Staycations- Northern Irish Coast Guide
I’ve never been one to crave travel. While I certainly wouldn’t turn down any trip abroad (Japan in cherry blossom season would be amazing), I don’t have that hard to satisfy wanderlust that some others seem to have.
However, as I’ve gotten older I’m finding a child-like desire for exploration and adventure taking grip. I’ve always quite fancied an outing, Secret-Seven style, with the all-important delicious picnic nestled into a rug-sack along with a spy glass and notebook. There’s nothing daring about this imaginary trip that I crave but more along the lines of comforting nostalgia.
This is probably why the idea of a Staycation sparks my curiosity so much. When I stumbled across this term I fell in love with its humble possibilities and slow-living ethos.
The Staycation is all about making the most of what’s on your doorstep, while avoiding busy airports and overstuffed suitcases. When I begin to think about where I could holiday in my locality, I discover that I haven’t seen plenty of the county’s most treasured locations, nor eaten in all the praised restaurants. There are even some rather good hotels that would be well worth a stay. If the idea of a staycation is a little bit too close to home how about traveling to another part of the country and have a mini adventure there?
My Staycation Essentials:
love the selection at Fjall Raven! This one is the Greenland backpack and has plenty of space for a weekend’s supply of necessities.
Unless your planning a city break, a pair of hardy boots are a must for any gate climbing and beach stomping…I personally like my Dubarry Galway boots as they are waterproof and smart-check out my review here.
Am I sounding like your mother yet? She’s right of course and a good waterproof coat will mean you can take on any showers without letting it stop your fun. I like the ones from Seasalt or Barbour.
A few handy sealed boxes that you can fill with a light lunch and a thermos or water bottle will stop any hangry moments taking over.
My North Coast of Ireland Staycation Favourites:
The Giants Causeway
Tip, you can walk straight in and avoid the costly visitors centre if you wish. The Smuggler’s Inn next door does good pub grub too!
Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge
Get there nice and early to avoid too many tourists and stop off at the renowned White Park Bay for epic views and the most stunning beach! When your feeling famished head on to Bothy Café nearby for some decent lunch and a good coffee.
Go when the market is on (grab one of our Billy burgers and say hi while you’re at it). There’s also a brilliant fish and chip shop called Morton’s there too which is well worth a visit. In the main street there is a wonderful bakery called Ursa Minor that do the best homemade sourdough, coffee and also some delicious pastries made by Ciara too!
Lost & Found café, Coleraine
This great café is well worth a visit, keep an eye out for supper evenings there –usually a collaboration with some of the country’s best chefs and food suppliers. There’s also a great little home-ware shop called BT Concept that’s worth popping into. We also get our favourite bacon from a little deli down a side street called Bell House Lane (ask for very thinly sliced Italian bacon-it’s a bit of a life changer!)
The Causeway Coastal route drive
The best way to see all of the above! There are some incredible views along this windy stretch and if you go as far as Portrush make sure you grab some brunch at Babushka Café run by our friend George! Also try and get to Harry’s Shack along the way for a yummy evening meal and don’t forget to BYOB. Oh and make sure to wonder at the stunning Dunluce ruin en-route.
The Economusee network
If you’re after a bit of local artisan crafts then check out the Economusee locations. Our farm, Broughgammon, is one, as is Ursa Minor which I mentioned above. Included are also Broighter Gold Oils, Steensons jewelery, Scullion Hurls and Hillstown Brewery. Each location welcomes visitors to learn more about their artisan craft.
The Dark Hedges
This now has legendary status thanks to Game of Thrones and you’ll find your fair share of selfie sticks hovering about there. However it is still worth a look and very beautiful, I’d go at first light to have a nicer experience and avoid the crowds.
What is your favourite place to visit in your neighbourhood? And do you think you’ll be giving the staycation a shot this summer?