With the Mayday bank holiday weekend falling on the hottest week of the year so far, we decided to treat the kids to a mini break, using the opportunity to meet up with a friend and her beautiful daughter.
Our destination of choice was the picturesque North Coast of Northern Ireland. The Area of Outstanding Beauty has lots to do outdoors including walks on the blue flag beaches and the Giant’s Causeway – and indoors, particularly the iconic Barry’s amusements and award winning Ramore Winebar and Harbour Bar for food, the seaside town of Portrush was the ideal location.
We hit the jackpot when it came to accommodation with our friend suggesting a five star hostel Portrush Townhouse Boutique Hostel, an option I hadn’t even considered. But with four children in tow we gave it a go – and were very pleasantly surprised!
Used to booking family rooms in hotels, keeping a toddler amused within the confined space never mind the many hidden dangers (sharp cupboard edges, drinks cabinets, low drawers, to name a few) always proves quite a challenge.
Arriving at the hostel with a very warm welcome we were delighted to discover that the very grand looking Victorian townhouse has throughout its lively past accommodated many travellers from around the globe.
We were more than impressed that our studio apartment room in fact encompassed a whole wing of the house! We even had our very own lockable entrance door.
The extra space was such an unexpected luxury, enabling Eve and Luca some extra room for when they go through their nightly energetic stage (aka jumping around like lunatics, shouting and letting off steam before bed).
There was a small yet ample kitchen equipped with pots, pans, oven, sink – absolutely everything you need to cook up a meal or just make a cup of tea. All we had to do was bring the food.
A small corridor lead to the spacious main room itself which contained; a double bed and a set of bunk beds, a sofa and wicker chairs, a large TV and a dining table with chairs.
We also had an en-suite bathroom with a shower just off our main room. The entire house was dripping in period detail which added to its unique charm.
The kitchen was ideal for keeping wandering little hands away from the kettle – a battle we struggle with each time we stay in a hotel. The fridge was ideal for storing perishable items, including Luca’s dairy free butter and milk – something we found very difficult to do in a hotel resulting in the food going off.
We were also able to rustle up some late night rounds of toast for supper and porridge made with dairy free milk in the morning for Luca – something that wouldn’t have been possible had we been in a hotel.
Everyone loved being in such close proximity to one another yet having a bit more personal space than a hotel room would allow! We could all easily watch the tv screen from the comfort of our beds – and boy were they comfortable, so comfortable and luxurious infact that I really struggled to drag myself out of bed in the morning.
There was free wifi and the option of breakfast which was located in the basement of the house, after descending a beautiful authentic black wrought iron spiral staircase in the lounge room was another quirky feature adding to the character of the house.
As the hostel was so central all the main attractions were easily within walking distance. After a long walk on the beach and around the town we had walked up an appetite which only the sea air can induce. We dined in the Portrush Atlantic Hotel and wolfed down every last bite of the food.
Exhausted from our adventures we settled back into the hostel for the night, making supper and a very much appreciated cup of tea before a movie in bed – that we were all much too exhausted to watch to the end.
After a lovely breakfast spent along with the other guests in the homely kitchen, where we helped ourselves to a basic breakfast (my second of the morning!) with tea, we were feeling refreshed and ready for action again.
We were all in unanimous agreement that the hostel was unlike any hotel we had ever stayed in, in fact our experience at the Portrush Boutique Townhouse Hostel was every bit as good as (if not better than) staying in a five star hotel (minus the swimming pool).
The absolute best bit about it was the price! At an amazing £75 for our one night stay it is unbeatable value for money, especially for a family of six! We will most definitely come back again.
Saying a fond farewell to our friends we headed off on a long trek, taking in the breathtaking views along the coastal walk to the Ramore Head.
We again walked up a ferocious appetite, and as the end of the walk way naturally brought us within close proximity to the nicest eatery around, the Ramore Harbour Bistro, we stopped off for a very delicious, truly sumptuous lunch – it would have been rude not to!
With our tummies full we made a final stop off at the indoor funfair that is a major tourist attraction in Portrush – Barry’s Amusements – in the blistering heat! What Eve wants Eve gets! I can’t say I was sorry to be in the shade, as I was worried about the boys getting the full effects of the sun at the hottest time of day. After wiling away a few hours (and more than a few pounds!) we set off for granny and granda’s house on the way home to tell them all about our travels.
Disclaimer: This is in no way an ad, just our own honest opinions.