Enchanting Escapes in Northern Ireland’s Beauty!


After Travel Classics Ireland, we wandered on the Wild Atlantic Way and then went to explore Northern Ireland’s enchanting escapes-from Royal Residences to Enchanted Forests, Unveiling the Gems of Lough Erne Resort, Armagh Cider Company, Ballinteggart Farm, and More!

Welcome to the enchanting beauty of Northern Ireland, a land that beckons with its rich history, lush landscapes, and captivating experiences. In this mesmerizing realm, where past and present seamlessly intertwine, you will discover a tapestry of delights that span from majestic royal residences like Hillsborough Castle & Gardens to the charming allure of Armagh Cider Company and the serene charm of Ballinteggart Farm. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey as we explore the wonders of Lough Erne Resort, the majestic Slieve Donard Hotel, and the mystical Bike Mourne trails of Tollymore Forest Park. From the legendary realms of Game of Thrones to the iconic Guinness Storehouse Tour in Dublin and the stylish charm of The Grafton and The Davenport, Northern Ireland awaits with an abundance of enchanting escapes. Join us as we venture into this magical world where history, nature, and culture intertwine to create an experience like no other.

Where to STAY? Lough Erne Resort, Ireland 🇮🇪

Lough Erne Resort is an awe-inspiring property nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. With its luxurious accommodations, world-class golf courses, and tranquil spa, it offers an unforgettable escape. Boasting stunning lake views, exceptional dining options, and impeccable service, it’s the perfect haven for discerning travelers. Additionally, younger guests can embark on a magical adventure through the resort’s captivating enchanted forest walk. This immersive experience combines the beauty of nature with whimsical sculptures and interactive elements, creating a truly enchanting experience for kids. From exploring the wooded areas to discovering hidden surprises, Lough Erne Resort ensures that guests of all ages create lifelong memories in this extraordinary setting.

I enjoyed my stay Lough Erne Resort with stunning lake views and the enchanted forest walk. Amy and I stayed in a 2 bedroom tower which we LOVED! AND!! we saw baby sheep near the golf course.

Dining at Lough Erne Resort is a culinary journey that delights the senses. The resort offers a range of exceptional dining options, each providing a unique and unforgettable experience. From fine dining at the award-winning Catalina Restaurant, where guests can savor innovative and exquisite dishes crafted with locally sourced ingredients, to the cozy and relaxed atmosphere of The Blaney Bar, serving up delicious pub-style fare, there is something to satisfy every palate. With impeccable service, breathtaking views, and a commitment to culinary excellence, dinner at Lough Erne Resort is a true gastronomic delight.

My morning stroll at Lough Erne

These photos are from my morning walk across Reeds Bridge before breakfast. I also loved our walk around the water! Thank you to the entire team and my group for a wonderful time!! I felt like a story book princess like Rapunzel in my second story bedroom in the turret tower!! Thank you!!

We experienced the serene beauty of Erne’s waterways on our all-electric slow boat tour, Island Discovery. Glide through the picturesque landscapes, enjoying the peaceful ambiance while minimizing your carbon footprint. Discover hidden gems and unwind as our eco-friendly water taxi offers a unique, sustainable way to explore Erne’s enchanting surroundings. We loved seeing the sights, the swans and tasting the specialty cocktails!

Armagh Cider Company 🍎 and Ballinteggart Farm 🌳Ireland 🇮🇪

Welcome to Ballinteggart Farm, a haven of apple enchantment. Stroll through the picturesque orchards, where vibrant apple trees bear the fruits of nature’s labor. I loved being at Armagh Cider Company!! I love APPLES! Taste the juicy apples straight from the branches, savoring their crispness and sweetness. We also ate delightful apple tarts lovingly crafted from the freshest harvest made with Armagh Bramley Apples PGI. Ballinteggart Stud is well-known for breeding Irish horses and ponies! They also have sparkling waters in many flavors and make Honeyhill Rosettes! You can stroll through the Heritage Trees which are registered with the Woodland Trust. WE LOVED OUR VISIT and cannot wait until Philip and Helen have a B&B so we can stay overnight! The Troughtons have been growing apples in Co Armagh for 5 generations since 1898. They produce an amazing 34 apple varieties from the 80-acre ancient plantation. My favorite dessert of the entire trip was the apple pie made from their apples!

Northern Ireland’s royal residence: Hillsborough Castle & Gardens

Explore Northern Ireland’s royal residence, Hillsborough Castle, where worlds and minds meet. Relax in 100 acres of picturesque gardens, explore the State Rooms still used today. Embark on a captivating tour of Royal Hillsborough Castle and its exquisite gardens. Marvel at the vibrant floral displays, tranquil lakes, and enchanting woodlands. Knowledgeable guides will reveal the castle’s fascinating history and incredible artwork. Explore hidden corners and meandering pathways, immersing yourself in the castle’s rich tapestry of stories. Discover the harmonious blend of nature and heritage that makes Royal Hillsborough Castle’s gardens truly extraordinary.

