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Image / Living / Travel

Dog-friendly holidays in Ireland: from Bangor to Wicklow


by Marlene Wessels
04th Jun 2021

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Bring the pooch with you on your vacay with one of these gorgeous dog-friendly holidays in Ireland, including hotels, rentals and campsites.

So many of us have added a four-legged friend to the family over the last year. As we’ve worked and lived from home it’s been so nice to have a cheerful little face sticking their head on your lap while you’re on that fifth Zoom call of the morning, or wistfully watching you eat lunch.

There’s also been a lot around separation anxiety for dogs as our lives return to normal. They don’t understand why we’re suddenly popping out to the office or even out of the county for a day or two. And to be honest, we’re not that keen on leaving them either.

So, here are some of our favourite places to stay around the country for a dog-friendly getaway.

 

Gregans Castle Hotel, Clare

Gregans Castle Hotel has earned its reputation as the perfect hideaway. Situated in the rugged and unspoilt beauty of the Burren, the cosy and unassuming hotel is the perfect retreat for foodies, nature lovers and dog owners – just peace and quiet, understated interiors and incredible food in the most magical setting imaginable. Your pooch will be happy in one of the ground floor rooms with direct garden access and special dog biscuits.

Salty Dog Hotel, Bangor

The Salty Dog Hotel welcomes dogs across the property. Dogs can stay in bedrooms for no extra charge and are welcome in the bistro, which has welcome mats and water bowls. Dogs need to kept under control and on a short lead in the bistro. It’s a popular spot with local dog owners with an enclosed garden area and great coastal walks nearby.

Schoolhouse, Sligo

The Schoolhouse is a beautiful Irish Landmark Trust property with walks and the dog-friendly Shells Café in Strandhill is close by.

Ashford Castle, Galway

For the dog that has been everywhere, you’ll just have to head west to the five-star Ashford Castle. Both the castle and The Lodge at Ashford Castle allow dogs and all are treated as VIPs (Very Important Pets). The castle requires a mouth-watering €1,000 damage deposit but this is refunded after check-out and can you really put a price tag on getting a selfie with your pooch and the two resident Irish wolfhounds – Cronan and Garvan?!

Lough Eske Castle, Donegal

Another five-star castle is Lough Eske Castle in Donegal where dogs are welcome in the Courtyard Guestrooms and Garden Suites, which have direct access to the garden area. Pets are allowed anywhere on the grounds – plenty of walks and runs here – but are not allowed in the main building.

The Artist’s Cottage & Studio, Cork

The restored traditional artist’s cottage and studio in West Cork are surrounded by some of the most stunning unspoilt landscape on the Irish coastline. You can tire your dog out with a hike along The Sheep’s Head Way, a  55-mile trail, starting at the end of the cottage lane-way. After your hike in the balmy breezes from the Gulf Stream, you can cool down with a dip in the pool.

Morriscastle Holiday Park, Wexford

Morriscastle Holiday Park is perfect for happy campervans and their dogs, who like to fall asleep with the sound of breaking waves. The friendly, family run holiday park and campsite are happily sheltered by sand dunes (that double as an excellent place for hide-and-seek with the kids), next to a stunning beach that seems to stretch forever. Morriscastle Holiday Park

Mustard Seed, Limerick

Known for its food, the Mustard Seed at Echo Lodge welcomes dogs at no extra charge. Two bedrooms in the country house are allocated to guests bringing pets and are kitted out with dog beds and dishes. Each has direct access to outdoor decking leading to the garden. Public areas – the diningroom and reception rooms – are reserved for humans.  The dog-friendly Mews Apartments start from €85 per person sharing.

Mount Falcon Estate, Mayo

What dog would say no to a four-star break? Mount Falcon Estate is a dog-friendly hotel, with designated lodges for families and pets. Located on the River Moy, it is perfect for exploring The Wild Atlantic Way. Your hound are free to explore the woodlands or can be taken for a walk around the grounds.

Brooklodge, Wicklow

Brooklodge welcomes many canine guests. In fact, it’s usually the two resident golden retrievers – Oscar and George – who do the welcoming, rising from the fire to sniff at new arrivals. Pet-friendly rooms are located on the ground floor and usually reserved for dogs smaller in size. There are also kennels available in the stable area for larger hounds. All dogs must be “mature, well-behaved and kept on a lead”. There are walking maps available at reception and plenty of routes to explore.