How to get the most out of a short break

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A change up from the normal scenery with a short weekend getaway is always a welcomed idea for unwinding and recharging your batteries – and something that we find is particularly popular at this time of the year as the ‘January Blues’ set in and we say farewell to Christmas. Whether you are thinking of making a quick jaunt to sunnier destinations or perhaps planning a unique staycation here in Northern Ireland, making the most of your time away is a top priority and something we highly recommend to our guests here at Dufferin. When you’re planning in your next break, make sure to try out some of our favourite ideas below to ensure you squeeze every last bit of relaxation and adventure from your short trip!


Explore the great outdoors

No matter where you plan to visit, it can be guaranteed that that you will find many beautiful elements of mother nature all around you. From a simple walk around the local park or town, to trekking through forestry and checking out waterfalls, you have the perfect opportunity for exploration that leaves you feeling healthier and more energised. Such activities also offer the chance for great quality time with your travelling companion or some ‘me time’ dedicated to mindfulness and reflection. Thanks to being nestled in the beautiful village of Killyleagh, we are very lucky to have stunning views of Strangford Lough right on our doorstep, as well as acres of National Trust properties and historic gardens waiting to be explored just a short drive away.


Down your devices

Bring it back to the basics and detach yourself from technology during your get-away. Taking a step back from the hustle and bustle of everyday life that is often associated with mobile phones and laptops can give you a chance to clear your head and fully recharge your batteries. Instead of staring at your screen we recommend diving into one of your favourite reads or simply taking some time to be still and take in your surroundings. Perhaps bring a notebook or sketch pad with you and use the calmness to inspire your creativity, whether you prefer to sketch, watercolour or journal.


Embrace the culture and activities

Wherever you stay, there will always be something to do! Trying something new and exciting is a great way to make your trip memorable. For many of our international visitors at Dufferin, enjoying a pint of the black stuff (Guinness) while listening to live traditional music sessions in a local pub is usually on their travel bucket list along with must-see locations and activities. Such locations include Castle Ward which plays host to the filming crew from the renowned HBO series ‘Game of Thrones’, Titanic Belfast which shares the history of the world’s most famous sea vessel, and the abundance of local artisan markets that showcase the wide range of high-quality local produce that Northern Ireland has to offer. These activities are enjoyed by visitors and locals alike and give a real flavour of what Northern Ireland has to offer.


Meet the locals

Whether enjoying a break by yourself or with friends and family, getting to know the locals in the area could help you discover some great hidden gems and head home with some memorable anecdotes or pearls of insider knowledge of the area to share with friends for years to come. From finding out the best restaurants to enjoy a tasty evening meal, to learning more about the Northern Ireland’s history, locals provide a wealth of knowledge that can add something extra to your trip away. Playing host to many guests over the years, Dufferin Coaching Inn owner Leontine Haines is always happy to point her guests in the right direction, offering advice including what the best times are to grab a meal at the ever-popular Smugglers Table, when to enjoy great live traditional sessions at our neighbour The Dufferin Arms and unique activities like tracing your family heritage at Killyleagh’s Library.

Dufferin Coaching Inn offers the perfect backdrop for a mid-winter respite. Visit our booking page for more information.