves on giving excellent customer service.

Cedar Cottage

The cottage is well placed for sampling the very best of the island of Ireland. Norman says: “It’s very scenic and there are ample golf courses within half an hour’s drive. A short drive away is the splendid Hillsborough Castle & Gardens royal residence, which recently underwent a £20 million restoration.”

Dunnanelly Country House

Dunnanelly Country House is an amazing place to enjoy a rejuvenating holiday or short break, overlooking the majestic Mountains of Mourne and, in the distance, Slieve Croob, the 1,752 feet high ‘mountain of the hoof’. Set in 80 acres of gardens, fields and woodland, it provides indulgent 4 Star Bed & Breakfast, with splendid views over fields, ponds and gardens from all 6 en suite bedrooms and dining room.

This multi-award-winning venue in County Down can be booked entirely and exclusively for an extra special business conference or other choice event. Sometimes bridal couples book it as a delightful ‘home from home’ for close friends and family after a wedding nearby.

Guests benefit from secure parking, wonderful walks in the grounds, a garden with terracing and furniture, a croquet lawn, boules pitch, kennels and billiards room.

Dunnanelly Country House

Breakfast is a fine full Ulster Fry plus Continental alternatives and locally sourced smoked salmon. All ingredients are sourced as locally as possible, including honey from Dunnanelly’s own bees. Owner Sally King also prepares delectable afternoon teas for groups, when booked in advance, ideal for celebrating special birthdays or anniversaries.

Dunnanelly Country House has gained numerous accolades, for breakfast, service and Green Tourism, among others. It features in several esteemed travel guides – Alistair Sawday’s, Georgina Campbell’s Ireland and Frommer’s – for which entries cannot be bought.

Three Millstones

Perfectly placed in the pretty village of West Bradford near Clitheroe, Lancashire, The Three Millstones Inn is a Grade II listed building with a modern suite of guest bedrooms. It’s in the picturesque rural walking country of the Ribble Valley and close to the mountain biking trails of the Gisburn Forest, yet less than an hour’s drive from the east coast and full-on entertainments of Blackpool.

The Three Millstones offers quality bed & breakfast in a relaxed atmosphere which is perfect for a holiday retreat well away from traffic congestion and the urban sprawl. The rooms are all en suite doubles with quality beds and bedding, spacious bathrooms and contemporary decoration. Breakfasts are cooked from the best possible local ingredients.

The premises are warm and welcoming, run by head chef Matthew and his wife, Lauren. Lunches and evening meals are available in the comfortable rustic restaurant from Wednesday to Sunday, complemented by a wide ranging wine list. The well stocked bar is always charming and relaxed, especially in winter with log burners crackling away, although the premises are closed from January 2 to 23.

3 Millstones Inn

Lauren says: “Many of our guests go into Clitheroe itself, which is a market town with good shops, ancient castle ruins and a museum and is only a few minutes away. They also visit Pendle Hill, famous for the 17th century witch trials.”

Brandreth Barn

Quality accommodation at affordable prices is what Brandreth Barn Bed & Breakfast provides in a rustic barn conversion in the heart of rural Lancashire. The 1774 building has been tastefully transformed into a complex of eight en suite bedrooms, providing a beautiful home from home for holidays, short breaks or business stays in scenic countryside surroundings.

Brandreth Barn is on a farm, a world away from the traffic congestion of the big towns and cities yet only 15 minutes’ drive from the M58 – an easy route to Manchester, Preston and Liverpool – and from directly to the M6 into the Midlands. There are wonderful walks all around, often with pleasant pubs where meals are readily available. One of the nearest attractions is the Martin Mere Wetlands Centre, which attracts thousands of overwintering visitors such as whooper swans and pink footed geese.

Guests benefit from a choice of single, double, twin and family rooms, all individually decorated and equipped with TV, beverage making facilities and wi-fi. One is accessible for people with disabilities and there is a large car park.

Barn owner Margaret Wilson ensures there is always a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere and a great breakfast to fuel the day’s explorations. There is also a popular tearoom on site, serving other meals and refreshments from 10am to 3pm on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, including lunches, cream teas and snacks.

Brandreth Barn

Lochty House

Lochty House is cosy self catering accommodation in Carnoustie, golf heaven for those who play the game but also a great base for people who enjoy walking, cycling, fishing, the coast, castle hopping and all that magnificent Scottish food and drink. It’s conveniently placed a few minutes’ walk from the town centre, while the North Sea coast is popular for sailing, surfing and other watersports.

The family friendly house sleeps up to six adults in three guest bedrooms, all of them individually decorated and well equipped. There’s a shared bathroom with bath and shower and, downstairs, a comfy living room, a dining area, well equipped kitchen and pleasant garden. The property has private parking on site and many amenities including Wi-Fi and TV with satellite channels.

“It’s a home from home,” says owner Irene Anderson. “We provide everything people need. They only need to bring themselves.”

Many people stay there because of the golf. Carnoustie is famous for its championship links course, ‘golf’s greatest challenge’, which has eight times held the Open Championship. The famous course of St Andrews is 45 minutes’ drive away and Gleneagles, which recently hosted the Solheim Cup, about an hour.

Nearby Glamis Castle, where the Queen Mother grew up, is one of the most splendid in Scotland and Carnoustie is on the railway line from Edinburgh to Aberdeen. 

Lochty House