Ireland's Top 5 Bed and Breakfasts
Ireland’s terrain is unique; it ranges from islands in the rainy west, to lush green hills along the east coast, to freshwater highland lakes in the north and fog-capped Wicklow Mountains in the south. You’ll likely want to see as much of Ireland as you can. For an intimate Ireland vacation, rent a car and stay at Ireland bed and breakfasts as you travel.
You’ll find B&Bs across Ireland’s countryside -- and contrary to popular belief -- they’re often quite affordable. For as low as $50 to $120 a night, you not only get a comfy bed, hot shower and Irish fry-up breakfast (typically, sausages, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, potatoes, toast, bacon and breakfast tea), but -- most importantly -- insider information on the local area. Many B&Bs are run out of older houses passed down through the generations, and at the best Irish B&Bs, customers feel like guests.
Check out our 5 picks for Ireland bed and breakfasts that offer a truly Irish stay.
Cregg Castle bed and breakfast
, in western Ireland’s County Galway, was built in 1648 and covers the site of an 11th-century castle. The castle’s grounds span 165 acres, much of it home to farm animals such as chickens, turkeys and sheep. For breakfast, innkeepers feature eggs from Cregg Castle’s own free-range hens. If it’s a little urban excitement you seek, you can drive just 9 miles south to Galway, leaving behind the woodland oasis for the city bustle.
The Dingle Peninsula’s
winding roads, on thin sandstone mass, make for Ireland’s best (albeit nail-biting) coastal driving. When you arrive in Dingle, in southwest Ireland’s County Kerry, stay at The Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast
. Massive windows bring natural light into each room for clear views of Dingle Harbor and the sea. Also relax with a sea view from the guest lounge, dining room and garden patio.
Nestled on 80 acres of farmland, more than 1,000 feet up in southern Ireland’s Wicklow Mountains, Lough Dan Hous
e overlooks Lough Dan, the largest natural lake on Ireland’s east coast. The B&B sits in in Wicklow Mountain National Park
, which runs from the outskirts of Dublin 80 miles southwest. The mountains are the highest in Ireland, so Lough Dan House is ideal for hikers and mountain climbers. The Byrne family has run the house for 5 generations, and they know the mountains well, so be sure to ask for hiking advice. Afterward, cozy up to the log fire -- a welcome treat after a full day in the crisp mountain air.
Of course, if you go to Ireland, you can’t miss its capital. Dublin is a busy city, with designer shopping on Grafton Street, live music in Temple Bar and the massive Guinness factory
. But you can sleep soundly at Blackstone House Bed and Breakfast
less than 2 miles from Dublin city center, in a quiet neighborhood. A restored Victorian residence, Blackstone House has many original decorations from the era. Owners Katie and William, who originally came from the counties of Wexford and Kerry, provide personalized service -- and tips for exploring nearby attractions, such as Dublin Castle and Trinity College.
Ardlenagh View bed and breakfast
looks out to the Bluestack Mountains and Donegal Bay, near Donegal town in northwest Ireland. County Donegal boasts 230 miles of Ireland’s most famous, postcard-like coastline, from sandy beaches to dangerous ocean cliffs. Check out the view from Ardlenagh View’s garden. Owners Eileen and Tony offer 6 rooms (including single-, double- and family-rooms) with en suite bathrooms and a television. The B&B is family-friendly, too; children sharing a room with 2 adults receive a 33% discount on the total cost of their stay.