Regaled With Danny Boy At Breakfast
Another time in Clifden in Connemara, Ireland, at the Connemara Country Lodge, Mary, the owner, entertained me and others at breakfast, regaling us all with Danny Boy and other Irish ballads.
On another trip to Westport further north, I sat and had coffee with Peter, the owner of the Ardmore Country House, as he helped us map out our journey to our next destination. His time with us was not something many hoteliers would have done.
Peter, Bridie, Donal, and the others I met in B& Bs about Ireland told me stories and took such a personal interest in my well-being. It made me feel safe and welcome and almost as if I were part of the family.
Ive learned that staying in bed and breakfasts in Ireland is a great way to experience beautiful Ireland. I love just driving about and choosing where youll stay that night when you see a sign hanging outside someones home.
Thats precisely what a fireman from San Francisco was doing when I met him in Donegal in the Olde Castle Bar & Red Hughs restaurant. He had taken several weeks vacation and was driving about Ireland aimlessly, choosing to stay in various B& Bs he came upon along the way. Although he was traveling solo, he told me he was having a ball.
I can imagine some of the stories hes likely still telling back in the firehouse.
How To Book A Bed And Breakfast In Ireland
I know of two websites that allow you to book B& Bs, B and B Ireland, which we used for our Ireland road trip, and another that I cannot recommend. I dont recommend the other because something just looked off on the home page, and when I clicked on one of the B& Bs, it took me to a website that had nothing to do with bed and breakfasts in Ireland. It could have been just a bad link, but it doesnt look like the site is well-maintained. For that reason, I am not even providing the websites name. Many B& Bs in Ireland also have their websites, so you might find some using a search engine.
Belfast Bed And Breakfast Recommendations
In major cities, hotels can often be easier and more centrally located. Most of the Belfast B& B options are located south of the city center near Queens University Belfast. This means most B& Bs are close to shops, restaurants, and pubs. Two good B& Bs in Belfast are:
- Harpers Boutique Bed and Breakfast: Located just over 1 mile from the city center and close to the university, Harpers has a modern design, spacious rooms, private bathrooms, and wifi. Parking is on street, but usually not much of a problem. This is one of the most popular Belfast B& Bs and frequently books up.
- Avenue Guesthouse: Close to the university and several museums, Avenue is one of the best values in Belfast. Avenue has private bathrooms, cozy rooms, as well as a book and movie lending library. Parking is on street.
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Day 5 Ireland Bed & Breakfast
Take advantage of having a car in Ireland and drive to breathtaking Killarney – a beautiful destination chock full of scenic landscapes, castles, cathedrals, and, most importantly, B& Bs! Hike to the Ring of Kerry, Muckross Lake, and Lough Leane in Killarney National Park.
Another idea is the quaint, colorful city of Cork. You’ll be greeted by friendly locals, old-world charm, and tons of shops and restaurants. Get lost in the Old English Market, gawk at the beauty of St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral, and stroll through St. Patrick Street. Head slightly east and spend some time in the charming Cobh Harbour!
Cobh, County Cork, Ireland
Killiane Castle Country House Farm Drinagh
The name Killiane Castle is kind of misleading: what youll be staying in is actually a yellow 17th-century Georgian farmhouse attached to what remains of a 15th-century Norman castle. All is forgiven once you settle in: eight cozy bedrooms all overlook the family farm which, during the day, youre free to roam. In addition to grazing cows and hens, the property hosts a tennis court, croquet lawn, and barbecue in a walled garden. You can still enter the castlestone steps will lead you up to a rooftop view of County Wexfordbut its just the cherry on top of the kind of peace youll find here.
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A Final Note About Accommodations In Ireland
In general, youre going to want to see as much of the country as possible. That means moving around every night or two. We do not recommend using vacation or apartment rental services in Ireland because those types of accommodations usually require 2-3 night minimums to be cost effective.
Also, if youre really exploring the Irish countryside, youll find yourself doing a lot of backtracking to get back to your vacation rental. Unless you really want to spend most of your time in a specific area, Irish bed & breakfasts really are the best option to see the country.
The last thing to keep in mind is that the bed and breakfasts in Ireland tend to book up quickly. And the best B& Bs tend to book up the fastest. Keep that in mind and book your accommodations as soon as your travel plans are solidified.
Getting To Your Bed And Breakfast
One thing we found was that even though the B& B directory provided the townland, city, county, geo-coordinates, as well as directions, it wasnt so easy to find them. The geo-coordinates used by the GPS in our vehicle did not match up with those in the directions. But, one thing we stumbled upon after our fourth night was that we could enter the postal code of the B& B into the GPS, and it would take us to the exact location. It was indeed a eureka moment!
