Celebrate the season of change with a cosy autumnal escape at Galgorm
The arrival of crisp days, misty mornings and a glorious explosion of varying shades of leaves means one thing. Autumn is on its way – and the season of colour and adventure is the perfect time for a short break to relax and unwind as the kids get back to school and the darker nights draw in.
The golden months of autumn may mean the end of BBQs, beach trips, and picnics in the park, but it makes way for the unique beauty and atmosphere that makes autumn everyone’s favourite time of year.
With the mild temperatures providing a wonderful opportunity for walking, and the woodlands putting on a dazzling display, autumn is one of the most delightful seasons to enjoy a staycation.
For some of the best autumn escapes to unwind and recharge, check out the globally renowned Galgorm Collection, Northern Ireland’s premier collection of unique hotels, bars and restaurants, and enjoy those magical moments that make will make you fall in love with autumn.
(Spa days from €80 per person & overnight stays from €230 based on two people sharing)
Situated just 30 minutes from Belfast and 2.5 hours from Dublin City centre is Northern Ireland’s premier luxury hotel, Galgorm.
Promising laid-back luxury and an award-winning spa offering, Galgorm is the perfect retreat to take time out and enjoy some much-needed pampering – whether that’s a riverside bathing experience, a massage or facial at Galgorm’s Skin Clinic, or simply a brisk and calming walk through the resort’s 380 acres of lush parklands.
With the babbling River Maine flowing through the estate, Galgorm is the ideal autumn escape to succumb to the turn of the season.
Warm up on a chilly autumn’s day in the Thermal Village & Spa
Galgorm’s serene Thermal Spa Village is the perfect place to unwind and shake off the stresses of the day. Robe up, download the Galgorm Collection app and access the map for the Thermal Spa Village which will take you on a journey of serenity, relaxation and wellbeing in one of the best outdoor spas on the island of Ireland.
In one of the resort’s many saunas, sanariums, aroma steam rooms, or heated cabins, you can retreat from that distinctly autumnal nip in the air to emerge fully refreshed and ready to take on the new season.
Or to ease tired, aching muscles in need of some TLC after a refreshing autumn hike, soak in the outdoor jacuzzi and hot tub to take your body to a state of totally toasty relaxation.
The Spa at Galgorm has it all – from a halotherapy salt cave and celtic sauna infusion space where you are guided through a range of essential oil inhalations, it is no wonder it was crowned the Global Luxury Spa Hotel of the Year and recently named Ireland’s Best 4* Spa Experience at the Hotel & Catering Review Gold Medal Awards 2022.
Stargaze on those darker nights from a cosy Shepherd’s Hut
Nothing says autumn like s’mores on an outdoor fire – and with a one-bedroom or two-bedroom Shepherd’s Hut at Galgorm, you can enjoy a secluded space to bask in the colder evenings next to your very own firepit on the terrace.
Nestled in Galgorm Wood, the new Shepherd’s Hut meadow is the latest addition to Galgorm’s accommodation options – so you can marvel at the leaves turning from green to gold, orange and fiery red as you cosy down with a book or boardgame.
Following a day at the spa, you can return to your Shepherd’s Hut to soak in the outdoor bath, where you can bathe in the views of the surrounding forest and watch the sun go down amongst the foliage as you sip on a comforting hot chocolate.
Each distinct hut is luxuriously appointed with all the features you could need for the perfect blend of countryside comfort and luxury. With the mini kitchen including a hob, microwave, fridge and small freezer, coffee machine, kettle and toaster, you’ll have all the home comforts you need as you nestle in for a peaceful evening in your cosiest set of pyjamas.
Snuggle up by a roaring log fire in the Red Oaks Residence
Inspired by the understated beauty of the landscape and natural wood, this Residence at Galgorm offers comfort, privacy and luxury for larger groups of up to 12 family and friends who want to reconnect to the great outdoors this autumn.
Wrap up warm for a bracing forest walk through crunching leaves as you explore the enchanting grounds of Galgorm, before heading back to spend the evening warming up in the outdoor hot tub on the terrace.
With oodles of character, eclectic furnishings and all the amenities you need to make for a relaxing break, this secluded and picturesque retreat has its own delightful gardens where you can relax under the trees with a mug of pumpkin spiced latte and take in the abundance of the season in your home from home.
Enjoy a hearty meal in Galgorm’s selection of world-class restaurants
Galgorm’s premier range of on-site restaurants offer something for everyone to refuel following a frosty walk on a drizzly autumn’s day.
Family favourite Fratelli oozes rustic Italian charm with a contemporary edge. With a focus on simple and comforting yet quality cookery, adults and children alike can ditch the wellie boots, hats and scarves and expect a warm welcome as you are served traditional pizza and pasta dishes with a modern twist.
Gillies Grill is a favourite amongst guests and locals alike, with a relaxed ambience and charming views of the Resort’s stables, even in the autumn fog. Choose from an extensive selection of classic brasserie dishes, a grill selection and Asian-inspired creations, accompanied with a satisfying wine list that’s sure to warm your bones.
