It’s often the little things that children love - and for my two it was a ride in a golf buggy.
We had booked into one of the lodges at the stunning 5-star Lough Erne Resort and after checking-in, and bestowed with colouring-in kits, the porter offered to take myself, two children and our luggage to the accommodation - a two minute tootle away in a golf buggy.
The excitement of being driven up paths and lanes at a break-neck speed of, oh, at least two miles an hour, was overwhelming. They might as well have been in a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce!
They were also enraptured with our two-storey, two-bedroom, Loughside Lodge (which within minutes became known as ‘our house’).
The resort has 25 lodges, the striking and unique architectural turreted design of some of the suites has become synonymous with the Lough Erne Resort, each with stunning views of the Faldo Championship Golf Course, Castle Hume Lough and the Fermanagh Lakelands.
‘Our house’ was like a fancy home-from-home with spacious lounge area, with wooden floors rather than terrifying, spill-inviting carpets, kitchenette and dining area, and luxurious mega-comfortable bedrooms with huge beds (which can, er, double up as trampolines) and bathrooms. The furnishings are a mix of contemporary and traditional and all mod cons are on offer including complimentary Wi-Fi Access, but for me, the real appeal of the lodge was its situation among acres of immaculately well kept grounds overlooking the water and waking up to the sound of bird call.
Of course, Lough Erne Resort is synonymous with golf, but it is perfectly possible to have a fantastic time here without ever lifting a golf club or donning a Pringle sweater or loud-checked trousers
First off, there are the beautiful grounds to meander around (so large you can avoid feeling you’re disturbing anyone without kids), the gorgeous Thai spa (I had an amazing stress-busting massage), the Gordon Wilson library (named after the tireless peace campaigner who hailed from Enniskillen) and lovely lounge areas to just kick-back and relax.
The dining at Lough Erne is superlative. We had a scrumptious, relaxed dinner in the Loughside Bar and Grill, with a menu composed by acclaimed Northern Ireland chef Noel McMeel. Among the delights on offer we enjoyed Dingle Bay crab cakes, beer battered haddock, tomato and mozzarella salad and paradelle pasta. The kids, meanwhile, enjoyed proper burgers and fish goujons, whilst Glastry ice-cream (made in Newtownards) rounded off a deliciously, satisfying meal.
Lough Erne resort seamlessly combines laid-back chic with child-friendliness. Children are given a warm welcome, rathern than just tolerate and there’s plenty on offer for them including family golf putting competitions, arts and crafts, cookery, movie evenings and golf camps - to name but a few. And for the grown-ups, not being a golfer doesn’t have to be a handicap. What’s not to love?