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More Information About Go
Discovering Ireland Vacation in association with B& B-Ireland has a network of almost 2,000 family homes to choose from. The highest standards are demanded from our B& Bs and all adhere to stringent Irish Tourist Board standards.To enquire about staying in homely bed and breakfasts click here.
We will send you your vouchers with the official B& B-Ireland guide book listing all 2,000 B& B’s with all necessary contact information. We advise that you pre book at least the first night of your stay. You will be able to pre-book your accommodation directly once you make your selection from the B& B guide. We also include rental car in all our tours.
The vouchers offer excellent flexibility and you will never be far from a good B& B with almost 2,000 to choose from. While you are always assured of a warm welcome and the vouchers represent excellent value for money please remember that these are small family business and lack the facilities and resources of hotels.Our Bed and Breakfast Accommodation is available in every county of Ireland including Northern ireland .
Bed Breakfast And Bliss
The beauty of a B& B or guesthouse is that one can pop up anywhere. So, no matter how rural or central a vacation youre planning, youre guaranteed to find one in the right spot. For rural retreats, its hard to beat somewhere like Coolanowle House, set on an organic farm in County Laois and boasting in-house beauty treatments Whitepark House in County Antrim, where cows lounge lazily on the golden beach nearby or County Tipperary’s Glasha House, voted 2020 B& B of the Year.
Meanwhile, in more urban settings, B& Bs and guesthouses promise the personal touch that most hotels can only dream of. Stunning St Judes in Galway city prides itself on its local, organic food Victorian in Belfast tempts the tastebuds with its indulgent afternoon tea while historic McGettigans Townhouse in Dublin city center feels lavish and exclusive. And in Kinsale in west Cork, Perryvilles pretty pink façade welcomes everyone to the town whether theyre staying or not!
Riverside House, County Mayo
Perhaps the best part about staying at a B& B is the in-house expert: an owner who lives in the area will know exactly what to recommend to guarantee you get the most out of your stay. So, at Whitepark House, Bob will send you to the nearby Giants Causeway and Mussenden Temple in Taobh Coille, Agnes and John will arrange a local fishing trip for you or at Mount Royd, Josephine can set up a visit to neighbouring Dunmore House, beloved vacation retreat of crime writer, Agatha Christie.
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Galway Bed And Breakfast Recommendations
Galway is the informal capital of west Ireland. If you do any traveling in the country at all, youll likely make your way here. Galway is large enough to feel like a real city, but still small enough to feel like a village. Its also one of our favorite cities in Ireland. Here are some great Galway B& B options:
- Corrib House Guest Accommodation: Located right on the River Corrib as it makes its way through town and steps from the National University of Galway, Corrib House has a fantastic location. Visitors adore the lovely little courtyard, amazing breakfasts, private bathrooms, parking, and wifi. This is the best located B& B in Galway city.
- The Stop B and B: While many B& Bs go for rustic country chic decor, The Stop B and B in Galway has an artsy minimalism that is bright and refreshing. But there is more than interior design to this place. Located on the other side of the River Corrib in a residential neighborhood, it is a short 5-minute walk to the center of town. With private bathrooms, a delicious breakfast , private parking, and friendly hosts, The Stop is one of the most popular B& B options in Galway.
The Tannery Townhouse Dungarvan
Renowned chef Paul Flynn and his wife Máire opened The Tannery in seaside Dungarvan in 1997 as a restaurant and cooking school spotlighting modern Irish cuisineit wasnt until 2005 that he decided to make it an overnight experience, opening up the Townhouse in two 19th-century buildings around the corner. While Tannery is certainly a restaurant first, its accommodations are no afterthought. All 14 rooms are beautiful and bright, with white linens, wooden window shutters, and Cole & Son wallpaper . Breakfastspotlighting fresh-baked pastries and Waterford ingredientsis brought directly to your room at whatever time you choose to ensure utmost privacy.
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Amenities At Bed And Breakfasts In Ireland
Although there wont be a concierge as you might have in a hotel, we found most of our hosts were more than willing to help us with anything we needed, such as restaurant suggestions, directions to places of interest, and such. In some cases, they may also be able to provide you with a bit of historical information about the area.
There wont be a pool or a restaurant where you can eat at your leisure. Nor will there be hundreds of people staying at the B& B. The regulations state that a home bed and breakfast in Ireland must have at least two but no more than six guest bedrooms.
The White Cottages Skerries
There are only four bedrooms inside this airy bed and breakfast on the shores of Skerries Harbour, in County Dublin, which might give away the kind of personalized service you can expect to find here. Husband-and-wife team Joe and Jackie OConnor took cues from the buildings waterfront address, dressing up spaces in a nautical-themed blue-and-white-striped color palette with details like driftwood four-poster beds and French doors that open out onto a private terrace. The across-the-water views of the distant Mourne mountains are spectacular, especially from the breezy communal terrace, where breakfasts using only Irish ingredients are served.
