All posts filed under: Ireland

Cashel and the Rock of Cashel, Co Tipperary.

Many of us make a real effort to travel far and wide to see well known tourist attractions, historical buildings and great views. Yet many of us have places close to home that would fall into these categories that we may not have visited at all.  Sometimes it’s good to be a tourist in your own county.  I became that tourist recently when I visited Cashel in my home county of Tipperary.

The Great Western Greenway – Achill to Westport, Co. Mayo

I am not a cyclist.  I do not own a bicycle.  In fact, I cannot remember the last time I was on a bicycle.  However, I really wanted to cycle the Great Western Greenway from Achill to Westport.  All 42km of it.  In one go…  Many of my friends (particularly those well aware of my level of fitness) were kind when they told me I was being a little ambitious.  Of course, that made me determined to do it. The 42km long Greenway is the longest off-road cycling (or walking) trail in Ireland.  It follows the old Westport to Achill railway line.  It passes through Mulranny and Newport and some of the most beautiful views in Ireland can be seen along the way.

Galway – A Visitors’ Guide – Where to Eat

So now that you have decided to visit Galway and booked your accommodation, you need to figure out where to eat whilst you are here.  Galway has so many great and varied restaurants, it can be difficult to know where to start. Fine Dining? There are many “Fine Dining” restaurants in the city.  There is one Michelin Starred restaurant – Aniar.  (See separate post on this site). This is a small restaurant so if you plan to visit, you will most certainly need to book in advance, particularly if you wish to visit on a weekend night.  The restaurant now has a new Head Chef – welcome Ultan Cooke! If you like Fish, then you really must visit O’Grady’s on the Pier in Barna (again, see separate post on this site).  The restaurant is easily accessible from the city centre by car or taxi and is well worth the trip.  It really is one of the best restaurants in the Galway area and its setting on the beach at Barna is truly magical.

Galway – A visitors’ guide – Where to Stay

I am very lucky to live close to Galway City which is a truly wonderful city with a holiday feel all year round.  Its beauty, charm, many attractions and summer festivals make it a magnet for tourists.  For first time visitors, it can be difficult navigating through the accommodation options around the city of which there are many.  Visitors can choose to stay in the City Centre, in Salthill or further out along the coast such as in Barna or Furbo.  There is also a wide variety of accommodation to be found from Hotels to B&B’s to Hostels. Here are some options to consider if you are in the process of booking a trip to our wonderful city.  City Centre – Hotels Hotel  Meyrick – 4 Stars This most central of hotels is located in a landmark building beside the train station and fronts onto Eyre Square.  This hotel will cater to your every whim offering spa treatments, dinner in the Oyster Grill, cocktails in the Oyster Bar, afternoon tea in the Lobby or sports …

A weekend at The Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin

A friend and I decided it was time for a treat so we settled on a weekend at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin.  I made the booking online, two nights bed and breakfast and requested a twin room.  The website makes it clear that any “preferences” cannot be guaranteed and confirmation should be sought directly with the hotel.  After making the booking I emailed the hotel to request confirmation that we would be allocated a twin room.  I received no response to this email so rang the hotel instead.  I spoke with a nice gentleman who checked availability for the nights we were to stay and who confirmed to me that he had allocated us the required room. We arrived at reception and were told that although we had indicated a preference for a twin room that there were none available and that we would have had to have rang in advance to “guarantee” one of these rooms.  Apparently there was no log of my call and the man on reception gave the impression he …

A weekend in Hayfield Manor Hotel, Cork

Over the years, I have overnighted in many places and stayed in every type of accommodation imaginable from an open hut in Botswana, to a tent in the Okavango Delta to horrible and nice B & B’s and Hotels of all grades and quality.  I also read a lot of other people’s experiences and have therefore my own list of places I would love to stay.  Hayfield Manor in Cork City featured on this list ( An opportunity to stay there arose two weekends ago and I jumped at it and boy am I so glad that I did.  A friend and myself booked in for a two night stay with one evening meal in their very elegant Orchids Restaurant and we also booked a treatment each in their Beautique Spa. From the moment we arrived, we were hooked.  I arrived first, travelling from Galway, and felt very welcome from the moment I walked though the door.  No waiting to check in, was offered some lovely chocolates and bookings for dinner and treatments were swiftly confirmed.  …