Fancy a 'Friendcation?' - Let us help plan your countryside retreat here at Larchfield Estate!

Aug 09 2019

Larchfield Estate cottages and accommodation, nestled into the County Down countryside, are the perfect escape for any getaway with your nearest and dearest.

With plenty of activities on site and local attractions, they are becoming very popular in welcoming those in need of a ‘Friendcation’ and enjoying what we have to offer. With that in mind we have put together three suggested itineraries while staying at Larchfield Estate. Whether you are adventurous friends, foodie or creative, there is plenty for you to enjoy together.

Adventurous Friends
Day 1
On arrival make yourselves at home then take a peaceful walk around our wonderful walled gardens before being chauffeured in our 1950's French Army Truck to our ‘little red door in the wall’. This will lead you to our recommended local bistro ‘The Pheasant’ which is a firm favourite of the owners here at Larchfield Estate. Enjoy some great food - why not try one of their game dishes, particularly the pheasant on their winter menu which is supplied by the estate. Ensure you get a good nights sleep before the activities ahead begin.

Day 2

Wake up and tuck in to your locally sourced breakfast hamper, brimming with fresh luxury produce. Make sure the chef in your group knows how to make a great scrambled egg! After bellies are full, why not take advantage of the great outdoors and make a splash at Let’s Go Hydro which is only a short 15-minute drive away. If you are more a fan of land-based activities, then test your aim in Laser Clay Pigeon shooting, Archery or even enjoy a Segway Safari to name but a few, all organised for you here on the estate!

Day 3

Fancy a bit of pedal power? Rise and shine super early and hire bikes from our friends at ‘Bed and Bike’. A half hour cycle takes you into Hillsborough where a leisurely stop at on of the many popular coffee stop is a must! Alternatively, get your hiking boots on and head off to the Mourne Mountains and climb Slieve Donard (the highest mountain in Northern Ireland!) Give us a wave from the top!

Bed & Bike's tour group

Foodie Friends
Day 1
If a good movie night and popcorn sounds more your cup of tea, why not curl up in our cosy cottages after enjoying a deli made dinner hamper. This will be ready for your designated chef to pop in the oven. Easy peasy! Or if you are more a BBQ boss then we can provide a BBQ hamper so you can all gather around the fire pit. To top it off why not bring along some marshmallows and toast them over the open fire as a sweet treat!

Day 2

Dig in to the luxury breakfast hamper provided for you – but don’t fill yourself too much!

Our friends at Forestside Cookery School certainly know how to cook up a storm in the kitchen and would love to host you here on site at Larchfield Estate. Put your culinary skills to the test and rustle up a bespoke dinner for you and your group! Finish the evening off by learning how to make your favourite cocktails and shake it up a bit behind the bar!

Day 3

Head off early to St Georges Market, one of Belfast’s oldest attractions and top off your foodie focused getaway with a taste of Northern Ireland’s best artisan treats – the market runs Friday through to Sunday. If you are feeling a little adventurous, we challenge you to try and find the best Ulster Fry after all those cocktails... We are big fans of French Village Bakery’s delicious fry with all the trimmings. Let us know where you find yours!

A sample of the yummy local produce in our breakfast hampers

Creative Friends
Day 1
Get checked in to our cosy cottages but make sure you come hungry! Take advantage of our delicious Afternoon Tea presented in an apple crate and will surely satisfy any sweet tooth - served along with abundant amounts of tea and coffee. When finished, why not enjoy a wildlife walk around the estate with a guided tour and see what wildlife you can spot! This will also allow you all to gather your bearings and get the creative juices flowing for the following day of events.

Day 2

After a peaceful nights sleep in our cottages, your breakfast hamper awaits your consumption. Follow this by a masterclass in creating a floral masterpiece from a hand tie to set pride of place at home or even a floral crown using greenery from the estate grounds. Prepare to put those green fingers to work! Why not put your glad rags on and head off to Down Royal Racecourse, a perfect time to put that crown to use (see their website for latest events and races!) Alternatively, learn to make your very own candle made from bees wax from the estate. Our Beekeeper Ken will be sure to teach you a thing or two about bees!

Day 3

Once you have enjoyed your luxury breakfast hamper and waved goodbye, head in to the local village and book in with Hillsborough Walking Tours. Admire the Georgian townhouses, visit the shops (in klöver art gallery is a truly local shop featuring the work and makers from across Northern Ireland and beyond), restaurants, and its wonderful historic buildings and parkland. After all that walking, we can recommend a place or two for a hearty lunch!

Our stunning greenhouse - perfect for a little wander, or perhaps enjoy your afternoon tea here!

Hear from one of our recent group stay guests below!
The breakfast hamper was just lovely... It was really unique and all ingredients were very tasty and showcased the very best of N.I. produce! For the hen party, the breakfast hamper was really easy to cook for a big bunch of girls, we had all the utensils we needed and again the quality was top class!

I genuinely had brilliant time on both occasions when staying at Larchfield. It is a hidden gem - I would love for more people to experience how beautiful the grounds are, escape into the countryside and enjoy quality time in a relaxed setting. I genuinely can’t really think of anything that could make Larchfield any better! 

I have told everyone I can think of about Larchfield. It is a hidden gem, if the opportunity came up again in the future to celebrate a special occasion I would definitely consider coming back to Larchfield...and I have been twice already! The greatest selling point I believe is the fact that you have the lovely grounds and walled garden to yourself. The sense of detachment from the outside world, yet still being very well pampered has definitely been achieved at Larchfield. I will never forget sitting by the fire pit, watching the stars with the only sound of the crackling fire and a few birds!

A recent hen party group on segway safari by the fishpond lake!
The living and dining area in farm cottage - perfect for groups!
Why not round off your evening with drinks by the fire-pit? The perfect place to relax and share the craic from your day!

Cathy Walker is our very own accommodation guru, here to help you plan your perfect stay, whether it is a simple overnight escape, or an activity-filled retreat with friends and family as outlined above. Feel free to email or call the office to have a chat!

Click here to find out more about group stays at Larchfield Estate