When in Bangor, County Down recently, GG and I stayed in The Cairn Bay Lodge, the most amazing B&B or guest house we’ve ever experienced. Friends of ours were putting on a play in a local theatre, so we hopped up the road, merely a two-hour drive from Dublin.

A dormitory town for Belfast, Bangor has a distinctly old-fashioned feel to it, though it is looking a little tired in some places, particularly the area opposite the huge Marina known as the Queen’s Parade. A hugely popular seaside resort in its day, there is still some evidence of its former grandeur in the imposing Victorian houses which overlook the town. The sea walk from the marina right around the coast, past the two yacht clubs and onto Ballyholme Beach, is lovely and, as you can see from the photos, the weather was good.



We were warmly welcomed by Chris, the host/owner, when we arrived. The staff, without exception, are charming, attentive and friendly.


We just loved the quirkiness of the house which was built in the early 1900s. Overlooking Ballyholme Bay, it is full of charming period features and has been enhanced with the addition of modern art, posters and paraphernalia.


We had the most beautifully decorated and furnished bedroom with a panoramic view of Ballyholme Bay and beach and we slept like kings in our very comfortable bed.

A tray of KitKats and Tayto crisps was provided (GG was delighted) with the tea/coffee-making facilities, with fresh milk available in a communal fridge on the main landing.

The bathroom décor has already got a lot of attention on my recent Instagram post.  Complimentary Voya seaweed toiletries are a feature of this wonderful room that includes a great power shower. You can also avail of massages and other treatments on the premises.

We didn’t look at any of the other rooms , but I believe they are all uniquely decorated.


As I write this, I am drooling over the breakfast. Let me say it equals and maybe beats the best breakfast I have had in any hotel anywhere.  I have reviewed many hotels since I started the blog and Harvey’s Point and Monart were exceptional. But Cairn Bay Lodge wins because it is different in so many ways.

Below you can see the charming breakfast room, with a view over the bay.

They also cater for locals and any passing visitors and there are several rooms where coffee and goodies, brunch and lunch are served. Below is the menu for guests.

My breakfast ‘brekkie salad’ was delicious and unusual and GG was very happy with his Eggs Benedict (both below)

The next time Graham and I want to visit Belfast we intend to stay in Bangor at The Cairn Bay Lodge and enjoy both the accommodation and the breakfast.

Yes, this is highly recommended!