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Post Info TOPIC: Fall and Spring in Ireland - Report on B&Bs

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Fall and Spring in Ireland - Report on B&Bs

Hi all. I wanted to put up some information about places where we stayed and hope it's in time to help you plan. I can hardly believe that we've made two trips there in such a short period. But anyway ...

We just got back from our second trip to Ireland. The first was in September. Both times prices were 35-40 euros per person. Recent trip first.

May 2011 Trip
Landed at Dublin

HOWTH (DUBLIN). Gleann Na Smol. Fortunately we had a photo of the house, because the signage is not very helpful. After driving around and not finding it, we narrowed the search down to one street. We got out of the car and walked up and down the block before spotting the house name, posted on the house. No sign in front. Friendly and helpful owner Sean. We rented this place through an online reservation service, which cost an extra $20 or so. I would avoid the middleman if you can. The town is a small fishing village, with yachts. The train to Dublin is a 15 minute walk from the house, or you can drive down and park in the free lots. It was very convenient for us, as our focus was Dublin. We ate lunch in Howth one day, but did not go to any of its pubs. There are a lot of them on Grafton St. in Dublin.

SLIGO. Iorras House.
This house was great! On the peninsula, a 5 minute drive to downtown Sligo. Ita was a great host. You may be able to snag an upstairs room with a sea view. internet access via PC in common room. Go to Foley's pub. A daytrip to Slieve League, the highest seacliffs in Ireland, near Donegal is easily doable.

WESTPORT. St. Anthony's Riverside B&B.
B&B is a little dark, but in a great downtown location, easily walkable. Unlike other travelers, I didn't find much in Westport.

CLIFDEN. Sea Mist House.
Sheila runs a nice place, and I think it has wireless. 5-minute walk to the town center. Good pubs, good music. J.Conneely's pub is especially good for music, there is a little stage there. See if you can catch Fergal Scahill or Gary O'Meara -- they are wonderful musicians and have CDs. Most other pubs have the musicians shunted off in a corner. I haven't written much about Clifden, but it is one of my favorites this trip.

DOOLIN. Cullinan's.
We liked this place so much we came back. It also has a restaurant that serves evening meals most days, and I recommend you try it. Carol gave me the recipe for her brown bread, and I've been baking it ever since I found out you can buy the Irish flour over the net. Fitzgerald's pub is across the street, and we first heard Blackie O'Connell there. He's on Youtube too: . Other pubs down the road apiece. Doolin is not a real town, but two (or three) separate groups of buildings a couple blocks apart. This was our home base for some Burren adventures. We drove to Carran and went on a morning spiritual walk led by Tony Kirby. He is a great leader and a wealth of knowledge about the history and ecology of the place. The next day we drove to the Perfumery and met up with people on a Burren butterfly hike. Saw a bunch of them too. These folks were mostly locals. If you're in the Burren look up and see what they have going when you'll be there.

BUNRATTY. Bunratty Meadows
Wow, am I glad I asked for information from y'all about where to stay near Shannon airport on our last day. Thank you!! Dariena has a great place. It looks out over a large meadow onto the River Shannon. See if you can get an upper room facing the Shannon. You have to drive a pub to eat. We went to Durty Nellie's, passable food, which is right beside Bunratty Castle. 5-10 minutes to the airport, no problems.

Successful trip despite the weather. If you go for two weeks, don't think it is not possible to have 13 days of mostly cloudy or fully overcast skies, rain, gale-force winds, and hail. And if in doubt about whether to wear a T-shirt, a long-sleeve shirt, a sweater, a light jacket, or a raincoat, you won't go wrong wearing them all. And don't forget a hat.

August-September 2010 Trip
Landed at Shannon

KILRUSH. Hillcrest View B&B. Nice place, but I don't remember much of it, probably because of jetlag. Kilrush is a nice little town.

DINGLE. Connor Pass Cottage. .
We rented this for our first week. Veronica Houlihan turned out to be extremely helpful. We put her to the test when one of us broke an ankle hopping around a fairie fort. She came over that evening and talked with us about our options, even called her mother who had had a similar experience in Holland. As a part-time nurse, she volunteered us a wheelchair from the local old folk's home where she works. So most of this trip was not your normal tourism. We had to make several trip changes, staying in places longer and cutting out some places. I would not walk into Dingle from the cottage because of the (normal) extremely narrow road, but it's only a couple of minutes' drive away.

KENMARE. Abbey Court Inn.
Brendan and Ger also expanded their resume by borrowing another wheelchair for us. I like Kenmare. Nice little pubs, triangular streets form city center. There is a very large dolmen stone circle you can visit. Go early in the morning and you'll have the place to yourself. Kenmare is a great base for daytrips on Ring of Kerry and Beara Peninsula. Eat dinner at the Rainbow Restaurant in Glengarriff on your way back into Kenmare from the Beara loop. We wanted to stay here another night but they were booked up.

DOOLIN Cullinan's. (see above!)
Carol too expanded her skill set into procurement and got us a wheelchair. We even went up to the Cliffs of Moher, but pushing it up the path was real workout for me.

On this trip we stayed at the hotel across the parking lot from the airport. I do not recommend you do this unless you have to, as we did.

Successful trip despite broken ankle. We met a lot of locals who we wouldn't have met otherwise, and even watched the Hurling finals in a pub on the ROK. But the weather was fantastic -- blue skies and large, fluffy white clouds.

Things to bring: easily portable camera (left my DSLR at home), lens hood to protect from rain, memory chips, binoculars (you'll love having them esp. if weather is clear), audio recorder, rechargeable batteries and power plug adapter. I think I was on my last 8GB memory chip (both camera and audio recorder use them). Took over 1000 stills, some video, and was having to be too careful with memory to take as much video in pubs as I would have liked. We brought a Mobal phone, which was good because with a card we would have to have stopped and looked around for phones. We were able call ahead while en route. You can get bug spray there if you will be walking about. I didn't have any and brought home a genuine Irish tick, who met an untimely end in North Carolina.

Keep a trip log or you may forget what you did when. The audio recorder is nice for this.



Slán go fóill,




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Many thanks for the low-down on your trip. Nice B&B recommendations too. So sorry to hear about the broken ankle. Things like that do happen. It really puts a damper on the trip. But you seemed to work around it okay.



"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

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Good report, glad you liked Clifden but Connlee's stage show is less a genuine session like Lowrys or Mannions even Kings. Some of the musicians are really good but you tend to get 2 rows of in for the show tourists rather than rubbing shoulders (and just about everything else) with the Locals. I have to agree about the Park Inn at Shannon but as you say it's just the ticket if you have a really early flight. I suppose the benefit of the new look cliffs is that they are more disabled friendly (but could you see over the walls without having to get out of your wheelchair?)


Two rules for Ireland, Take your time & bring a sense of humour 

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