April | Travel
Finn Lough, Ireland
Northern Ireland’s beautiful Finn Lough resort is a peaceful idyllSusan Ward Davies
As wild swimmers will know, just the sight and sound of lakes, seas and rivers can release a flood of neurochemicals to the brain, instilling a sense of calm and wellbeing – and bathing in them has even more of a positive effect. Northern Ireland’s beautiful Finn Lough resort sits on the banks of the serene and swimmable Lough Erne on the Donegal/Fermanagh border, with eight lakeside villas, seven transparent bubble pods and a brand-new geodesic dome launching in August. Christened the Eden Dome, this super-bubble will house a reed-filtered rainwater pool and nine rooms, each with a living wall, transparent ceiling in the bathroom to showcase the night sky, and an all-important telescope. But if you want to sleep fully under the stars, book the Forest or Premium Bubbles with their underfloor heating, thick duvets, 360-degree views and bedside heat-boost button for extra blasts of warmth on chilly nights.
You can go kayaking, sign up for yoga sessions in the Waterside Dome, or book out the lakeside Forest Spa for a private two-hour spa trail, walking the woodland pathway between the Finnish sauna, steam room, massage cabin and floatarium before bracing yourself for an endorphin-boosting dip in the Lough.
On the sustainability front, the resort uses solar power, metal straws, recyclable water bottles and aqua shoes, upcycled gin bottles as toiletry containers, and they forage and grow as much of the restaurant food as possible.
If you have time for slow travel, take the ferry from Liverpool or Cairnryan (west Scotland) to Belfast, hire an electric car, and drive the scenic route there past lakes, mountains and pretty villages – detouring for the myriad Game of Thrones locations.
Doubles from £175, B&B, finnlough.com