Where to STAY? Slieve Donard Hotel, Ireland 🇮🇪

Discover the rich history and unforgettable experience of Slieve Donard Hotel. Since 1898, this iconic destination has welcomed discerning travelers seeking timeless elegance. Set against the majestic Mourne Mountains, it offers luxurious accommodations, breathtaking views, and a tranquil ambiance. Immerse yourself in its grandeur, relax in the spa, and explore the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape. Slieve Donard Hotel is a place where history and comfort intertwine, creating a truly remarkable retreat. AND! Step behind the scenes of The Seven Kingdoms at the official Game of Thrones Studio Tour. The Game of Thrones Studio Tour Package includes overnight accommodation at Slieve Donard!

Enchanted Exploring with Bike Mourne: Tollymore Forest Park, Game of Thrones and Bloody Bridge

Thank you to Bike Mourne! I had the most beautiful day in County Down, Northern Ireland. Some of my group went by e-bike while I had a walking and photo tour. I loved the rock sculpture, walking trails and coastal beauty near Bloody Bridge which gets its name from the Irish Rebellion of 1641. I took photos at Barbican Gate in the enchanting Tollymore Forest Park, at the foot of the majestic Mourne Mountains. It has been featured in movies and TV shows like “Game of Thrones.” The picturesque landscapes and biking and walking trails take you by the park’s ancient trees, bridges, and cascading waterfalls.

I loved ❤️taking photos at Barbican Gate in the enchanting Tollymore Forest Park, at the foot of the majestic Mourne Mountains. It has been featured in movies and TV shows like “Game of Thrones.” The picturesque landscapes and biking and walking trails take you by the park’s ancient trees, bridges, and cascading waterfalls. Thank you to Team Bike Mourne!

While hula hooping my way through the enchanting landscapes of Ireland, I added a playful twist to my adventures from Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland to Dublin. From twirling amidst the stunning mountains of Slieve Donard to dancing along the vibrant streets of Dublin, hula hooping infused my journey with joy and rhythm, creating unforgettable memories in both natural and urban settings.

On May 1, 2023, we celebrated Percy French’s 169th birthday at Slieve Donard’s Percy French restaurant which was one of my most favorite lunches! Amy and I hula hooped as a tribute to the renowned Irish songwriter and painter. and there is a Game of Thrones DOOR!

The Guinness Storehouse Tour in Dublin, Ireland 🇮🇪

The Guinness Storehouse tour is a captivating journey through the rich history of Ireland’s most famous #beer. From the brewing process to iconic advertising campaigns, visitors immerse themselves in the brand’s legacy. The panoramic Gravity Bar offers breathtaking views of Dublin while enjoying a perfectly poured pint.

Where to stay in DUBLIN? The Grafton

The Grafton Dublin is a unique and memorable hotel in the heart of Dublin’s city center. Housed in a historic building on Grafton Street, it offers stylish accommodation with modern amenities. Centrally located near Trinity College and Dublin Castle. I recommend it for comfort, convenience, and charm.

Dublin’s Dazzling Delights: Unveiling the City’s Charms and Cultural Gems!

Where to STAY in Dublin? The Davenport

Davenport Hotel Dublin: Timeless Elegance in the Heart of the City. Immerse yourself in the rich history and impeccable service of this luxurious gem. Stylish accommodations, delectable dining, and easy access to Dublin’s iconic attractions await, making the Davenport Hotel the epitome of hospitality.

Exploring Dublin’s Enchanting Bookstores. At Hodges Figgis, Ireland’s oldest bookshop serving Dublin and the wider world since 1768, I found two of my favorite authors— Lisa Barr and Elizabeth Gilbert! Books help us understand ourselves. Immerse yourself in a timeless tale and discover a treasure.

Saba Dublin: Embark on a Flavorful Journey to Thailand, Right in the Heart of Dublin. Indulge in Authentic Thai Cuisine, Where Vibrant Flavors, Fresh Ingredients, and Exquisite Culinary Craftsmanship Await. The FOOD is EXCELLENT and the signs made me LAUGH! I loved it all so much I forgot to take PHOTOS of the dishes. I have to go back!

What an absolutely remarkable and awe-inspiring journey in Ireland! From the heart-pounding adventures of skeet shooting and falconry to exploring the captivating landscapes of the North, this trip had so many highlights especially my travel partners! As I board my AerLingus flight home, I am filled with immense gratitude for the opportunity to attend the Travel Classics Magazine conference and learn so much. I LOVED seeing more of Ireland and my return to Ashford Castle.

See all my posts about Ireland and my videos:

Thank you to Ashford Castle, Travel Classics Ireland and Tourism Ireland for my amazing adventures!
Enjoy more of my travels in Ireland

Read more of my Adventures in Ireland in my book, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty!

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents. This University of Pennsylvania graduate sailed across the seas for seven years with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Renaissance Cruises and spent three years backpacking across Asia. Discover her articles in publications from AARP: The Magazine and AAA Explorer to WIRED and Wharton Magazine, as well as her site WeSaidGoTravel. On her award nominated global podcast, Make Your Own Map, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors, and as a journalist has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty-two times. Named a #3 travel influencer for 2023, Niver talks travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, her YouTube channel with over 2 million views, and in her memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

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