“Holly Cottage” in Mayobridge was a much-loved family home. In 2018 we decided to open the family homestead to visitors so they could share its tranquillity and spectacular views.
In Spring 2020 we have learnt to appreciate nature, buds on branches blossoming, flowers blooming, lambs and calves being born and our fields greening. Neighbours from the surrounding areas are walking and cycling our country road and recapturing the peace and scenery, and maybe reacquainting with neighbours at a distance of course.
From opening in June 2018 we have welcomed Irish, English, European, African, Americans, Australian, Canadian and Chinese visitors. We enjoy meeting people from all over the world, listening to their stories of why they are touring Ireland or coming home to spend time with their families. Some of our visitors like a tour of our holding. We own a suckling herd, the cows and calves are grazing in the surrounding fields. We also have learnt traditions from other counties and how they farm.
The cottage is set at the entrance of the farm which is set up a private lane which is shared with ourselves. Your private area is separated with a gate so children can play in the enclosed garden and yard safely; this area is big enough for free parking and eating alfresco. For those who just want to chill and relax you can lift a book and sit in the private garden or yard, and take in the views.
The interior of the cottage has three comfortable bedrooms, shower room, fully equipped kitchen, dining room and living room with complimentary Netflix and wi-fi, books and board games.
An outhouse is also available if you wish to store any outdoor activity equipment, boots etc.
Whilst we are animal lovers we cannot allow pets to visit our farm.
Mayobridge is ideally set between the Mourne Mountains, Cooley mountains and the Ring of Gullion. A short drive also takes you to Kilbroney Forest Park Rostrevor, Slieve Gullion Forest Park outside Newry, Castlewellan Forest Park and Tollymore Forest Park Bryansford. A scenic drive around our South Down Coast visiting Warrenpoint, Rostrevor, Killowen, Kilkeel, Newcastle, and Dundrum. Larger shopping towns can be Newry and Banbridge, whilst boutiques can be found in Warrenpoint, Newcastle, Rathfriland and Banbridge.
Whether you want a leisurely walk, a moderate walk or a vigorous walks the surrounding mountains will satisfy your needs on the various terrains. The Mourne mountains that inspired Belfast born novelist C.S. Lewis to create his magical land of Narnia and also served as the backdrop of the epic TV series, Game of Thrones are a circular cluster of majestic granite tops, some sharp and rugged, and others more rounded domes, dominating the landscape in almost every direction. Some rocky summits are even crowned by an exquisite collection of granite tors of various shapes and sizes, a magnet for climbers as well as walkers.
The Cooley Peninsula, a mountainous finger of land sandwiched between Carlingford Lough and Dundalk Bay, extending for around 11 miles (19km) into the Irish Sea. The Cooley landscape is a diverse mix ranging from enchanting woodlands to lush green valleys, the highest mountain is Slieve Foye.
Slieve Gullion is Ireland’s Mountain of Mystery. There is a mountain top trail to two cairns, with stunning views across the Ring of Gullion, Mourne and Cooley mountain ranges and Armagh Drumlins.
Castlewellan Forest Park
Pony trekking http://www.mountpleasantcentre.com/
Tollymore Forest Park
This park covers an area of almost 630 hectares offering many outdoor activities including walking, horse riding and orienteering and has a fantastic Nature Play Space for the kids. Tollymore National Outdoor Centre is located within the forest. It is a centre for Mountaineering and Canoeing Activities, also has a mountain bike skills course and climbing wall. Scenes of Game of Thrones was filmed at Tollymore Forest park.
Slieve Gullion Adventure Playpark includes a specially designed toddler’s area, adventure and play equipment for the older kids, the “Slieve Gullion ZIP” and even a trim trail for the adults. Burn off some energy on the slides, climbing frames and outdoor gym equipment.
The Giant’s Lair Story Trail takes visitors on an unforgettable journey of intertwined fairy house and arts features creating a fantastical childhood land of mystery, dragons, giants, witches and fairies. This premiere outdoor attraction for children from far and wide.
Visit this link for up to date travel arrangements.
Kilbroney Forest Park
The park offers a wide range of facilities and services, tennis courts, children’s play area, playing fields, an arboretum, barbeque and picnic areas and café. There are 3 waymarked trails which vary in length from 2 Km and 7km
Visit Cloughmore Stone, a 40 tonne granite boulder which was deposited here at the end of the last ice age, some 10,000 years ago.
CS Lewis inspired Narnia Trail The walk starts and finishes within Kilbroney Park and features offer many opportunities to interact and take photos/selfies.
Find out more about Holly Cottage here.
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About the author
Growing up in Co Down I learnt to appreciate the nature, beauty, and the friendliness of the people. My parents owned a convenience store, from an early age I enjoyed meeting people, catching up with customers or meeting new visitors. Opening Holly Cottage seemed a natural way to exhibit this exquisite area and our family meeting guests old and new.