Reconnect With Ireland: Celebrate Culture, Explore Rugged Scenery And Savour Local Produce
Above Image: Fanad Head Lighthouse, Baile Láir, Co. Donegal
Whether it's your first time visiting, or you were born and bred on these shores, you and Ireland have some connecting to do.
Ireland is a land, soaked in history; everywhere you look, there are enchanting stories to find, even when you think you've seen it all. The fascinating legacies of the families and faces of Ireland, whether nobles or peasants, are waiting to be discovered in every nook and cranny you explore. Here are some of the best places to plan your adventure for a truly memorable experience.
Brown Trout Golf & Country Inn, Co. Londonderry (Derry) - Relish the Wonders of the Oak Grove
(County Derry) Londonderry derives its name from the old Irish word "daire" meaning "an oak grove", and at the Brown Trout Golf & Country Inn, you'll understand why. This charming whitewashed country inn is nestled in the wilderness amongst the oak trees, yet just a short drive from Coleraine.
And while one person's idea of relaxation isn't necessarily the others', there’s no need to worry; staff at the Brown Trout Inn instinctively understand what their guests are craving, catering to all moods. From those who want nothing more than a quiet stay to the more outdoorsy explorers, there’s room for everyone to feel at ease at the Brown Trout.
With beautifully prepared taste of Ulster favourites such as honey-grilled gammon with buttery champ, slow-roasted lamb shank and grilled trout on the menu, you’ll be spoiled for choice with all produce at the Brown Trout Inn being locally soured.
Things to do
Nearby, you'll find the famous Giant’s Causeway, a stunning geological marvel of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns which serve as a powerful reminder of the volcanic force that created them long ago.
Or, if a different type of outdoor activity tickles your fancy, community sporting events near the hotel include the Northwest 200 motorsport event, the Portrush Air show, and the Milk Cup football tournament; so, if you're up for cheering on the local teams, look no further!
In the evenings, why not stay in and visit the Brown Trout bar? With live music at the weekend, plenty of friendly faces and some great fun to be had, the Brown Trout bar brings true meaning to the term craic agus ceol.
Above Image: Giant's Causeway, Co. Antrim
Arnolds Hotel, Co. Donegal - Rediscover the Splendour of the Forgotten County
Owing to its remote, secluded location, Donegal is commonly referred to as the "forgotten county" – but a visit to the Arnolds Hotel in County Donegal is sure to be one of the most memorable experiences of your whole trip.
A true home away from home, the fourth-generation family-owned Arnolds Hotel sits in the picturesque village of Dunfanaghy on the Wild Atlantic Way. Friendly staff will greet you with a warm welcome and treat you to traditional hospitality throughout your stay.
An unparalleled dining experience awaits you each day with dinning options including; cocktail bar, whiskey fly bar and bistro, Arnou burger bar and Arnold's restaurant.
Desserts are prepared by the in-house pastry chef using seasonal, home-grown fruits from the hotel's own gardens, including rhubarb, gooseberries, apples, and pears. Simply beautiful! There are even outdoor Dining Pods available so you can tuck into your favourite fare whatever the weather!
Things to do
When you visit this part of the world, you'll be amazed at just how much there is to see. For example, why not head over to the Workhouse at Dunfanaghy, a traditional 19th-century workhouse that once offered respite to the poor? It now hosts 'Meet Wee Hannah', an exhibition which tells of the struggles of local woman Hannah Herrity as she battled the famine in the workhouse.
Down the road, a visit to Glenveagh National Park is not to be missed. The 16,000 hectares of Glenveagh include the Derryveagh Mountains, Errigal as well as the Poisoned Glen. A wonderful legend arises from its name: this huge ice-carved hollow is the resting place of the ancient one-eyed giant king of Tory, named Balor. As he was slain by his grandson, Lughaidh, the poison from his eye split the rock and poisoned the glen, or so the story goes.
Unfortunately, the truth is much less magical: while locals originally named it the Heavenly Glen ("An Gleann Neamhe"), an unfortunate English cartographer misspelled this as "An Gleann Neimhe", or the Poisoned Glen! But regardless of the name, we can promise you this spot is an enchanting spot you'll want to return to visit again and again.
