Why you should make Hillsborough your base in County Down, Northern Ireland


Northern Ireland isn't a big country and no matter where you are, you're really no more than 90 minutes away from each main attraction. If you're looking for a base near the coast then I would recommend Portrush or Portstewart but if you're looking to explore the Mourne Mountains then Hillsborough is where you should stay. 


Famous for being the home of Hillsborough Castle, a royal residence and a place which played a key role in the peace talks, the town is unlike anywhere I've been in Northern Ireland. We joked it was a place where you could smell the money! The houses were pretty spectacular and people looked rather fancy. You know when people just have that 'look'? It had a very affluent feel and, despite only being 20 minutes away, it felt miles away from Belfast.






It boasts a cute little high street filled with an independent greengrocer, butcher, cute homeware shops and lots of pubs to whittle away a few hours over a pint. Everything is within walking distance which means you can forget about the car for the night and enjoy the craic. We enjoyed a bite to eat at The Parson's Nose and loved our breakfast at the Owl & Pussycat Cafe - be sure to get the fry! On our list for next time is dinner at Hara and a few drinks at The Plough. Make sure you make time to enjoy a walk around the man-made lake. Take a stroll through the forest, keeping an eye out for the 17th-century fort. 


We stayed at the most adorable little cottage in the middle of town. It was tiny but had absolutely everything you could possibly need including a gorgeous log burner. Sadly the weather was pretty special while we were over so never got to use it. We had such a warm welcome from the host and nothing was too much trouble. We were impressed with the interiors that we even stole an idea from the bedroom storage to use in our own house. Our understair storage doors are modelled on that house! They left us a lovely bottle of wine and apple pie as a surprise. It was the little touches like that which made it a joy to stay. 


We had such a lovely few days in Hillsborough and will definitely be back!







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A Essex based lifestyle blogger who lives a champagne life on a lemonade purse!

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