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Cycling Holidays in Ireland

Cycling Holidays in Ireland

If there was a country that was made for a cycling holiday, then it has to be Ireland. From North to South and from East to West, the Emerald Isle is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts. With a wealth of unbelievable landscapes, exciting tourist attractions and fascinating history and culture to be explored, the bicycle is the perfect mode of transport to fully appreciate all that Ireland has to offer.

Cycling Holidays in IrelandAccommodation plays a key role in your cycling holiday in Ireland and bed & breakfasts are the perfect choice. They are conveniently located along all cycling routes, which means you are never too far away from your selected home. B&Bs are accustomed to cyclists and provide secure storage for your bike and travelling equipment. If you decide not to bring your own bike, rest assured, there are plenty of bike hire operators in whichever destination you choose to explore. Picking where you want to cycle is also an important decision. A few locations that never fail to captivate visitors and are perfect for exploring by bicycle are as follows:

Causeway Coastal Route

Causeway Coastal Route in Northern IrelandCauseway Coastal Route, in Northern Ireland, spans 193km from Belfast to Derry/Londonderry. The route has the most amazing scenery, history and must-see attractions such as the Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and Dunluce Castle to name a few. This amazing coastal route, with its unique beauty, will capture your heart and one visit won’t be enough!

The Wild Atlantic Way

Cycling Holidays in IrelandThe Wild Atlantic Way is another coastal route, this time on the west coast
of Ireland. It spans from Donegal to Cork and the Atlantic Ocean will be your companion along this spectacular pathway. You will visit some of the most breath-taking areas of scenic beauty on your journey, along with picturesque harbours, sandy beaches, quaint towns and villages, wonderful seafood restaurants and pubs that have the best traditional music nights and craic. You can explore the Aran Islands in Galway Bay, the Burren in County Clare and discover County Mayo’s natural beauty and unspoilt environs. There are so many great locations that you will remember long after you cycling holiday to Ireland is complete!

Great Western Greenway

Cycling holidays in Ireland along the Great Western GreenwayMayo’s also home to the Great Western Greenway, a 42km traffic-free cycling and walking facility that follows the line of the famous Westport to Achill railway line. The route runs along the coast of Clew Bay which is overlooked by Croagh Patrick Mountain to the South and Nephin Range to the North. Daily bike hire is available in the many Westport bike hire shops.

The Ring of Kerry

Cycling holidays in IrelandThis famous 179km circular scenic tourist route is quite challenging and like all the other routes, can be completed in stages. The route takes you along stunning landscapes, quaint villages and the coastline of the Iveragh Peninsula with its many sandy beaches. You will experience the Atlantic Coast, Dingle Bay and Kenmare Bay. Places of interest include the famed Molls Gap, Ladies View and Killarney National Park.

Slea Head Drive

Cycling holidays in IrelandThere are several bike hire operators in Dingle, if you don’t have your own bike with you. Slea Head Drive forms part of the Wild Atlantic Way and again, you will be met with spectacular countryside and stunning views, as well as a wealth of attractions including Dunbeg Fort, Mount Brandon and ancient ruins along the way.

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Walking Holidays in Ireland

Walking Holidays in Ireland

Ireland is the perfect destination for a walking holiday and Farmhouse B&Bs make the ideal base. If you want a walking holiday to remember, pack your walking boots and make your way to the Emerald Isle. Farmhouse bed and breakfasts are located throughout Ireland and are surrounded by countryside, mountains, beaches and parklands that were made for a walking adventure.

The Wild Atlantic Way

Walking Sliabh Liag CliffsThe Wild Atlantic Way on the West coast of Ireland is a dream location for walkers. There are mountain hikes, cliff-top and coastal walks and endless walking trails to keep the most avid walker challenged and captivated. From the Sliabh Liag Cliffs in Donegal and the Greenway traffic-free walking trail in Mayo, to the Burren in County Clare and the Kerry Way in County Kerry, each walking trail is as spellbinding as the next and competitive for the most amazing views.

