Looking for a great place to stay near the beautiful Tollymore Forest Park? Well, Tollymore Self-Catering could be just what you’ve been looking for. We talked to Charlene about why you should book your stay at TSC.
Charlene, can you tell us how Tollymore Self-Catering came about?
As I sit down to write this, it occurs to me that Tollymore Self Catering (TSC) has just turned one year old! As anyone who has ever taken the knee trembling step of starting a small business will tell you, that one year milestone can either be cause for celebration or serious head in hands reflection. In terms of this venture, success for me is measured by the level of enjoyment and pleasure people take from staying at TSC. One year on, the wonderful feedback and reviews I have received is truly cause to celebrate.
TSC came about for a number of reasons. Firstly, I love to travel and have come to believe that where you chose to rest your head at night can have a significant bearing on the travel experience as a whole. Secondly, holidays are not easy come by, whether people are constrained by time, finances or any of the other numerous commitments that are part of daily life.
With these things in mind, I wanted to provide visitors with something special in terms of a place to stay; I wanted to provide a sanctuary, whether it be from the exciting buzz of Newcastle or the wonderful challenges presented by a long day hiking in the Mourne Mountains; I wanted to provide a cosy and warm space that guests didn’t want to leave; essentially, I wanted to help people have the best trip possible
I felt that I could achieve a true home from home, a place where you can put your feet up in front of an open fire on a winters night or chill out with a BBQ on a summers day, a place where you could enjoy board games with family or friends at a big kitchen table, like my family have done on holidays past, a place where you are welcomed by cake on your birthday or a little champagne on your wedding anniversary, a place where four legged guests are as important as two.
And thus, Tollymore Self-Catering was born!
What does TSC offer to walkers and hikers?
I recently read an article on how hiking changes your brain. I didn’t need to read any further than the title to know exactly what it was going to say. Indeed hiking is medicine for the mind, body and soul; and the Mourne Mountains, a master apothecary. And lets not forget the Mourne Wall; this Grade 2 listed structure will take your breath away every time, metaphorically, and indeed literally if you have managed the hike to get to it in the first place!
With TSC I have endeavoured to provide a space that compliments the hiking on offer in this area, an area which inspired CS Lewis’ magical world of Narnia! In the property you will find a Mourne Mountains and Slieve Croob OS Map with waterproof case, lunch boxes, cooler bags, food flasks, trail maps for Tollymore, Castlewellan and Kilbroney Forest Parks as well as books and literature in relation to Newcastle and the surrounding area. You may even find a copy of ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’!
Avail of the washing machine and tumble dryer for all your hiking gear, enjoy a hot bath with complimentary bath salts for those tired, aching legs, put your feet up in front of the open fire and plan your tomorrow with complimentary WiFi, or sink straight into one of our comfy beds for a good nights sleep. The location of the property is ideal for hiking as you can either walk from the property through Tollymore Forest Park and into the mountains, or drive a short distance to various starting points.
What are the main attractions nearby?
Bryansford is a small, quiet village in County Down at the northern side of Tollymore Forest Park, a Game of Thrones filming location! It is a 5 minute drive from both Castlewellan and the seaside town of Newcastle. The property provides easy access to bars, restaurants, art galleries, museums and beaches.
A few minutes drive away is Tollymore National Outdoor Centre, Life Adventure Centre, the Trassey Track leading to Hares Gap in the Mourne Mountains, Royal County Down Golf Course, Cocos Adventure Playground, Mourne Archery Centre and horse riding. Also nearby is Murlough Nature Reserve, Mourne Seafood Cookery School, Seaford Gardens and Butterfly House, Silent Valley Reservoir, Spelga Dam, Kilbroney Park (widely regarded as one of the most exciting mountain bike destinations in Europe), the Scenic Carlingford Ferry and Cooley Peninsula .…. the list goes on!
TSC is also a 50 minute drive from Belfast and 1 hour 45 minute drive from Dublin. Did I mention there is hiking nearby?
Is the property pet-friendly? Is it suitable for families?
Yes and yes! We are pet friendly and have a small enclosed garden with a 3.5ft fence to the rear of the property. We also provide dog dishes and waste bags. The property is also family friendly in that we provide a travel cot, high chair, board games and children’s books. The stairs are also fitted with stair gates.
How private is TSC?
TSC is a two-storey end terrace property located in a quiet and peaceful courtyard development in the foothills of the Mourne Mountains. Guests have the entire property to themselves during their stay. The ground floor consists of an open plan living area and kitchen. The first floor contains three bedrooms and one bathroom.
The property is Tourist Board Certified and has everything you could need for your stay.
There is one large bedroom with a great 6ft superking bed, luxurious pocket sprung mattress and high quality bedding as well as a small flat screen smart TV. The other two bedrooms are more compact, but cosy and comfortable, also with luxury mattresses and bedding.
There is one bathroom with a bath and shower. The property is gas heated and benefits from instant hot water.
As an owner, what’s your favourite thing about the property?
One of my favourite things about the property is that it is located about a 30 second walk from Bryansford Gate, a gothic style structure offering access to Tollymore Forest Park and the Mourne Mountains. The views walking into the Forest Park are something else, not to mention the way marked walking and bike trails.
Why should visitors choose TCS as their accommodation?
If you want a warm welcome and a cosy home from home to base your Mourne adventures, then chose TSC!
Check out the Tollymore Self-Catering website here.
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