Maddybenny Farm – Orchard Campsite, Coleraine
A small touring site (half a dozen pitches) set in 110 acres of woodland and working farmland – mind the ducks and peacocks.
What makes Maddybenny special is that there’s a fully equipped riding school on site. So whether you’re an experienced rider or someone whose experience with horses goes no further than an annual flutter on the Grand National, the chance to saddle up, at least once in your life, is an opportunity not to be missed.
Prices per night: From £20
Visit maddybenny.com; 028 7082 3394
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Ballyness Caravan Park, Co Antrim
Laden with industry awards and excellent facilities, the site offers fifty pitches and lies within the shadow of the Giant’s Causeway, a few fairly lengthy strides away. During the summer, a Causeway Rambler bus takes you to the site itself, and then it’s best foot forward along the Causeway Trail.
If you like a wee drop of whiskey, Bushmills offers admission-charged tours of its working distillery. It’s close enough to the park to leave the car behind, especially if you fancy a tipple at the whiskey tasting.
Open: March 16 to November 1
Prices per night: From £25
Visit ballynesscaravanpark.com; 028 2073 2393
Rushin House Country Park, Co Fermanagh
The emphasis here is on the eco-friendly, with wind-generated power, recycling bins at every turn, and even the outside furniture made from recycled plastic.
Set on the shores of Lough MacNean (in fact, it’s two lakes with the village of Belcoo smack in between), it’s quiet and the perfect location from which to explore the stunning countryside. And if you fancy a trip abroad, the Republic is just a drive over the bridge.
Open: mid-March – end of October
Prices per night:
Visit rushinhousecaravanpark.com; 028 6638 6519
Hillfoot Campsite, Co Derry/Londonderry
At the foot of Benbradagh mountain (all 1,526ft of it), meaning ‘thief’s peak’, but the owner’s collie dog Ben is as much an attraction as the mountain itself. it’s a no-fuss, friendly, quiet, pastoral setting, but if it’s roar excitement you want then it’s a good spot for setting out for the NW200 annual motorcycle road race just a few miles up the road, from May 10-16.
Open: February – end of October
Price per night: From £12 for Caravan Club members; £15 for non members.
Visit niselfcatering.co.uk; 07886089942
Jordanstown Loughshore Caravan Park, Co Antrim
This is a rare thing – a council-owned and run caravan park. Just north of Belfast it has fantastic views of Belfast Lough and with its excellent transport links you can leave the car on-site to explore Northern Ireland’s premier city and the country beyond, and there’s a 9-mile cycling route, the Newtownabbey Way.
All-in-all, Jordanstown demonstrates that caravanning isn’t just the preserve of the countryside or coast.
Prices per night: From £21 low season; £23 high season
Visit newtownabbey.campstead.com; 028 90340137
Please note that all prices and opening times are correct at time of writing. Always check beforehand.
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