Ireland’s Ancient East

Ireland's Ancient EastFrom The Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland to the Beara Peninsula in Cork and Kerry and every county in between, you’ll be astounded by the mix of scenic walking routes and hiking trails that you can enjoy. With Ireland’s Ancient East experience, there are endless historical trails that offer an insight into Ireland’s past with castles, stately homes, ancient ruins and mythological and archaeological sites aplenty. Ireland’s cities, towns and villages are perfect for an informative leisurely stroll. In fact, cities such as Dublin, Waterford, Derry and Limerick are so compact that they are best explored on foot. You can avail of a guided tour that will take you around the must-see sites and significant historic locations.

Farmhouse Accommodation

Traditional Irish BreakfastAfter a wonderful day exploring the Irish countryside, you can return to your comfortable farmhouse accommodation to relax and unwind. With such comfy surroundings, a wonderful night’s sleep is guaranteed. In the morning, you can tuck into a traditional Irish fry which will undoubtedly set you up for the day ahead. Your B&B host will be on hand and at the ready to help plan your next day’s walking expedition.

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The Quiet Magic of Skellig Michael

The Quiet Magic of Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael is the larger of two stunning islands that can be found approximately 12 km west of the Iveragh Peninsula, County Kerry. The breath-taking island towers an impressive 218 metres above sea level and is made from 350 million year old Devonian sandstone. It is a place of historical, religious and natural significance and is a must-see on your trip to Ireland!

UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Quiet Magic of Skellig Michael Skellig Michael was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 1996, mainly due to the fascinating Early Christian monastery that can be found there. It is estimated that the monastery was built at some time between the 6th and 8th century and it truly is a sight to behold. It sits 618 steps high and is home to beehive cells, two oratories, stone crosses and a medieval church. It is accepted that this monastery is one of the most dramatic and beautiful examples of the extremes of Christian monasticism in the entire world.

Unique Landscape

The Quiet Magic of Skellig Michael What’s more, Skellig Michael also boasts a unique landscape, showcasing Ireland’s natural beauty and is a designated nature reserve. It is one of Ireland’s most important sites for seabird breeding and is home to many rare flora and fauna. The island located on the Wild Atlantic Way, provides stunning views out across the Atlantic Ocean and has its own impressive lighthouse. There is something indescribable about standing on Skellig Michael and taking in your striking surroundings while the waves crash down below.

Take a boat trip

Boat trips are available, weather permitting, from Portmagee in County Kerry and takes approximately 45 minutes. You are given time to explore the island at your own pace, and then the boat takes you back to the mainland. On your trip to the Emerald Isle, you cannot miss out on the chance to experience the quiet magic of Skellig Michael!

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Newgrange in County Meath part of Ireland's Ancient East

Ireland’s Ancient East

Ireland’s Ancient East is a new and exciting initiative that aims to promote the rich history and diverse landscapes of the 17 beautiful counties involved. Visitors are promised an easy and enjoyable exploration through 5,000 fascinating years of history and culture. It is an ideal way to plan your itinerary when visiting the Emerald Isle, as it appeals to history lovers, outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.  While experiencing captivating storytelling about various historical attractions and cultural hidden gems, you also get the opportunity to appreciate the undeniable beauty of Irish landscapes, with stunning views in spectacular settings.

The Three Sections

The Land of 5000 Dawns
Newgrange in County Meath part of Ireland's Ancient East
reland’s Ancient East is split into three separate sections in order to make it easier for visitors to plan their routes. The Land of 5000 Dawns encompasses six counties, which are Cavan, Longford, Louth, Meath, Monaghan and Westmeath. Its main features are that of Neolithic tombs, prehistoric sites and mythical landscapes, with key attractions including Newgrange and Belvedere House.

The Historic Heartlands
Kilkenny Castle, County Kilkenny part of Ireland's Ancient EastThe next section is called The Historic Heartlands and it covers the seven counties of Offaly, Laois, Kildare, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Limerick and Carlow. This part of Ireland’s Ancient East is prided on its medieval castles, distilleries and Mesolithic hunting grounds, with some highlights including the Rock of Cashel, Clonmacnoise and Kilkenny Castle.

