It seems that walkers like their comforts when not on the hills. In a survey carried out by WalkNI.com, hotels come out top for walkers (26%) when choosing accommodation for a short walking break in Northern Ireland. However unsurprisingly, there are the more hardy amongst us and there was also very strong demand for hostels (17%) and those who want their own space in the form of self-catering accommodation (19%).
With this in mind, WalkNI has teamed up with the whole gambit of accommodation providers including hotels, self-catering accommodation, B&Bs and hostels to offer exclusive discounts for walkers. All of the WalkNI featured accommodation providers are walker friendly and are situated in the Mournes, Antrim Coast & Glens and the Sperrins as well as other walking areas. To avail of the offers simply choose from a selection of offers online at WalkNI.com and quote ‘WalkNI’ when booking.
Mountains of Mourne Country Cottages
A popular place to stay for walking groups, the Burrendale Hotel Country Club & Spa is offering 30% off for all walkers. Located in Newcastle at the foot of Slieve Donard, the highest peak in Northern Ireland (853m), this is a great location for those wanting to explore the Mournes and enjoy the hospitality of this popular town. Also taking part in the promotion is the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa, located just 1.5 miles from Donard Forest, one of the gateways into the Mournes, the hotel is offering 15% discount for all walkers.
Cnocnafeola (The Mourne Lodge) in Atticall, is an ideal location for walkers exploring theSouthern Mournes. This popular hostel is a community run project at the very heart of the Mountains of Mourne and is offering discounts for walking groups providing Bed and Breakfast from £28 per person. Situated just 3.5 miles from the spectacular Silent Valley Reservoir in the foothills of the impressive Slieve Binnian – the third highest peak in the Mournes andNorthern Ireland(747m / 2,450ft).
Mairead White MBE, Director of Cnocnafeola in Atticall is excited to be involved in the initiative and is looking forward to welcoming walkers to the area, “We are passionate about the Mournes and aim to provide our guests with an unforgettable experience in this beautiful area by applying our knowledge, passion and expertise. We pride ourselves in providing the little things that can make a big difference such as maps, packed lunches, drying room facilities, soft guest slippers for your tired feet at the end of the day and good hearty home cooking. Most importantly we want our guests to feel at home so that they can relax and rest up after a hard day’s walking.”
Also situated near the Southern Mournesare the Mountains of Mourne Country Cottages (Hanna’s Close). Comprising of seven fine old restored heritage holiday cottages this award winning community development is one of the last remaining Clachans or medieval-style small settlements in Ireland. Providing 3 nights self-catering accommodation for the price of 2. This is a great place to stay as the Mournes will quite literally be on your doorstep.
With so much to explore including three designated areas of outstanding natural beauty, nine glens and wonderful coastlines the North Coast and Glens of Antrim are an ideal location for a walking break. Whether you want to walk the breathtaking coastline on the famous Causeway Coast Way or explore the Glens of Antrim Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty there are plenty of walking highlights. Less than a mile from the Causeway Coast Way in Bushmills lie the 5 star Ballylinny Cottages with views over the Giants Causeway, the seaside village of Portballintrae and the Donegal Coastline beyond. Stay 2 nights midweek in their self catering cottages for just £25 per person (based on 4 people sharing).
Ballycastle is a great base for those wanting to explore Rathlin – the most northerly inhabited island in Ireland. Situated 10km off the North East Coast the ferry makes daily crossings to and from the town. The island has a number of walking trails as well as a world renowned RSPB centre making it a birdwatchers paradise. Stay at the Castle Hostel less than ten minutes walking distance from the ferry terminal and enjoy 3 nights accommodation for the price of 2.
For those looking to explore the relatively untouched Sperrins there are a small number of rural towns and villages spread throughout this wild landscape. Stretching along the border of counties Tyrone and Derry, you can expect undulating hills with Criagnamaddy Circuit, Robbers Table and Vinegar Hill Loop particular highlights. Walkers can stay for 4 nights for the price of 3 at Bradkeel Cottage self catering accommodation which offers excellent views of the surrounding mountains and farmland, a wood burning stove and washing facilities perfect for sorting out any mucky walking gear! Alternatively if you are looking to stay in the nearby town of Omagh, The Silver Birch Hotel is a great base to discover the area, situated on the Gortin Road leading to the Sperrins and Gortin Glens. Walkers can expect to receive a 20% discount when staying at the hotel.
Visit WalkNI.com to see a full list of current walker-friendly accommodation offers acrossNorthern Ireland.
 Online research carried out on 239 walkers inIreland carried out by Outdoor Recreation NI between August 2010 and November 2010.