Belfast & Northern Ireland

Quirky Places To Stay in NI

16 Oct 2020
From an actual castle to a converted horsebox, via a restored church and an off-grid hideaway, if you’re sick of the standard B&B with its four regular walls then have we got a treat for your next trip! We’ve rounded up the most unusual, awesome, quirky and downright WOW places to stay in Northern Ireland. 

1 - Quarry Hill Church
56 Downpatrick Road, Strangford, Downpatrick, Co Down
www.quarryhillchurch.com

Praise be! This 5 bedroom, 5 bathroom haven is a converted Presbyterian church dating from 1845. Perfect for family get-togethers, there’s no graveyard so no need to be spooked in this architecturally stunning self-catering accommodation. 

2 - Inch Schoolhouse
78 Belfast Rd, Downpatrick, Co Down  
www.inchschool.com

Jump into the garden hot tub then snuggle up in a four-poster bed in this Georgian self-catering option. Built in 1832 and now filled with both antique furniture and all mod cons, it sleeps 16 people in 7 luxe bedrooms and oh, did we mention the disco room? Yes, you can party here even on a school night.  

3 - Finn Lough Bubble Dome 
33 Letter Road, Aghnablaney, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh 
www.finnlough.com

Laze in a four-poster bed and gaze at the stars in this totally transparent adults-only bubble dome nestled in a private forest. Don’t panic though, the bathroom is ensuite and properly obscured, so you can pee in privacy.  

4 - Tepee Valley Campsite 
20 Shanecrackan Road, Markethill, Co Armagh
www.tepeevalleycampsite.co.uk

How much did you want to stay in a tepee as a kid? Well now you can pretend you’re in the old Wild West in an 18ft traditionally-designed Native American tepee in the middle of this grassy campsite. Sleeps 4/5 adults and children.

5 - Belle Isle Castle
Belle Isle Estate, Lisbellaw, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh 
www.belle-isle.com 

Want to live like royalty, if only for a night? Have you got a) 26 friends and b) pots of money. If it’s ‘yes’ to both you can book this entire castle, sleeping 27 guests in 13 bedrooms and situated on a 400-acre estate on a private island. That’s right, an actual castle on a private island. 

6 - Birch Eco Cottage 
79 Lackan Rd, Ballyroney, Banbridge, Co Down 
www.lackancottage.co.uk

Off-grid and eco-friendly, this cottage-for-two is powered by solar and wind energy and sits on an organic farm with views of the Mourne Mountains. This carbon neutral rural retreat has luxury touches, such as the underfloor heating, super-king size bed and organic cotton bed linen.   

7 - The Oat Box horse box 
Cloyfin, Coleraine, Co Londonderry 
www.facebook.com/The-Oat-Box

You herd it here first - this is the perfect place to hit the hay. OK, that’s enough pony puns, we’ll stop horsing around now. This 1968 Bedford TK Horse Lorry has been cleverly restored to offer a cute and cosy holiday stay with a vintage vibe, located on private farmland. Ideal for a couple looking for a romantic getaway.   

8 - Helen’s Tower 
Clandeboye Estate, Bangor, Co Down 
www.irishlandmark.com/property/helens-tower/

Immortalised in a poem by Lord Tennyson, this three-storey stone tower from 1848, offers fairytale features such as a stone spiral staircase, a wood-panelled dining room in the shape of an octagon, and a rooftop reading room. Click here to peruse more quirky Irish Landmark Trust properties.

Compiled by Belfast-born globetrotter Andrea McVeigh. Follow Andrea's adventures at The World in a Glass.

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