Celtic Coast
Glendalough in County Wicklow part of Ireland's Ancient EastThe final section is that of the Celtic Coast, which takes in the counties of Wicklow, Wexford, Waterford and East Cork. It is renowned for its fantastic monasteries, Viking cities and Titanic towns, with attractions such as Glendalough and Hook Head not to be missed.


Overall, Ireland’s Ancient East offers so much to visitors and truly is an unforgettable experience that is perfect for making unique and everlasting memories. While exploring this route, you will be enjoying busy and exciting days, discovering the beauty and stories of the Irish landscapes. It is important to have a good touring base in order to ensure you have comfortable accommodation and friendly surroundings waiting for you after your explorations, Irish farmhouses are ideal for this, with the promise of a cosy bed, delicious breakfasts and welcoming hosts.

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Beef and Guinness Stew

Beef and Guinness Stew

Many thanks to Anne of Elmdale Farmhouse in Ennis, County Clare for this Beef and Guinness Stew Irish Farmhouse B&B recipe. It is so easy to prepare and all the family will love it!  It’s a popular dish in Ireland  and so most Irish pubs have Beef and Guinness Stew on their menu. Try it yourself before your visit to Ireland; you won’t believe how delicious it tastes!


2 lbs of stewing beefIrishBeefGuinnessStew
2 ozs oil
4 ozs chopped bacon
1 oz flour
½ pint of Guinness
3 tablespoons brown vinegar
½ pint water
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
3-4 carrots – sliced
2 onions – sliced
4 oz mushrooms
2 cloves garlic – crushed


Brown the beef and bacon in the oil
Transfer to a casserole dish, adding the vegetables, herbs, Guinness and vinegar
Make a paste with the flour and cold water, to use as a thickening agent, and add it to the oil in the pan
Add this sauce to the casserole and cook in the oven for 1 hour 50 minutes at 180c – 200 c

Tip: Serve with creamed mashed potatoes.
Day two – the stew tastes even better!

Causeway Coastal Route

Causeway Coastal Route

The Causeway Coastal Route is 193 km of outstanding natural beauty, spanning from Belfast to Derry-Londonderry. It has been dubbed one of the world’s great road journeys and provides visitors with the opportunity to make unforgettable memories whilst exploring all that Northern Ireland’s coastline has to offer. It is the perfect mix of stunning scenery, historical sites, famous landmarks and outdoor amenities, with something for all the family to enjoy.

Natural Beauty

Natural Scenic Beauty of the Causeway Coastal RouteThe list of stunning sights to be seen along this coastal route is endless, with its amazing cliff-top walks, golden beaches and picturesque seaside towns to be explored.  The route takes in such a diverse range of impressive landscapes, from woodlands and forests, to mountainous and bogland. It provides the ideal opportunity to fully appreciate Northern
Ireland’s natural beauty.

Famous Landmarks

Giant's Causeway along the Causeway Coastal RouteRemarkable famous landmarks are aplenty along the Causeway Coast. The most notable is that of the Giant’s Causeway in Co Antrim, with its breathtaking 40,000 polygonal columns of layered basalt. There is nowhere else like it, and it is Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other must-visit landmarks include that of Carrick-a-Rede Rope-Bridge, and the Game of Thrones’ filming sites of Cushendun Caves and the Dark Hedges.

Historical Sites

Derry-Londonderry City Walls Northern IrelandHistory lovers are spoilt for choice along the Causeway Coastal Route as there are so many top attractions of historical and cultural significance. One such attraction is Dunluce Castle, a 16th Century medieval castle in Co. Antrim. Other fascinating sites include Mountsandel Fort, which is the oldest known human settlement, or Derry-Londonderry’s city walls.