Above Image: The Poisoned Glen, Co. Donegal
Headfort Arms Hotel, Co Meath - Uncover the Legends of the Royal Country
Historically slated as the seat of the High King of Ireland, County Meath promises to enchant any visitor that happens upon it. Cradled at the heart of the Boyne Valley, the Headfort Arms Hotel gives you a luxurious base from which to explore the surrounding region.
From golf to rejuvenating spa packages, fine dining at the award-winning Vanilla Pod, and even an online gin shop, the Headfort Arms never fails to impress.
Located only 35 minutes from Dublin Airport, entering this hotel is like walking into a microcosm of magical Irish hospitality. The rooms are modern yet exude an old-world charm, with all conveniences and preferences catered for.
Things to do
The heritage of the nearby town of Kells has fascinated many for generations. Most people will have heard of the beautiful Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript that now resides at Trinity College Dublin, whose origin is mysterious but intrinsically connected with the monks who resided here. The monastic site in Kells is considered by many historians to be one of the most important places in Ireland, and walking tours are available every day from the Headfort Arms. All you need to do is book your place at the reception.
If that's not enough, you can fill your stay with everything else Kells has to offer: from children's play centres and country shopping experiences to more historic tours and picturesque gardens, Kells is a feast for the senses as well as the sensibilities.
Above Image: The Abbey of Kells, Co. Meath
Kiltimagh Park Hotel, Co. Mayo - Traverse the Rugged Pathways of the Heather County
Nestled in one of Ireland's most secluded yet treasured locations, the Kiltimagh Park Hotel is in an enviable position for those who wish to tour the west of Ireland and experience all this rugged landscape has to offer.
After your warm Irish welcome, you may retire to your excellently-appointed room. Here, you could simply sink into the heavenly bed or rise, instantly refreshed, to explore the wider area or the hotel's sleek dining experience. If you desire a relaxing drink or an informal meal, this is where you'll find it, as well as a choice of Sunday roasts and even outdoor dining options ("Irish weather permitting", of course)!
The beautiful suites and excellent location make this hotel one of the best choices you'll make when booking your holiday or staycation in Ireland.
Things to do
Vast expanses of heather-carpeted bogs, off-shore islands, rugged cliffs – yes, you'll soon discover that Mayo is moody and majestic. There are lots of hill walks and hikes to enjoy around the hotel however, the town of Kiltimagh has plenty to offer as well.
Kiltimagh's historic museum is located at the old Railway Station, where you can discover the fascinating history of the railway in Mayo as well as view historic exhibits that are tied into the lives and fortunes of those who lived and worked in the town.
Traditional music sessions can be savoured at the well-loved Teach O'Hara Pub, where a pint of Guinness isn't the only sensory delight on the menu. For more authentic musical delights, why not try a line-dancing session at the Kiltimagh Community Centre?
Or, if a relaxing outdoor excursion is more your cup of tea, the River Moy provides ample opportunities for angling for a truly rejuvenating Mayo experience.
No matter what you love to do, Ireland is the place to rediscover it. Book your stay at one of these fabulous Original Irish Hotels, and create memories for a lifetime.
Above Image: Kiltimagh History Museum, the Old Railway Station, Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo
ABOUT ORIGINAL IRISH HOTELS
Original Irish Hotels are a collection of unique, owner-run hotels, located in Ireland’s most outstanding destinations. Open the door to the magic of unmissable moments with Ireland’s leading collection of independent hotels.
Our 55 hotels are dotted around the entire island of Ireland in must-see locations, from the Wild Atlantic Way, to Ireland’s Ancient East, the Causeway Coast, Dublin and the treasured heartland of Ireland’s midlands and lakelands.
Irrespective of where our hotels are, Original Irish Hotels pride themselves in hosting a unique and truly memorable experience for our guests, and soon to be friends. The collection is made up of a range of traditional and boutique hotels, castles, manor and country houses, all run by locals, ensuring a unique experience every time.