Historical boat house attracting visitors

Cllr Michael pictured with Carol and Colin.
Cllr Michael pictured with Carol and Colin.

A unique accommodation facility, which dates back to the 1800s, has been officially opened on the banks of Belfast Lough in Whiteabbey.

The Coastguard Boat House is the only original boat house anywhere in Belfast Lough that can be rented as a holiday let.

Dating back to the 1850s, the Coastguard Boat House, has retained many of its historical features including a barred window, original boat rigging, beamed ceilings and has its own slipway.

With a location less than two metres from the sea, it is already causing waves with international visitors.

The Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Cllr Paul Michael said: “I’m delighted to officially open this fantastic new accommodation facility. The Coastguard Boat House is a beautiful addition to our rich tourism offering and I wish Carol and Colin all the best in their venture.”

The Boat house is jointly owned by husband and wife team, Carol Magill and Colin Simms. They purchased the property last year, secured planning and renovated the building, gaining Tourism NI accreditation.

Colin said: “The Boat House is one of a kind, a special place complete with tide clock, to support guests as they explore the shipwrecks on the Boat House’s door step as the tide goes right out past the old coal pier leaving a sandy beach behind.

“Or just spend their day taking in the view and salty air in a location, which is literally on the lough. The Boat House has a fascinating history, and our vision was to immerse visitors in that story, a tale which is 200 years old, a time of smugglers and gun runners, political revolution and political change.

“Our focus is also on customer service, helping people relax and enjoy precious time out with a fully fitted kitchen, and clever use of space which means that we can sleep up to five, although it is also a perfect couple retreat.

“As a new business, we’re grateful to the council for their support with mentoring to help us get insight into the hospitality industry. We were delighted to welcome the Mayor and hear first-hand of our plans, and the council’s support in bringing the international tourism spend to our shores.”