Outdoor Adventures

Adventure walks along the Causeway Coastal RouteWith its varied landscapes and dramatic coastline, the Causeway Coastal Route is ideal for outdoor activity breaks. Wherever your interests lie, there will be fantastic amenities to cater for your hobby, from excellent walking and cycling trails, to world-class golf courses and surf schools. In addition to this, its numerous lakes and rivers                                                               make the route an angler’s paradise.

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Come visit Ireland in the Spring

Come visit Ireland in the Spring

Living in Ireland, I genuinely think that Spring is my favourite time of year. I love to see the landscapes in their forty shades of green splendour, daffodils blooming at every turn and the fresh crisp mornings offering the promise of sunshine.  I would encourage everyone to visit Ireland this Spring and take advantage of the natural beauty and amenities that Ireland has to offer!

Ticks all the holiday boxes!

Come visit Ireland in the SpringIreland in Spring ticks all the holiday boxes no matter where your interests lie. Outdoor enthusiasts will be amazed at the amount of activities that can be enjoyed. There are hiking and cycling trails, such as the Great Western Greenway, which stretches 42km and is Ireland’s longest off-road, traffic free, walking and cycling trail. There’s the Wild Atlantic Way driving route, on the West Coast of Ireland, which is the most captivating road trip you will ever encounter, with blue flag beaches, harbours and beautiful towns and villages dotted along its route. It’s the ideal destination for water-sport fans. Ireland’s Ancient East is a sign-posted pathway leading you to a wealth of Ireland’s heritage and cultural trails that includes castles, abbeys, prehistoric attractions, lighthouses, a famine ship and even a jail!

St Patrick’s Day

Come Visit Ireland in the Spring and watch a St Patrick's Day ParadeSt Patrick’s Day occurs on March 17th and celebrations take place throughout Ireland. Wherever you choose to stay in Ireland, there will be a parade, entertainment and a carnival atmosphere that is family-friendly and lots of fun. From Donegal to Waterford, Galway to Dublin, the craic will be mighty and create holiday memories that will stay with you forever.

Farmstay Bed and Breakfasts

Come visit Ireland in the SpringFarmstay holidays are really special in Springtime. It’s the season for new life and there’s lots of activity with lambs, calves, mares and kids making an appearance. You get to stay with an Irish family and experience the day to day activities that occur on a working farm in a fast and monitored environment. You can take a tour of the farm, help feed the animals, watch the milking process, or if you prefer, just sit back and re-charge your batteries and enjoy home-cooked food in relaxed and comfortable surroundings.

Come visit Ireland in the Spring – you won’t regret it!

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Everyone will love a Farmstay B&B holiday!

Everyone will love a farmstay B&B holiday!

A farmstay B&B holiday is the perfect holiday for everyone, whether you are a couple, a group of friends or a family who wants to experience the great Irish outdoors and all it has to offer.

Get back to nature!

Feed the hens on an Irish Farmhouse holidayAn Irish farmhouse holiday is the perfect way to get up close and personal with nature itself. Farmstay bed and breakfasts are situated on working farms where you can get involved with the day to day workings, under the supervision of the farming host. You can watch the milking process, feed the hens, collect the eggs or see for yourself how the farmer’s sheepdog does a marvellous job of rounding up the sheep from the various fields that surrounds the farm. There’s a petting area where you can meet and pet the farm animals and depending on the time of year, be there to welcome a new arrival.

Lots to learn

Farmhouse hosts are excellent cooks and bakersAs well as being a fun holiday with lots to see and do, it can also be educational for children. They can learn where the food that they eat comes from and the process that’s involved in getting the produce grown, sold and into the shops. Farmstay hosts are also fantastic cooks and like to use the produce that they grow as much as possible in their cooking and baking. You can enjoy a cooking demonstration, if requested, and see how your host prepares the bread and home-baked treats for the day ahead. Depending on the time of year, you may be able to see the jam making process.

