Nestled on the Tyrone-Fermanagh border is this fantastic family-friendly holiday experience guaranteed to get everyone enjoying the great outdoors.
Dating back to the 17th century, Blessingbourne Estate has been in the same family for several generations. Its 550 acre expanse is home to a working farm, Victorian House, fishing lake and several professionally designed mountain bike trails.
The 300-year-old courtyard’s five converted cottages plus fabulous five-star Gate Lodge sleep two to five, providing guests with cosy, self-catering accommodation. Pets are also welcome, and everything from a hamster to a horse has enjoyed a holiday here – with owners, of course. Expect all mod-cons and a fully fitted kitchen – perfect for serving up locally bought food from Fivemiletown, the estate’s home town and just a few minutes’ walk from its gates. Or, if you really want to chill out, head to the Valley Hotel which serves great value meals in its contemporary bar and restaurant.
Back at base, and owners Colleen and Nick Lowry love nothing more than showing you their fabulous grounds where a menagerie of dogs, chickens, peacocks, pigs and goats Crunchie and Linton share space with a herd of Aberdeen Angus cows. Get your timing right and you can help out at feeding time. The magnificent Victorian house can also be booked for private and group tours or afternoon tea - just give them a call in advance.
The Mountain Bike Trail has enthusiasts of all ages and abilities racing to this magnificent expanse to experience 13kms of off-road single track riding and family friendly routes. Verdant woodlands, tranquil lakes, a nature reserve and views of scenic Clogher Valley are among the delightful vistas encountered en route - assuming you can tear your eyes off the challenging track ahead.
Back at base, more sedentary pleasures abound with coarse fishing on the private lakes and walking trails circumnavigating the estate. And the Carriage & Costume Museum provides a quirky distraction from all that outdoor activity. Acquired over a quarter of a century, all manner of moving vehicles and historic attire is on show at this delightfully idiosyncratic collection. See sleighs and cowboy wagons sit side-by-side with penny farthings and even a UN helicopter. While military and childhood outfits are displayed alongside a curiosity of household ephemera through the ages.
A converted 18th century Coach House provides a history-steeped venue for private hire, while brides adore the photographic backdrop of the grand Victorian House. Weddings, wheels, costumes and creatures… Blessingbourne’s many attentively crafted experiences provide a truly unique country escape. Close to the Fermanagh Lakelands and Tyrone’s rolling landscape, yet just 65 miles west of Belfast, Blessingbourne offers a delightful rural idyll.