We’re a family with two beautiful young children, two gentle little dogs and a house cat. Living in our beautiful rural home, close to Ballymena, our lives revolve around simply making our family happy! We have recently restored our mid-century modern house and it has quirky style and is spacious and comfortable. Our garden will be a lifelong project and is a real jewel, but needs a lot of work.
Although we are in a rural tranquil setting on a small winding country road so typical of Northern Ireland, we are actually very close to Ballymena which has excellent transport links to the whole of Northern Ireland. At the end of our road (a beautiful walk of around 15min, past cows, sheep, pigs, hens and ducks) there are 5 buses a day running between Ballymena and Larne on the coast. Alternatively it takes less than an hour to walk to the main train and bus station, and Paul easily could give lifts there and back around his working hours. We can also make a bicycle available - and the countryside surrounding us is stunning cycling country with pretty, quiet roads plentiful. Katie works in Belfast and can give lifts there too!
If you are looking for somewhere relaxed, with kind, warm hosts, and easy access to the most beautiful sights Northern Ireland has to offer we will suit you well. Work will be focussed on freeing us up to spend more quality time with our children, and we’re happy to be very flexible as we are completely new to this and look forward to sharing a little our lives with fun people who can also teach us all a little of their culture. We would also enjoy introducing you to our family and friends, and showing off hidden highlights of our wee corner of the world. We are very handy to the Giants Causeway, the stunning North Coast, many many Game of Thrones sights, and the city of Belfast.
You would have a beautiful bedroom with a superking bed, and although the bathroom (right next door) is shared, at night you will be the only one using it as the kids use our en-suite after bed time. The view out to the garden from your room is just gorgeous!
We have lots of living space, so if anyone needs some peace and quiet it’s easy found!
Babysitting / child care
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
We are passionate about local cultures and traditions (though not in a stuffy way!!) - and we’d love to share what we know and love about our home country, and take the opportunity to see it with fresh eyes and learn more ourselves.
We are lucky enough to have some wonderful friends and family who we hope to introduce you to, some of whom are more knowledgeable than any guides!
Katie loves languages, and would be particularly keen to speak some Italian, and maybe rekindle some childhood French or Spanish, or learn a few words in a new language. We’d all be patient and helpful in trying to help improve your English, and Katie could even teach you a couple (only a couple!!!) of phrases in Irish!!!
We are still young enough to want fresh experiences, and while we are pretty tied to home because we have family and animals, we look forward to this opportunity to meet new people and enjoy the cultural exchange.
Work mainly revolves around freeing us up to spend quality time with our two children. Housework, cooking some (not all) meals, clearing up after dinner while we get the children ready for bed etc. The dogs would be delighted to have more company and get a good walk now and again.
We’d also love to get help in the garden, mainly weeding and maybe some wee projects to improve some more neglected corners. If you’re handy with a paintbrush we’d also be thrilled to get help painting some walls!
We’d also appreciate help now and then to entertain the children to let us do some work around the house, nothing that doesn’t involve us being within shouting distance!!! But it is essential that you get on well with children, as obviously their happiness and safety is our highest priority.
We’d be extra happy to have our children and Paul learn a little Italian, and Katie would love to have the opportunity to improve, so Italian guests are preferred, but by no means essential!
We would be very flexible about days off, and whatever hours you prefer to work, and would try to make it as enjoyable as possible for you and us.
English, native speaker. Italian, reasonably well. French, basics. Spanish, very minimal! Irish, about 5 phrases!!!
You’ll have your own generous bedroom in the main house with a huge and very comfortable super-king bed and lovely view. The family bathroom is just next to your room and for your use only at night.
We all sleep in a wing off the main house which we would lock at night solely because we have young children. But this also affords you and extra degree of privacy whilst still having access to everything you could possibly need.
Our main living area has kitchen, dining room and two sitting areas with sofas all in one big L shaped space, so it is likely to be just a family environment with us all eating together and enjoying each other’s company. We also have a separate drawing room where anyone who wants more peace or just to chill and watch TV can go. You are welcome to head off any evenings you like but we always want you to feel like part of our family.
So many beautiful places to see and fun activities nearby - the discover Northern Ireland website covers it better than I ever could! County Antrim is genuinely beautiful!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week