Scenic countryside locations

Scenic View Killaloe in County ClareAn important part of the farmstay holiday experience is the beautiful countryside and scenic locations that the farmhouses are located in. Take a guided tour of the farm and its land and enjoy the many leisurely walking trails close to your B&B. Your bed and breakfast will offer a home from home experience with comfortable bedrooms, an inviting sitting-room and of course, delicious home-cooking. If you are looking for a relaxing holiday and to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, then you will love a farmstay B&B holiday!

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Perfect Pancake Recipe -Pancake image from Applecroft B&B

Perfect Pancake Recipe

It goes with out saying that Irish Farmhouse B&Bs in Ireland are renowned for their tasty Traditional Irish breakfasts. But B&B hosts like to offer their guests a varied breakfast menu, so usually pancakes will be on the menu selection as well. Here is an easy, but delicious recipe for pancakes that you can try out for yourself at home.


Perfect Pancake Recipe - Pancake image - Applecroft B&B100g plain flour
Pinch of salt
1 egg
300 ml milk
1 tablspoon of melted butter or sunflower oil


1.  Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and make a hole in the centre.
2.  Break the egg into the hole and add the melted butter or oil and half the        milk.
3.  Gradually mix the flour into the liquid by stirring all the time with a                  wooden spoon until all the flour has been incorporated. Then beat well        to make a smooth batter.
4.  Stir in the remaining milk or instead you can beat all the ingredients              together for 1 minute in a blender or food processor.
5.  Leave to stand for about 30 minutes, stir again before using.
6.  To make the pancakes, heat your frying pan until it’s very hot and then        turn the heat down to medium.
7.  Lightly grease with oil and then ladle in enough batter to coat the base of      the pan thinly (about 2 tablepoons), tilting the pan so the mixture                  spreads evenly.
8.  Cook over a moderate heat for 1-2 minutes or until the batter looks dry          on the top and begins to brown at the edges.
9.  Flip the pancake over and cook the second side.

Serve with some butter, caster or icing sugar, lemon juice and/or fresh fruit. Quick, easy and so delicious!

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Pancake image: Applecroft B&B

Wild Atlantic Way in County Mayo

Ireland’s Natural Beauty

Ireland’s Natural Beauty

The first thing that you will notice when you arrive in Ireland is its stunning natural beauty. The Irish countryside really does offer forty shades of green and an abundance of exceptional landscapes. Having recently returned from a trip abroad, the first thing that hit me was the beautiful lush green fields that surrounded me as I travelled down the road and I realised how much I had missed Ireland’s natural beauty.

Beautiful Places

Ireland's Natural Beauty includes the Sliabh Liag Cliffs in Co DonegalThe one thing that we take for granted living in Ireland is its jaw-dropping beauty. It is home to natural phenomenon that you just won’t see anywhere else in the world! Locations throughout Ireland such as the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, The Burren in County Clare, Sliabh Liag Cliffs in County Donegal, The Copper Coast in County Waterford, the Wicklow Mountains National Park, and the Beara Peninsula in County Cork will astound you and as far as these magnificent places go, the list is endless. The Wild Atlantic Way on the West Coast of Ireland is the longest defined driving route in the world.  It spans nine counties and is truly breath-taking with so much to see and do.

The Great Outdoors!

Macgillycuddy Reeks, Ring of Kerry in County MayoIn Ireland, you are spoilt for choice, from beautiful landscapes that are perfect for outdoor adventures such as walking, cycling, golf and horse-riding, to a coastline made for surfing, sailing, fishing and more. There are mountains to climb and parklands and woodlands to explore, all offering something that little bit special. Ireland has no less than six National Parks including, Killarney National Park known as the “Jewel in Kerry’s Crown”. This park alone is famed for its beauty and is home to Macgillycuddy Reeks (Ireland’s highest mountain range), Ross Castle, Muckross Waterfall and the Lakes of Killarney.


Farmhouse bed and breakfasts are located across Ireland and offer modern and comfortable accommodation, yet retain the old traditions that make them so unique. You have the option of taking part in farming activities or to just sit back and enjoy the tranquillity and peace of your beautiful surroundings.  They are the perfect base for exploring Ireland’s undeniable natural beauty.

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