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“Lovely Guesthouse in County Down”

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Briers Country House
Ranked #7 of 16 Hotels in Newcastle
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 15, 2013

We have stayed at the Briers Country House for two Nights as Part of a trip around Ireland to visit family over Christmas. Our experience was exactly as we expected after reading reviews - the location was beautiful, the welcome warm and breakfast very great! We arrived early to drop in our luggage and Susan was very accommodating in providing us with tea and coffee at 11am, before we headed into Newcastle, where we spent the day exploring the town. She gave us some recommendations for coffee shops and restaurants, even reserved us a table at a local bistro called Vanilla for that evening. Our Room (4) was big, clean and had a double and a single bed and a simply wonderful view. When we returned to our room it was warm and cosy, and the best part was there were hot bottles in the bed! A very pleasant and thoughtful suprise, even though it wasn't even so cold outside!
Breakfast was large and tasty, and there was a huge selection of yoghurts and fruit etc. Susan chatted to us over breakfast and asked how our evening had been.
We will be back to the Briers on our next visit to Ireland, and would Highly recommend it to any of our friends.
Tomas & Franzi

Room Tip: Room 4 was roomy and had a great view.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Tomas S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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99 - 105 of 158 reviews

Reviewed January 8, 2013

I booked the Briers as a Christmas present for my husband who loves walking on the Mournes. I researched a few places and after reading some of the very positive reviews I was very pleased with my choice and very excited about our little trip together away from the kids. Spoke to Susan prior to our visit who was going to provide bubbly and all seemed well.
Then we arrived! I had texted ahead to say when to expect us. But, no one was there. We phoned. No one answered so we left a message and knowing the area we went into Newcastle. Susan phoned us back, with no apology for not being there. We went back again and it took awhile for someone to answer the door even though they kept passing by the window. It all seemed very strange. Susan brought us in to then tell us she had not had the heating on and it was very cold and we could stay up the road in her friends b and b if we wanted. I asked her if she hadnt been expecting us as it was very obvious she had forgotten our booking but she said she had been.. She did show us the room which was freezing and for some reason had an extra bed which made the room very cramped and which we didn't need. It all looked very unwelcoming and not very comfortable.We were pleased to have an excuse to leave and went and stayed somewhere else. The whole time Susan didn't really seemed that bothered and although she did offer us the stay at her friends b and b and apologised for the heating not working it was quite obvious she didn't really want us to stay with her as she had forgotten our booking and had nothing ready for us. I was really gutted that what was supposed to be a lovely treat for us turned out so badly. Therefore I am very confused by the great reviews on here. Susan might have just been having a very off day. However did read the poor reviews and they seem to match up more with our experience.
I am not a fussy person and just wanted a simple cosy cottage b and b to stay in near the mournes but the briers is not that sadly.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank nessab26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2012

This B&B was just on the edge of town, opposite the gates of Tollymore forest park. The room was comfortable and the owner was very kind and friendly, giving local restaurant information and directions. We even got hot water bottles slipped into our bed. A beautiful breakfast was served each morning from a full menu. I would not hesitate in recommending this establishment.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Kev O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2012

t would be quite easy for me to run out of superlatives the describe our experience at the Briers.

Our experience began with a very pleasant introduction to the place when we turned up over an hour late during the night after a delayed flight from London to Belfast. We rang ahead a few times and no matter our changing and latening ETA, Susan (the lovely owner) was more than happy to wait up for us to arrive, very accommodating and cheerful to boot (which makes a huge difference after a grueling trip).
We arrived after dark an were unable to see the setting. Susan guided us to our room and gave us an informed and interesting short history of their beautiful country house.

Our room was generously sized and very, very clean. The room had a decent TV, warm fresh towels and a hair drier and I borrowed an iron and board during my stay. Most importantly since it's not exactly tropical in Norn, It was toasty warm with an ample sized double bed and super thick duvet. It was totally silent during the night, our sleep was never interupted once
The room had the most homely feel of any B&B I've stayed in, a feeling which is reflected in everything they do at the Briers; guests are treated as exactly that.

In the morning we awoke and opened the curtains to one of the most potentially breathtaking views in Northern Ireland. Our huge windows were in full view of the beautiful Slieve Donard; one of the Mourne Mountains and the highest mountain in Northern Ireland. The place genuinely couldn't be in a more beautiful setting! I suspect, as we were going to wedding we were the only people staying there that hadn't come to climb mountains but if you are, then this place couldn't be more perfect for the hiking enthusiast.

