Ireland's Coastal Breaks

Ireland is full of hidden holidays, some of which we have all heard of and some others not so much. Aside from great places to visit in the midlands that are full of character, there are many coastal towns dotted around our little island that offer great chances to experience something completely different but still with a feeling of home. 

 

Lahinch

More often than not it’s harder to find reasonable and enjoyable places to stay in big cities around the coast of the country. Across the country along the west coast, county Clare holds a hidden gem of a coastal getaway, Lahinch. 

 

 

Lahinch is a small coastal town in the Liscannor Bay in northwest County Clare. As it’s along the coast, a majority of the popular activities in the area are water based as are most in the other towns included further down the list.  

Lahinch is best known for its amazing beach and surf worthy waves. Dotted along the two kilometre beach are plenty of small huts and schools to rent out surfboards, wetsuits and to get lessons either in a class for a set time of the day, or if you prefer a more personal lesson you can get a solo one-to-one with a surfing instructor. 

The town itself has a variety of accommodation from apartments to rent out like airbnb’s, hotels and hostels. Lahinch Hostel has rooms for overnight stays available from €42 a night, making it cheaper than the average hotel but still might be a bit more expensive than some may have to spare. Hotels around the town and along the main promenade have rooms beginning from €60 and up for a single night stay. 

Restaurants, bars and cute country shops line the pavements around the roads beside the beach. Joe’s Cafe along the promenade offers great options for a hearty Irish brekky, from egg breakfasts, to a proper fry up all for less than €10, meaning you’re not getting stung too badly in your purse. This cosy and quaint cafe just off of Main Street is a great stop for any time during the day as their menu changes from serving breakfast to lunch and can be the perfect cheap, cheerful cure for a cold morning out along the west.

Kenny’s Bar in the main town is the perfect spot to grab a good lunch or dinner without making you want to cry when you get the bill after. Their soup of the day comes in at less than €5, and they have a range of meals from burgers to fish to curries which will ensure you’re full to battle the fun that the Lahinch sea waves have to offer. Most reviews on Tripadvisor also say that Kenny’s serve the perfect pint of Guinness if you fancy a drink afterwards.

 

Bundoran

Bundoran in County Donegal is best known for being a surfer's hub of sorts, but there’s far more than just the waves that are in this humble little town in the southern part of the county. The town thrives off of tourism, and with an adventure centre, Waterworld aquatic centre and sights such as the Fairy Bridges, it’s clear to see that it’s a very outdoorsy type of place. 

 

Guesthouses and lodges are the cheapest option at around €50 a night, but if you feel like treating yourself to a hotel, there are a variety of options such as The Great Northern Hotel just beside the main beach for €94 a night or the Holyrood Hotel in the town for €88 a night.  

The Waves Surf Cafe on Main Street in Bundoran town serves up an Irish breakfast fry that will set you up for the day for roughly €9.50 or if you want something that will be more of a treat, they also serve pancakes, omelettes and bagels. Their lunch menu has a variety of soups, salads and sandwiches to keep your stomach full all day long. 

For a change in taste, the Taj Mahal Indian restaurant is a favourite among tourists and locals alike. The Blue Leaf Restaurant and Pizzeria is a traditional Italian that serves up pizza favourites, pasta dishes, fish and meat dinners as well as vegetarian styles of dishes. There’s something for everyone to eat, see and do in Bundoran which makes it a great town to visit for a weekend break away. 

 

Carlingford

If travelling that far for a small break just simply won’t do, not to worry! Carlingford in county Louth is just less than a two hour drive from Dublin. This quaint little town is bursting with activity and culture. 

 

Guesthouses and centres are a cheap place to stay. For a night in the Carlingford Adventure Centre, €80 will be the price you’ll pay but it’s a small amount to fork out to see all of the things to do in the tiny town. A hotel room further along the lakefront will cost you a lot more, for example, a luxury night in the Four Seasons Hotel and Spa will run you up €125, but it’s worth it for a treat. 

Carlingford Adventure Centre is a unique point that this town offers. It’s the perfect place for a work group getaway, or a few days of fun with your friends. They offer activities from kayaking on the lake, to night hikes up the mountain, a few hours clambering through their Skypark or zip lining through the forest. 

The Carlingford Arms Bar and Restaurant holds a selection of dishes from breakfast menus in the morning, to sandwiches for lunch and chicken, steaks and fish for dinner. They also have a range of drinks from non-alcoholic beverages to classic pints and cocktails 

PJ O’Hares is another place to add to your list of restaurants to try. Their unique point is that every night they have a different chosen food of sorts, but you can always order off of their normal menu anyway. For example, Wednesday nights are known as their curry nights, while Thursday’s are their steak nights.  

If getting active in the Adventure Centre isn’t something on your bucket list then casual walks along the front of the lake and up the mountains are just as enjoyable. It’s safe to say this town really does offer something for everyone and at such a short distance away it’s clear that it should be one to give a visit to. 

 

As the cold sets in, we’re all starting to crave a break away but there’s plenty of places around our own little country that work just as well for some fun as a sun break away does. There are amazing coastal towns flourishing with things to do throughout the year and whether it’s for a winter trip or summer getaway, each place offers something fun for everyone.