Travel Tuesday Two For One Staycations on VMTV’s Elaine



It’s Travel Tuesday and great to be back planning some staycations. If you enjoy the chats between us on the show then this week my guest on The Novel Traveller Podcast is Elaine Crowley herself  – listen in here on or wherever you get your Podcast.

On this week’s Elaine Show we are taking a look at some novel two-centre-one-holiday stays to suit everyone’s taste – some might want a city break mixed with a country stay – or you can mix up the mountains and the seaside. Ireland has a host of wonderful towns and villages to cater for your every need so I have pulled together a mix from a variety of sources. I’m starting with some ideas in Northern Ireland because it looks like they will be opening up sooner than later

Northern Ireland

What about a Country and City stay with Ireland’s Blue Book

Derry – Country and City

Ardtara Country House

Set amidst 10 wooded acres, Ardtara is an elegant 19th-century mansion in the heart of Northern Ireland. Just 15 minutes from Seamus Heaney HomePlace and within 45 minutes of both Belfast & Derry, the Giant’s Causeway, the Antrim coast, Royal Portrush golf club and many Game of Thrones film locations, it’s the perfect base from which to explore.

From: £79.50 B&B pps


Bishop’s Gate Hotel, Derry City

Perfectly positioned within the historic city walls, nestled in the heart of the “Cathedral Quarter”, Bishops Gate Hotel is an iconic landmark, and the epitome of Edwardian elegance; an intimate urban oasis featuring 30 luxurious guestrooms, including 2 suites, a residents lounge, fitness area, restaurant and champagne bar.

From: £129 B&B per room per night


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Original Irish Hotels will make up a package for you and help you to book if you want a two-centre stay.

3 Night Hotel Break in Northern Ireland

  • 2 Night Stay at Manor House Country Hotel from £330 for 2 people sharing include Dinner on one evening
  • 1 Night Stay at the Dunadry Hotel & Gardens from £244 for 2 people sharing include Chocolate, prosecco, Dinner and late check out

It is well worth your time to visit Ireland’s own lake country, in the county of Fermanagh. Here on the banks of Lough Erne, you will find a sense of peace and tranquility, and as you explore Fermanagh further you will find the Marble Arch cave complex, which is a fascinating natural underworld of rivers, waterfalls, winding passages and lofty chambers where stunningly beautiful cave formations glisten all around. You can also climb the nearby stairway to heaven for amazing views of the surrounding area.

And all this is in close proximity of The Manor House Country, an idyllic lakeside haven for any holiday-maker. Here you have a leisure centre and spa, two dining options in the onsite restaurants and a lakeside view you find difficult to surpass, and all in the luxurious surroundings of this beautifully located Hotel.

Northern Ireland’s capital city is buzzing with culture and industrial prowess. Whether you’re exploring the restaurants of the Cathedral Quarter or visiting the birthplace of the world’s most famous ship, The Titanic, there is something for everyone.

Located only 15 minutes away from Belfast’s City Centre is The Dunadry Hotel and Gardens , a former linen mill, with its idyllic riverside setting it’s easy to feel miles away, but in reality getting to Northern Ireland’s main attractions couldn’t be more convenient. The Giants Causeway and coastal route are a must see adventure and you might spot a few Game of thrones locations along the way.

During your stay at the  newly renovated Dunadry hotel, they want to help you celebrate all the moments missed in the last year and awaiting your arrival is a box of exclusive chocolates and chilled bottle of prosecco, along with Dinner and the option of late check out. Your break away to Northern Ireland will surely be a memorable one.


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Wild Atlantic Way

5-night Family activity break exploring the Wild Atlantic Way


  • 3 Nights in Carna Bay Hotel, Co. Galway from €555 (Includes Dinner on 1 evening, Kayaking & Boat Cruise)
  • 2 Night in Knockranny House Hotel & Spa from €320 (Includes B&B)


Begin your family holiday this year with a break away to Carna Bay Hotel, located in the heart of the West Connemara Gaeltacht area ,surrounded by some of the finest scenery in Ireland. Connemara  is full of stunningly remote locations and iconic deserted beaches which really are off the beaten track. Included in your family break at Carna Bay Hotel is kayaking rental at Ardmore Bay where you can really appreciate the beauty of the West Coast.

Connemara boasts many famous sites including Connemara National Park, Kylemoore Abbey and of course Ireland’s only Fjord – Killary Fjord. Your 90-minute Killary Cruise is a wonderful sightseeing experience, where you can take in the breathtaking scenery.


On the other side of the Killary Fjord, your Family activity break continues as you leave Galway and Head for the beautiful town of Westport in Co. Mayo where you can relax in luxury at Knockranny House Hotel & Spa before  discovering what Westport has to offer.  Westport offers lots of retail therapy with many stores showcasing local crafts and artisan products.

