Planning a ROADTRIP IN IRELAND this summer? Explore the WILD ATLANTIC WAY and don’t miss these must-visit stops …
STAY … For surfers, walkers, swimmers, golfers … perched on the edge of the Atlantic, on a stretch of secluded sandy beach in Donegal Bay, is the Sandhouse Hotel, a former fishing lodge, restored and expanded, with a divine Marine Spa. One of the new Original Irish Hotels collection; rooms start at €90pps. www.originalirishhotels.com. SHOP … In Donegal town at the flagship store of Magee 1866. In addition to their renowned tweeds with a twist, check out their homeware edit. ORDER … one of local designer Bronagh Holmes’ bespoke leather bags, www.bronaghholmes.com. SAMPLE … Atlantic Treasures maple-smoked mackerel and other seafood from Island Sea Foods, based in Killybegs.
STAY … With 30 heritage properties available as holiday rentals including lighthouses and gate lodges, The Irish Landmark Trust offers a chance to experience historic, remote locations. www.irishlandmark.com. SPA … At The Ice House, Ballina which has a “thermal garden” with outdoor hot tubs perched on the River Moy. Quirky details, original artwork, an elegant Pier restaurant and its Chill Spa ticks all the boxes. Try a Voya seaweed or peat bath (from €35) to improve circulation or the Aroma Bath Salts Therapy, inspired and sourced from the Atlantic coast. READ … Noëlle Harrison’s The Gravity of Love which is set in Arizona and the coastline of Ballycastle.
STAY … At Blackrock House, a boutique B&B run by the hospitable Nicola Neill. The Edwardian house has stunning views over the west bay, while the décor is contemporary and coastal. A well-stocked honesty bar, luxury toiletries, a thoughtful selection of reading material and an amazing breakfast are all included. www.blackrockbandbportrush.com. EAT … For great coffee and lunches with local produce, Babushka in Portrush and Paper Fig in Portstewart are both on the edge of the sea. Roark’s Kitchen in Ballintoy Harbour (Game of Thrones territory) is a picturesque old stone cottage turned family-run café with hearty homebaking. For dinner, head to one of the Ramore restaurants; their desserts are Instagram-worthy. SIP … a cocktail at Neptune and Prawn. Harry’s Shack is a must-visit for foodies, with a menu which varies daily depending on what the fishing boats bring in. SHOP … The French Rooms in Bushmills stocks rustic French homeware, and also has a restaurant and a small deli.
USE … BareChic Skin’s Blue Flower Face Serum is a lovely luxe oil made by local beauty entrepreneur Fiona Carr, www.barechicskin.com. READ … Ireland’s Seashore by Lucy Taylor and Emma Nickelson, Collins Press. BOOK … ahead for the Galway International Arts Festival from July 16-29.
STAY … Just opened for the season is The Hazel – a former cowshed, now chic rental in Doolin, Co Clare. Renovated by husband and wife team Lilian and Tom Howard, it sleeps four and offers panoramic views of the Aran Islands and Galway Bay. www.cloghaunluxuryhomes.ie.
VISIT … Maya Binder, the owner of The Little Cheese Shop, Dingle. DINE … at Kate Cooke’s Quinlan & Cooke Townhouse restaurant, Cahersiveen. DON’T LEAVE … without sampling Madame Ananda’s pâtisserie in Le Petit Délice, also in Cahersiveen. SHOP … at Lisbeth Mulcahy’s The Weaver’s Shop in Dingle for scarves or throws and her husband Louis Mulcahy’s pottery.
CORKETTES … Glebe Gardens in Skibbereen has just opened and is run by the fab four Perry sisters. Clovisse Ferguson is co-founder of MuTonics with Ruth Calder-Potts; they make Indonesian-inspired Jamu health tonics. Wear Joan Woods’ Waters & Wild organic perfume.
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