In a landscape synonymous with lush green fields and fresh local food, a farm stay provides the perfect combination of both ingredients. And Ballylagan really steps up to the plate with its 100% organic provenance. Animal welfare and care of the environment are right at the core of owners Tom and Patricia Gilbert’s business mantra. And, with the introduction of a micro hydro electric scheme, energy efficiency abounds at every turn.
Cattle, sheep, pigs and hens all dwell within its 120 acre expanse which lies just 14 miles north of Belfast city centre and within the quiet environs of Co. Antrim’s Straid village. The Guest House dates back to the 19th century and was meticulously restored in 2011, so expect the most modern of touches within an authentic family farmstead.
And so to bed
Each of the four contemporary yet homely en-suite bedrooms is named after farm residents; Brown Trout, Lapwing, Heron and Irish Hare. Organic cotton is used, naturally, and you can avail of the bathroom’s eco toiletries. For an added touch of romance, book one of the two bedrooms with wood burning stove. And you’ll find a third fireplace in the beautifully appointed – and TV free - guest library with leather sofas, Fair Trade organic teas and coffees.
How do you like your eggs in the morning?
Fresh from the resident hens, of course, alongside an equally unrivalled provenance of organic home-made yoghurts, farm-grown fruits and Ballylagan’s rare breed pig sausages and bacon. Enjoy your morning sustenance beside the dining room’s wood burning stove or, when the sun spills through, in the bright and contemporary Garden Room.
And there’s more
Walk off your brekkie with a gentle stroll along the farm’s 1km trail. Or the more energetic among you can try out the tennis court or hire bikes for a bucolic village cycle. Then what better way to relive your Ballylagan experience than picking up some organic produce from the farm shop? Approved by the Soil Association and opened by its patron Prince Charles, Ballylagan really is pioneering in its position as N. Ireland’s original 100% organic B&B. Whether overnighting or not, enjoy home-made light lunches, cakes, scones and tray bakes in the Tea Room from Tue-Sat 10:00 - 16:30.
Out and about
You may be immersed in the tranquil countryside, but Belfast is an easy 20min drive south and the Causeway Coastal Route is just a few minutes’ detour from your door. Nearby Carrickfergus Castle is a must-see landmark. And look out for the soon-to-open Gobbins cliff path, a suspended walkway retracing the original Victorian tourist attraction. Find it in the picturesque Islandmagee peninsula.