Of all the great things about the Biers one thing we'll take away with us was how highly impressed we were by the abundant breakfasts at the Briers. Not only were we given a regular table, it was by the vast fire place which couldn't have been more idillic, The amount of cold buffet breakfast food on offer was staggering (cereal, juice, fruit and yogurts), but we never came close to trying any of it since the cooked breakfast was more than enough. We had the Full Veggie Irish Breakfast and a delicious Irish Creamy Porridge (on Susan's recommendation) all this with copious rounds of toast and as much tea as you'd care to drink, and all this included in the price of the stay! The'll make to order and with enough notice cater for any quirks you have.

On our second and final night there we came back from our wedding day out a little worse for wear only to be greeted by two lovingly placed hot water bottles in the bottom of our bed. This for me sums up the ethos of the place, they're all about those little touches that make you feel welcome.

If we are looking for a nice trip to NI at anytime in the future we'll be back to the Briers like a shot...with friends. Do not miss out on the chance to stay here.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the Slieve Donard have beautiful view although bad weather will beat on the windows on...
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Gareth R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2012

We were happy to have found accommodations at the Briers Country House when we visited Newcastle. The town itself looked a bit past its prime, so we enjoyed being a little farther away from its center, especially when the B&B was situated in such lovely gardens and the Bichon that served as doorbell was so cute. Sheep grazing in the front "yard" completed the bucolic picture. Inside, a centuries-old farmhouse blended nicely with the purpose-built addition, allowing for both antique charm and more modern conveniences. Tea and coffee making provisions were available in the common rooms, and the more than generous breakfast was served in a fireplace-warmed dining room. The beds were comfortable, and our room (number 1) was spacious and furnished attractively. The en suite bathroom was quite large, with an open shower -- a welcome change from some places we had stayed where turning around in the shower was a near impossibility!
Suzan is a warm and welcoming hostess, more than helpful in guiding us to a worthy pub and providing directions. Note that in the off season credit cards are not accepted. Still, especially considering the excellent breakfast, this lodging is excellent value!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ambermom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2012

The Briers is a very comfortable B&B -- in fact because it is very spacious it feels more like a hotel. The rooms are large and well-furnished. Breakfast was freshly cooked and delicious. The Briers is set in the country, adjoining the Mountains of Mourne, and very close to the town of Newcastle. The Tollymore Forest Park is less than a kilometre away and very good food was available in a pub in Maghera -- again only a couple of kilometres away.
Suzan was very welcoming, and very helpful -- especially when my wife dropped some red wine on her white jeans!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank jceyam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2012

We stayed by Suzan and her family in March this year and it was really lovely. She welcomes us so friendly. The breakfast was the best we ever had and it was really delicious.
One evening when we come home, Suzan gets us two hotbottles in our bed, it was a great surprise and really nice because it was really cold outside.
We sure that we coming back next year.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Anja M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mrsmourne, Owner at Briers Country House, responded to this reviewResponded August 28, 2012

Hi there,
We are glad you enjoyed your stay at the Briers and thank you for your lovely comments. We look forward to welcoming you back soon and are particularly pleased you appreciated the hot water bottles! We know how chilly Northern Irish springs can be and do our best to make sure all our guests stay cosy and warm.
All the Best,
Suzan and Brian Smyth

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Briers Country House

Address: 39 Middle Tollymore Road, Newcastle BT33 0JJ, Northern Ireland
Location: United Kingdom > Northern Ireland > County Down > Newcastle
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Newcastle
Price Range: $112 - $163 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Briers Country House 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in the heart of South Down, our 18th Century Country House provides an excellent base at the foot of the Mourne Mountains whilst still being within easy reach of Newcastle and the many activities it has to offer. Just a 15 minute walk from the town, and less than an hour from the cities of Belfast, Newry and Lisburn, the Briers is in an ideal location for walkers, wedding guests and sight-seers alike. For the more adventurous, we offer a fantastic location to begin to explore the varied terrain around the area, with plenty of outdoor centres to help you on your way, whilst the luxurious seaweed baths and nearby seaside spas offer a less strenuous way to recharge your batteries. Combined with breath-taking views, spacious and comfortable rooms and ever-friendly service, it'll feel like a home from home in no time! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Briers Country Hotel
Briers Country House Newcastle, Northern Ireland

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