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In Irelands Bed And Breakfasts: Down
In an Ireland Bed and Breakfast, Im not surrounded by nameless hotel staff or others just going about doing their job. Im interacting with ordinary people on a first-name basis who always have time to talk and help.
He and she are the homeowners whove likely lived in town for years. So they know the minutia of local life that is so fascinating.
They visit the neighborhood grocery, the local church, the pub down on the corner. They often know minutia of local life and local gossip better than anyone else ever could.
When I glance about their home, as well as in our snippets of conversation, I get insights into what makes that place, and them, unique. And they usually have the best recommendations on good restaurants and a hundred other things to do.
Yes, you can have that experience in any country. But during many visits to Ireland, Ive often felt that the Irish take it to another level of perfection. They treat you as a friend, not as a guest. They want you to be comfortable in their home. In addition, they go out of their way to help you along, suggesting where to go and what to do. Many times without even being asked.
Dublin Bed And Breakfast Recommendations
Most B& Bs in Dublin tend to be small inns or located on the outskirts of the city. Generally hotels will provide you with better locations, but at a higher price. However, there are a couple of good Dublin B& B options:
- Avoca House B& B: Located on the north side of Dublin, Avoca is close to Griffith Park, the Botanical Gardens and is an easy commute into the heart of the city. It has cute décor, a quiet location, free parking, and wifi. Its close to the Drumcondra train station and bus stop 46.
- Gardiner Lodge: While called a lodge, this is actually one of the best bed and breakfasts in Dublin. This property is located in central Dublin near everything. It offers the best location of any B& B in the city. The downside is that theres no parking. However, youll find cozy rooms, private bathrooms, and a sophisticated elegance you dont normally find in a B& B. Gardiner Lodge books up far in advance, so if this is your pick, be sure to book early.
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Kilkenny Bed And Breakfast Recommendations
Kilkenny is one of the cutest towns in Ireland. Located just south of the Wicklow Mountains and a short drive from Dublin, many visitors make their way here to see the famous castle, drink the famous beer, and eat at the incredible restaurants. If you dont have time to explore the whole island, Kilkenny is the one place you need to get to. The town also makes the perfect base to explore the Celtic ruins in the region from the Rock of Cashel to Glendalough.
Here are some good options in Kilkenny:
- Rosquil House B& B: A nice purpose-built B& B located a 15-minute walk from the city center of Kilkenny. Consistently gets some of the best reviews of any B& B in Ireland. Private parking and exceptional breakfast.
- Castle Lodge B& B: Theres plenty of private off-street parking, which makes it perfect to park and forget it at Castle Lodge. Located close to Kilkenny and the city center, its close but also quiet. Castle Lodge is no frills, but it does offer really good value for the money.
Day 1 Welcome To Edinburgh Scotland
Arrive in Edinburgh, collect your rental car, and check into your first bed and breakfast of your choosing! These charming Bed & Breakfasts throughout Scotland will serve as your home away from home for the next few nights.
You might want to choose a property near Edinburgh for your first night. This way, you can relax, settle in, and also see all that Edinburgh has to offer! Explore the city by foot and be sure to visit the Holyrood Palace, Princes Street Gardens, Arthur’s Seat, and Edinburgh’s Old Town. Definitely check out the historic Edinburgh Castle if time allows!
Upon purchase of your B& B vouchers, please visit the following website to determine what your accommodation options are in the area youll be visiting, and where you would like to stay: www.circlehotels.co.uk. It is highly recommended that you request your accommodations as far in advance as possible , since the properties are small and availability is limited, especially in high season. Requests MUST be placed through the reservations office of The Circle, by email. If you book directly through the B& B or hotel, your voucher will not be honored, and you will be responsible for paying for your reservation directly to the B& B/Hotel. Is this were to happen, you will not be eligible for a refund of any unused vouchers. Please note: these vouchers can be redeemed for B& Bs offered by The Circle in Wales and England, as well.
Supplements for travel January December 2019
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A Private Tour Of Town At This Irish B& b
A week earlier in Dingle, I stayed with Donal and Eileen at their home, the Fiuise Bed & Breakfast, not far outside of town.
When I inquired about a good restaurant for the evening and a pub to hear local music, Donal insisted on giving me a tour of town in his car, pointing out all of the places he thought Id enjoy. He then drove me outside of town up to a hilltop to show me the beautiful view over the surrounding hills.
Some days later, after visiting Galway, I took a ferry out to Irelands beautiful and austere Aran Islands, where I stayed in the Beach View House B& B.
The owner, Bridie, had grown up in the Arans before emigrating to New York, where she had lived for some 20 years and where she met her Irish husband. During a conversation one afternoon, I found they were married in the same church in New York as my parents.