We so enjoyed our stay in this fine old Victorian home. It was very clean and comfortable. Thankyou too David for your kindness and help when we arrived late and while we were in Belfast and also for sharing family memories of growing up here - all added up to a memorable vacation for us.
The spacious house and its lovely garden are outside of the city in a quiet, country location. There are many interesting walks in the area. Easy on/off to the ring road around Belfast.
We arrived into Belfast after a long day of driving much later on Sunday night than we expected. But David was there waiting for us and his welcome was most appreciated. He'd also thoughtfully supplied a lovely arrive package of bread, jam, cake, milk and essentials to get us settled in with supper.
The Country House is about 10 km (we estimate) walk from central Belfast if you follow the River Lagan. And we highly recommend taking this scenic route if you are able. Along the way there's the landmark Shaws Bridge on the A55. The old bridge and surrounding park are well worth a visit. Then there's the lovely Clement Wilson Park and a little further on a must-stop visitor centre and cafe at the Lock Keepers Inn. As well as the goodies at the cafe, volunteers show visitors the Lock Keepers Cottage and a restored lock barge that has been lovingly restored. On board the barge and in the Inn building, the visitor can be informed of life on the canal when it was a thriving transport route.
The main other way we used to get into Belfast was to walk up to Malone Road and catch a bus. The service was regular and, by buying a day ticket, we could get off and see sites on the way like Queens University, and the Botanic Gardens right next door.
We did try to catch the number 22 bus from the Europa transport centre in Belfast back one afternoon, but the driver was unsure about where the nearest bus stop was.
Of course, by car there is easy access to Belfast along Malone Road. But we easily avoided the hassle of finding parking places and driving in city traffic most days by catching the bus. And the centre of Belfast is definitely worth a long walk. Many beautiful buildings that reflect the boom time of the port in the late 19th Century.
We walked the Shankill Road and all through the nearby streets taking in the murals representing the sides in The Troubles and commemorating other significant events that involved the people of Belfast over the last century.
We walked up to Crumlin Road goal where we were fascinate by the giant ruin of the courthouse across the road. The signs indicate that it is to be redeveloped as a luxury hotel.
We did use our hire car to make a trip up to Stormont Castle on the A55. Well worth a visit. A striking site on the hill with extensive grounds. And if you haven't got a car it is serviced by buses.
We also did a day driving trip to The Giants Causeway and over to Derry. This was perhaps too ambitious for one day!
The Country House itself is all you could want in a home-away-from home. Two stories, with three bedrooms upstairs. The main bedroom is spacious and comfortable with a lovely view across the nearby paddocks. Downstairs, there's the kitchen, a living room with television and a separate dining room. The laundry is accessed from the back yard and has a washer and dryer which were easy to use.
David dropped by every day as he worked in the gardens and gave us helpful advice.
We really felt like we were well looked after while we still had our privacy in our own Country House home-away-from-home.
In summary, David's Country House makes a wonderful, peaceful and comfortable base to explore Belfast and its surroundings either on foot, by car or by public transport.