Located on secluded grounds overlooking the picturesque town of Westport, Knockranny House Hotel & Spa has wonderful views of Croagh Patrick, the islands of Clew Bay’s and the Nephin mountain range.


The destination hotel offers an abundance of local activities for your family break from hill-walking to horse riding or climbing Ireland’s holiest mountain Croagh Patrick, to cycling the great western greenway, we can guarantee that all of you activity enthusiasts will be excited and amazed.


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Limerick – Country House Meets Modern City Hotel

The Mustard Seed, Ballingarry

Nestled in the heart of the Co. Limerick countryside is The Mustard Seed, a converted 19th-century convent. This celebrated and comfortable country house is set on ten acres of mature trees, herbaceous borders, orchard and kitchen garden.

From: €70 B&B pps

No.1 Pery Square Hotel & Spa, Limerick City

Overlooking the handsome, tree-lined Peoples Park in Limerick’s historic Georgian Quarter, No.1 Pery Square is a luxurious and intimate boutique townhouse. Situated just 5 min’s walk from the city centre & train/bus station. The house comprises of 20 bedrooms all individually named and styled.

Delicious food & wine served at Sash and the Park room lounge. No 1 also houses an organic VOYA spa tucked away in the basement vaults and own kitchen garden, rooms full of personality and style throughout and a boutique wine shop.

From: €75 pps


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Into the West For Couples

4 Night Wonderful couples’ getaway


  • 2 Nights Sheedy’s Hotel & Restaurant, Co Clare (€220 per person sharing. Included is Dinner on one evening, tea and homemade treat on arrival, and entry for 2 to the Cliffs of Moher)
  • 2 Nights at Abbeyglen Castle Hotel, Co. Galway (From €279pps for 2 Nights B&B , 5 Course Meal each night, and overseas trip to Inishbofin island)


In Co. Clare you will find two of Ireland’s most dramatic natural wonders and the beauty of Sheedy’s Hotel is its location mid-point between the two, surrounded by Burren and only 10 minutes from the Cliffs of Moher. This means you’re perfectly placed to experience the rich culture, history, beauty and natural wonder of this much-loved part of Ireland. John and Martina Sheedy have always lived in the area and are happy to share their knowledge of places of interest.

The dramatic coastline of the World-famous Cliffs of Moher is must see experience for those visiting Clare. The cliffs can be viewed by sea taking a ferry from Doolin or by those brave enough can enjoy a guided or unguided walk along the top as you look out over the Atlantic Ocean.  But you can also visit the caves in Doolin or Alliwee or indeed visit the local perfumery as well as sampling some local fare at the renowned Burren smokehouse.


Couple your getaway to Clare with a staycation in Connemara, Co. Galway where you can relax like royalty at Abbeyglen Castle Hotel.

During your 2 night stay at Abbelyglen Castle guests can truly immerse themselves in the stunningly beautiful landscape of Connemara, stroll into the village of Clifden just 1Km from the hotel or take in the views on the aptly named sky road loop.

A must see activity while staying at Abbeyglen Castle is a trip to Inishboffin Island which is included in your Wild Atlantic Way offer, here you will see everything from cliff forts and monastic sites to the great sandy beaches and even a Cromwellian Castle constructed in 1656.

Upon return each evening after exploring the area you will be welcomed at 6.30pm in the hotel bar for a complimentary glass of bubbles and warm your toes by the turf fire and listen to a short informal talk on the history of Abbeyglen and the local area before sitting down to you 5 course evening meal.

Video Footage of Clare –


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The Kingdom

Kerry – Lake and Park

Carrig Country House, Killorgan

Hidden away on the shores of Caragh Lake, on the Ring of Kerry, discover the enchanting Carrig Country House and Restaurant where you can escape from it all, relax and enjoy some of the most beautiful and unspoiled scenery in Ireland.

Located in the heart of the Reeks District, guests to Carrig House can enjoy hiking, biking, stand-up paddle-boarding,  golf, horse riding or boating. Tour the Ring of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula, Killarney National Park or the World Heritage Site – Skellig Michael, or just laze, read and sip an Irish whiskey by the fire.

From: €95 B&B pps

Cahernane Country House, Killarney

Cahernane House Hotel is a unique experience of old Irish history mixed with modern luxuries. Beautifully situated on its own private estate on the edge of Killarney National Park, and only a twenty-minute walk to Killarney town centre.

Cahernane House Hotel exudes a sense of relaxation and peacefulness where guests can retreat from the hectic pace of life into a cocoon of calmness and serenity.

From: €169 B&B per room per night


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