And at the end of the day settle down for some craic at McKendry’s Bar & Lounge with live entertainment every evening. A whiskey lover’s heaven, McKendry’s boasts over 300 whiskey blends from 21 countries, sure to put some hairs on your chest this autumn.
The Rabbit Hotel & Retreat
(Overnight stays from €199 for 2 people sharing)
Further into the heart of County Antrim sits The Rabbit Hotel & Retreat. Located only 10 minutes from Belfast International Airport and a 2-hour drive from Dublin, The Rabbit Hotel & Retreat is the region’s newest attraction.
Recently named in the Irish Independent’s ‘FAB 50’ Top Stays in Ireland 2021 and The Gloss Magazine’s ‘Best places to stay in 2021’, The Rabbit Hotel & Retreat comes with all of the luxuries you would expect from Galgorm Collection, with a few quirks along the way.
Hibernate in the eaves of the Rabbit Hotel’s Attic rooms
The Rabbit is home to four room types, all with seriously comfortable beds and all the creature comforts you need in beautifully designed spaces. You can snuggle up in The Rabbit’s Snug rooms, just big enough for two and the cosiest rooms in the den, or tuck up in the hotel’s Attic rooms, featuring original pitched ceilings and exposed beams filling the room with the unique light of autumn.
Perfectly formed, the hotel’s Comfy rooms offer extra space with a view of the colourful countryside, whilst the Comfy room with Outdoor Bath provides your own private courtyard and bathing experience for your own corner of cosy and calm in the cool autumn air.
Burrow down in the Rabbit’s Relaxation Spa
Perched over a stunning lake surrounded by trees and an abundance of wildlife, the outdoor spa offers the perfect opportunity to get back to nature in an environment of sophisticated luxury. Cosy up in your fluffy robes and flip flops to enjoy unique experiences such as Roman baths and hot tubs, Swedish sauna, an aromatherapy steam room and halotherapy salt chamber.
You won’t need a jumper or umbrella though – the Rabbit is the first hotel on the island of Ireland to have an exclusive lakeside heated pebble beach, so you can enjoy a feeling of pure relaxation and comfort. New to the Relaxation Burrow this season is the Rabbit’s bespoke menu of spa treatments that have been carefully curated to provide pure relaxation and zen as you burrow down this autumn.
Cosy up at dinner for a taste of the countryside
Foodies can get their fix this autumn at The Rabbit Restaurant boasting a chic interior, bespoke lighting and unique décor in homage to its hunting heritage, for an unforgettable dining experience.
Warm up by the roaring turf fire in this stylish, bold space, perfect for relaxing, drinking and socialising. Nuzzle up on a comfortable sofa in this den perfect for couples, friends and families, with a menu designed for sharing.
The Old Inn Crawfordsburn
(Bed & Breakfast stays available from €115)
Nestled in the charming village of Crawfordsburn, located just 10 minutes from Belfast and 2 hours and 20 minutes from Dublin, the Old Inn is perfect for a uniquely rural retreat this autumn, with the hotel overlooking stunning views of a beautiful country park.
With a history dating back to 1614, the Old Inn is one of Ireland’s most historic inns, and is just a stone’s throw from the local beach where you can see the unique change in the season and embrace the great outdoors.
As you enter the iconic thatched-roof property, the roaring open fire provides the perfect setting for a well-earned rest after enjoying the local nature walks and trails on a mellow autumn’s day. Named in the Irish Independent’s #Fab50 Top Irish Stays for 2022, this unique hotel bursts with character, with charming interiors sure to help you unwind and recharge.
Catch up in the cosy corners of the 1614 Bar
The 1614 Bar at the Old Inn exudes a relaxed vibe, with cosy corners by the crackling fire and mixologists pouring glasses from the vast wine selection to stir up your drink of choice this autumn. The 1614 Bar is now dog-friendly – so following your forest walk searching for conkers, or your energetic coastal walk to the nearby towns of Holywood or Bangor, you can grab a moment of rest from the crisp autumn air and relax with your canine companion nestled at your feet.
Savour a succulent Sunday Roast to ignite your tastebuds
Enjoy an unrivalled dining experience in the plush surroundings of the Old Inn Restaurant where the seasonal menu offers up the best local produce of autumn. The Old Inn’s Sunday Roast, served from 12-5pm, is a comforting classic that marries homely cooking with modern cuisine, providing quality dining and superior service.
Revel in the rustic feel and quirky charm of an opulent four-poster bed
The Old Inn’s Suite and Carriage rooms provide a characteristically calming environment to relax and rejuvenate as you overlook the earthy hues of the forest and impressive views of the quaint, picture-perfect village. Opt for the suite and watch the world go by from your own private balcony, complete with outdoor hot tub for an unforgettable experience.
One for the romantics, the Cottage at the Old Inn extends all the character and charm of the Hotel to a traditional and serene setting, with its own separate living space, private outdoor hot tub, and wood-burning stove perfect for dusting off the cobwebs of an autumn day spent connecting with the great outdoors. Think high neck sweaters and fragrant flickering candles – the peace and quiet of this tranquil space will be sure to help you slow down and destress.