A Limavady holiday home has won a top honour at Northern Ireland’s tourism ‘Oscars’.
Number 1 Barn Lane was one of three properties shortlisted for the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards (NITA) 2016’s Best ‘Non Serviced Accommodation’ category.
The property won the award at a recent gala event held in St Columb’s Hall in Derry.
The three-bedroom property was designed by husband and wife architects, Derek and Kim Loughery, and is located in the grounds of Derek’s family home at Drumagosker.
The stunning contemporary self catering property - Number 1 Barn Lane - took nine months for the couple to build.
With views of the Sperrins, Lough Foyle and Donegal, Kim said it has proved a hit with the international market.
It has a coveted ‘5 Star’ rating from the Northern Ireland Tourism Board, and is let to tourists from around the globe.
Kim said they couldn’t believe it when they won the award.
“We didn’t expect to win because the others in the category were much bigger, so we were thrilled, really delighted,” said Kim.
When asked why Number 1 Barn Lane edged ahead and won, Kim said: “I think because it’s something different, that it’s contemporary and has a lot of personal touches. We try to promote Irish culture, and use local produce.
“We wanted to do something different from anything else on the market. We try to make it as luxurious as possible. It’s a lovely space.
“We really wanted to maximise the views, because if you think of a traditional Irish cottage they have fairly small windows. This has massive windows to maximise the views of the mountains and Donegal, so there is a real sense of space.”
Kim said the feedback from tourists has been really positive.
“It seems to exceed people’s expectations of it. It’s a very tranquil place and I think people from an urban setting love being able to sit and look at the views. It’s fairly idyllic,” said Kim.
An advantage for tourists, said Kim, is the location.
“It is a very central location to everything in Northern Ireland people want to go to,” she said. “We are so delighted with how it’s gone because you’ve no idea as to how a fledgling business will go.”
With the HBO show ‘Game of Thrones’ filming locally, Kim believes “tourism is yet to be untapped in Northern Ireland because it’s such a beautiful place”.
For information visit www.barn-lane.co.uk