The first few weeks of the New Year seem to go by so slowly don’t they? The weather is grey, everyone is reminiscing about their time off and it seems impossible to get much done without the help of coffee.
There are many ways to beat the January Blues but the best way has to be a little holiday! So I booked a long weekend off work and planned a trip to beautiful Northern Ireland with my boyfriend.
Having never ventured to Northern Ireland we wanted to explore the stunning countryside and coastal paths. We visited Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge, Giant’s Causeway and Glenariff Forrest Park. Amongst the bridge crossing, sea strolling and mountain climbing we stayed at Galgorm Resort and Spa – a lovely hotel in Ballymena.
Most hotels that I’ve been to with a spa have a swimming pool, sauna and steam room. The spa at Galgorm goes beyond! Instead of just a few rooms there is an entire Thermal Village full of outdoor hot tubs, Celtic saunas, riverside steam rooms, a sanarium and even a snow cabin.
With so much to do at the spa I almost felt guilty leaving the resort for sightseeing. During our stay we managed to find the right balance and spent our mornings exploring the countryside then returning to the hotel to relax in the afternoons. Stepping into an outdoor hot tub to ease our muscles after a long walk on the coastal paths was absolute bliss. That’s how you spend a holiday!
The highlight of our stay had to be the riverside bathing experience where we watched the river flow by from a wood-fired hot tub. The tub was all ours for an hour so we had total privacy whilst we sipped champagne and watched the sunset. There was something incredibly romantic about being together in the warmth of the hot tub whilst it was chilly and cold outside. After we stepped out we wrapped each other up in our fluffy robes and returned to the spa.
Galgorm has three restaurants so there’s lots of variety for guests. We ate at the River Room (a more formal dining experience) on our first night and then Fratelli’s on the second, which is a relaxed Italian. The best food had to be the Full Irish Breakfast though! The County Antrim thick pork sausages, bacon, black pudding and traditional Irish potato bread were delicious. That’s how you start the day right…
If you’re looking for a romantic and relaxing retreat without travelling too far from home then Northern Ireland is a destination to add to your wish list. As soon as you arrive you’ll feel at home with warm welcomes, friendly staff and cosy corners of the hotel to escape to.
Have you been to Northern Ireland? Comment below to let me know what you loved most about your trip