Golfkeel Self Catering Cottages in Banbridge has been shortlisted for one of this year's Northern Ireland Tourist Board Awards.

The five star accommodation on the Ballykeel Road was nominated in the Hostel/Self Catering Premises of the year category.

In 2002, under the guidance of John and Oonagh O'Neill, Golfkeel was sympathetically converted from barns dating back over 200 years.

Great attention was paid to retaining the original stonework and the end result is two cottages with exceptional character and old world charm, both featuring many period items.

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All furniture and fittings were especially chosen and designed to give a relaxed country feeling, with both cottages boasting extremely comfortable family sized accommodation.

The three double bedrooms in 'The Dovedale' and 'The Loft' are further complimented by traditional features such as pine floors, wood burning stoves and private furnished gardens, complete with patio and barbeque areas.

Both 'The Dovedale' and 'The Loft' have been recently awarded five stars by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board - the highest and most sought after possible accolade.

Recent visitors from all around the world have experienced the charm Golfkeel has to offer, travelling from as far as North America, Australia, mainland Europe and the UK.

John and Oonagh O'Neill extend a warm welcome to all their visitors and endeavour to make their stays as comfortable and stress free as possible.

A Banbridge district tourism accomodation guide describes the self catering facility as follows: "Golfkeel is the perfect location conveniently situated close to Banbridge.

"The tranquil and peaceful surroundings will ensure a stress free, relaxing break where you can unwind and relax.

"This central location is an excellent base for exploring Northern Ireland combined with all modern conveniences needed to make a comfortable holiday base.

It is set within 60 acres of farmland with panoramic views of the local golf course and Mourne Mountains.

Representatives from both Golfkeel and Banbridge District Council will attend a gala awards event in the Ramada Hotel, Belfast today (Thursday 6 March).

Commenting on this years awards which received over 250 entries, NITB Chief Executive, Alan Clarke says "The Northern Ireland Tourism Awards is a special event for the local tourism industry and this year it is particulalrly significant as we celebrate twenty five years of superb efforts by all tourism providers here.

"Twenty five years of ups and downs for both NITB and the tourism industry, but also twenty fuve years of learning lessons, improving standards, supporting efforts and cheering on the many outstanding contributions made across all sectors of the industry.

"Congratulations to all who participated, well done to those who are shortlisted and better luck next year to everyone else."