The car is packed, everyone is crazy excited and you’ll soon be on your way to Ireland.
But on the way, you have to tearfully tell the dog that he’s not coming on holiday and leave him at the kennels. Or do you?
An increasing number of B&Bs, hotels and self-catering holiday homes around Ireland are taking the whole family as guests – including the canine members. Some charge a small fee per dog and provide a doggie welcome pack, others have kennels on site and some even allow dogs in the rooms. There are a whole range of options out there and Chris Deakin, owner of OhMyDog, has picked six for your doggie delectation.
The Ardilaun Hotel, Galway
The Ardilaun Hotel realises that you can’t have a family break without all of the family. They’ll give you a room beside the beautiful gardens so you’ll have easy access when the need arises and a nice little playground too. On check-in you will receive your Ardilaun Doggy Pack. The pack contains everything to make sure you and your pooch get the best out of your stay in Galway. Just don’t forget the bedding and food for Rover, and Ardilaun will provide everything else.
Ballealy Cottage, Antrim
Ballealy Cottage was built in 1865 for the deer keeper on the Shane’s Castle Estate, beside Lough Neagh, County Antrim. The Irish Landmark Trust restored it, and the cottage is completely dog-friendly. You’ll feel like Hansel and Gretel as the cottage is surrounded by woodland and a meandering stream. Instant fairytale charm! Exploring Shane’s Castle Park, relax by the lake with some angling or let the dog (and the kids) burn off some steam in the large wild garden. Nearby is the Antrim Round Tower and the unmissable natural wonder, the Giant’s Causeway.
Randles Court Hotel & Dromhall Hotel, Kerry
The Randles Court and Dromhall Hotel are both in Killarney, where a national park holds incredible scenes of mountains, waterfalls, lakes and forests. That’s a whole lot of walking for your canine companion. Both of the hotels will welcome you and your furry friends. The Randles Court Hotel is five minutes’ walk from Killarney’s town centre whereas the Dromhall Hotel is in the heart of Killarney town. Kerry itself has wonderful landscapes for exploring. There’s Dingle Peninsula and its fabulous beaches, and Ireland’s most famous dolphin: Fungie. For unrivalled greenery, walk/drive/cycle the Ring of Kerry and see just where those famous forty shades come from.
Ard na Breátha Guesthouse, Donegal
Irish guesthouses have a great reputation for being warm, welcoming and always serving the most delicious food. Ard na Breátha Guesthouse and Restaurant won’t disappoint. “Described by many guests as a hidden treasure, this wonderful B&B is located 1.5km from Donegal Town, just off the road to lovely Lough Eske. Enjoy a delicious organic breakfast and then explore Donegal, which offers great day trips for you and your dogs.” The magnificent Glenveagh National Park allows dogs (on leads) and the 14,000 hectares of mountain, raised bogland, lakes and woodland should tire him out eventually.
Foxmount Country House, Waterford
“David and Margaret Kent are keen to welcome you to Foxmount, a five-star Georgian Country House B&B. Near Waterford City, the pet-friendly Foxmount Country House is on a dairy farm where guests are welcome to walk through the green fields and enjoy the country air and wildlife. The Kent family have a great love for nature and you and your dogs will feel very much at ease.” Waterford city has a vast Viking history, most of which is on display at Reginald’s tower. The Copper Coast Geoparkis an UNESCO site, which stretches 25km from the Victorian resort of Tramore to leafy Stradbally. This short drive spills over with cliffs, coves, sea stacks and coastal views. In wintertime, you may even see passing whales.
Helen’s Tower, Down
Another Landmark Trust property, Helen’s Tower is perched high above the rolling hills of County Down, in the woods of the Clandeboye Estate. Standing on top of the three storey stone tower gives with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, one can even see distant Scottish shores. Visitors, including the dogs, can enjoy walking routes known locally as the Clandeboye Way.” Helen’s Tower is so inspiring that it has actually been immortalised by Alfred Tennyson and separately Robert Browning in poems of the same name. Down’s scenery inspired another great work of literature – CS Lewis used to wander the Mourne Mountains before he dreamt the magical world of Narnia.
For more dog-friendly hotels, B&Bs and self-catering holiday homes around Ireland go to OhMyDog.ie
See more Landmark Trust unusual accommodation in Ireland.