The Willows comprise a luxury B & B and self catering studios set in three acres of gardens, five minutes drive from the small town of Limavady on Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route. The walled city of Derry is 40 minutes away whilst City of Derry airport a mere 20 minute drive, making the accommodation an ideal base for exploring the area.
Arrival and check-in
There are large signs at the end of the driveway making the accommodation visible for motorists arriving in either direction. Ample free parking is available to one side of the house and on approaching the brightly painted front door we were greeted by the owner Annie and her adorable Yorkshire terrier Mabel.
Check-in was informal and before settling in to our room Annie served a welcome treat of freshly baked scones which we enjoyed with a pot of tea in the guest’s refreshment room. The website did indicate that stays included ‘special treats’ but we weren’t sure what this meant but this couldn’t have been a nicer welcome.
The accommodation comprises four tastefully furnished en-suite rooms on the first floor of the main Edwardian house which are exclusively for adults. These are named after trees in the surrounding orchard and our room called Aspen was cosily welcoming with its two windows overlooking the gardens. Everything had been thought of down to a jar of sweets and jugs of water on the bedside table. Wi-Fi worked a treat and we were warm and content.
Our contemporary styled en-suite bathroom came with high quality fittings, a powerful shower head (big tick from me), thick towels and luxury toiletries.
In addition to the guest rooms in the main house, four self contained studios overlook the garden, each with its own mini kitchen and outside terrace.
A continental breakfast is served to house guests each morning at their preferred time. Although styled continental it was so much more than that as alongside a fresh fruit platter, granola and a yoghurt compote we were served delicious bacon and portobello mushroom baps.
We helped ourselves to coffee, tea and juices from a dresser in the corner of the room. A selection of bread, jams and marmalade are also on offer for those with large appetites.
As it’s a B & B no other meals are served but a top of the range pizza oven and two gas barbecues are available for guests use beneath a gazebo in the garden with plates, cutlery etc. ready for use in the refreshment room. Complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits are also available from there throughout the day with guests being able to take in the scenic views of Binevenagh Mountain from its windows.
In the main house there’s a cosy lounge with a Netflix enabled Smart T.V., guest library and a selection of local guidebooks and maps. Jenga, Connect 4 and Domino garden games are stacked ready for use, just waiting for some warmer days.
Located in a secluded part of the garden a hot tub can be reserved at an additional cost and comes complete with fountains, coloured lights and high powered jets.
Out and About:
The Causeway Coastal Route is a 120 mile scenic drive between Belfast in the east and Lough Foyle in the north west taking in areas of outstanding natural beauty and the famous Giant’s Causeway.
Roe-Valley Country Park – a three mile stretch where the River Roe channels through a scenic wooded gorge.
Binevenagh Mountain – towering behind The Willows and formed of basalt from lava upwelling 60 million years ago. Hike to the summit for some breathtaking views of Lough Foyle and Donegal Bay on a clear day. Find your own way to the top or join a guided hike with Binevenagh Adventures.
Castlerock – an attractive small seaside resort along the north coast. Take the boardwalk through the sand dunes to the west of the River Bann estuary for a stroll on the pristine beach. Afterwards, browse the inviting little shops and pop into the Chocolate Manor for some delicious handmade truffles.
The Willows is a wonderful B & B and fully deserving of its five star rating. The hands-on owner Annie is the perfect host, friendly but unobtrusive with nothing too much trouble.
Details: The Willows, 141 Sea Coast Road, Limavady, Co. Londonderry, BT49 9EG
During our stay we were guests of Visit the Causeway Coast and Glens and The Willows and as always all views and opinions are entirely my own.
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