As I write this review I'm just about to pack up and leave the Garden Cottage after spending two great nights here. I found the rental online and honestly the photos I saw don't even begin to do the property or the host justice.
The cottage is located about ten minutes drive from Limavady with fantastic views towards Binevenagh Forest. The setting is perfect for couples looking to escape, those wanting to try a little hill walking on some of the nearby routes or indeed small or large families planning an escape, particularly with the adjacent larger the bedroom cottage.
I spoke to the owner Gillian prior to arrival and she was more than helpful in facilitating our stay. We arrived later in the evening than planned during a spell of recent bad weather. Upon arrival Gillian greeted us and couldn't have been more helpful.
The property is finished to a very high standard inside and I wonder what actually has to be done to achieve the 5 Star NITB rating. We simply couldn't have asked for more and within a few hours agreed in our own minds to return.
The cottage is very quaint but modern and was immaculately clean. Competitors on Channel 4s Four in a Bed wpuld struggle not to give 10 out of 10. The cottage has a livingrooom / kitchen area with a table and chairs for four in a fantastically bright airy room with spectacular views to sit abd enjoy breakfast or dinner to, or if like me make use of the Apple TV facilities whilst looking out at the surrounding magnificent views. The master bedroom is at the end of a long corridor and at the opposite side of the cottage to the livingroom and had an extremely comfortable bed which was equivalent to that you would expect in a five star hotel. The style of the cottage was very apt and would make many a Laura Ashley customer jealous. Adjacent to the master bedroom is a twin room where again the single beds looked equally as comfortable. Both bedrooms where again spotlessly clean with plenty of additional bedding and the whole property was well heated with central heating on a thermostatic control and yet bright and airy.
The main bathroom comes with a large tiled shower which thankfully delivered the perfect shower everytime. The bathroom was as every room well finished and had several little touches to add to the stay including fresh towels.
The livingroom has a perfectly sized flatscreen television if you want to stay connected in this idyllic escape. The TV has Internet access and the WiFi facility is extremely fast able to cope with any tasks. The livingroom has two comfortable sofas and we found a selection of board games, cards and puzzles able for entertained adults and children. The woodburning stove was perfectly located in the centre of the room between two windows with fantastic views out towards Binevenagh.
The kitchen was well equipped for cooking and Gillian had also provided supplies to help with the task. The kitchen has a microwave, cooker / hob, washing machine and fridge freezer. Again the kitchen and all cutlery and utensils were spotlessly clean.
Outside the property there is provision of several summer seats and picnic table. A grass area is ideal for young families wanting to let children play in safety just outside the kitchen stable door. A small parking area is more than enough to cater for four cars and outside there is a large shed which comes complete with BBQ, though given the weather we didn't avail.
Also at the rear of the premises is a penned area of bins which disguised a general waste and recycling bin.
Overall the property was simply fantastic and could on its own be perfect for couples seeking some time alone or a small family. The adjacent larger cottage is ideal for bigger families and together both cottages provide the ideal setting for a larger group.
The finish is of an exceptionally high standard and we simply found there are far too many added extras and touches which make this a perfect escape. Gillian is the perfect friendly and helpful host and the guest book within the cottage gives an idea of the many satisfied guests before all of whom appear to be in agreement with us.....5 Star accommodation in a great location with the perfect host.
For anyone who worries as to Limavady.....I've driven through it before and never actually stopped always thinking it was somewhere to drive through when travelling to Derry but we found contains some perfect childrens and adult boutiques and copious amounts of great coffee shops, restaurants and friendly bars not to mention Roe Valley Park.
If planning to stay in the area a stay at Ballytimber Cottages is a must!