Green, beautiful and dramatic landscapes, vibrant and cultural cities, warm and welcoming people all make Northern Ireland well worth a visit. And it’s easier to get to than you might think. London to Belfast is a 75-minute flight and Londonderry is 90 minutes. And then there are the gorgeous spas waiting for you at the other end, from spa villages to golf resorts to luscious hotels... They’re definitely worth the few air-miles.
Here are the Spa Spies top five spas in Northern Ireland.
Galgorm is a 30 mile drive from Belfast City, set in idyllic woodland alongside the sparkling River Maine. Galgorm Resort’s nature-inspired spa will impress those who look for neat spa design, gorgeous countryside and fabulous treatments. Here you will find a thermal spa paradise with the new Spa Village which opened in September 2015. Facilities include spa suites, an outdoor Jacuzzi, riverside tubs, Celtic sauna and River House ‘body and mind’ studio – all found within beautiful landscaped grounds. A range of packages and treatments are available whether you are looking for a relaxing break away, or some ‘time out’ for the day.
Roe Park is found next to the dramatic coastline of the Inishowen Peninsula, and has its own 18-hole golf course – all an easy 17 minute drive from Derry airport. The health club has a heated pool with Jacuzzi and floor-to ceiling windows overlooking the gardens, a steam room and sauna. The spa features an aqua meditation chamber for colourful and contemplative relaxation, while the couple’s suite makes for perfect romantic spa time.
Escape to Thailand without the jet lag at The Thai Spa at Lough Erne Resort. With panoramic views over Castle Hume Lough and two championship golf courses on-site, Lough Erne Resort is a beautiful place to stay and is within two hours’ drive from Dublin and Belfast. As hosts of the 2013 GB Summit, you would expect this resort to produce an exceptional spa – and it has. As its name implies, the spa is largely authentic Thai, with Thai therapists and delicious Thai food. There’s a relaxation area called the Sabai Sabai Room (meaning health and happiness), a light therapy sauna and the Lap Sabai Room (meaning ‘deep sleep’). Treatment rooms include a Royal Thai Ritual Room, Traditional Thai Massage Room and The Thai Steam Room.
Corick House is secluded in the heart of the Clogher Valley and its spa was inspired by the curative powers of nature and water. Corick is a 17th-century country house hotel with enchanting scenery of valleys, mountains and streams. The décor is brazenly quaint and traditional, to the point of being unpretentiously chic. We love the spa’s philosophy of embracing nature and healing waters; there’s [comfort zone] and Bioline treatments on the spa menu, and the spa also boasts the first Vichy shower in Northern Ireland – a French water therapy with seven adjustable shower jets to create an invigorating waterfall. You can enjoy Corick spa solo or as a couple, or if you visit with a group, you can book the Serenity Suite, a private area in a secluded corner of the spa.
Set on the banks of the River Erne, Killyhevlin’s gorgeously green location is one and a half hours drive from Belfast Airport. The spa features an outdoor hot tub, Jacuzzi and sauna and steam room, and the spa-therapy menu has everything from power-boosting anti-aging facials and hands-on body therapies, to exotic rituals and detox therapies. The hotel and leisure facilities are family friendly, and the spa and swimming pool are right next to each other. Family freedom without the stress.