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Cottage holidays in the Republic of Ireland

map for irish cottages to rentIrish cottages are really are the best base from which to appreciate the appeal of this very distinctive country and wherever you go in rural Ireland, you will find plenty of choice in holiday cottages. Ask people why they choose Ireland for a holiday and the answers are likely to contain some combination of the scenery, the Irish people, the laid-back lifestyle, traditional Irish music, pubs, food, Guinness, fishing, history and folklore.

But there are new elements too: the Republic of Ireland is deservedly a fashionable destination, with a huge growth in fine restaurants, fashionable shops and cutting-edge cultural events. Find out more about Irish cottages below and search for holiday cottages right across the Republic of Ireland from Kerry in its south west corner right up to Donegal in the north.

irish folk musicIrish cottages in abundance

Cottage holidays have long been a mainstay of tourism in Ireland, not least because so many people in the 19th and 20th centuries had to abandon their cottages and emigrate to America or England to survive. That left more houses than families in country areas, so it was natural to turn them into holiday cottages to earn a little for farmers whose other crops brought mostly meagre returns.

Those hard times are thankfully becoming a distant memory, because Ireland and its people have prospered mightily since joining the EU. Many Irish people have been only too glad to swap their traditional homes for the space and convenience of a new bungalow and this has left still more cottages for the holiday trade, many newly converted to a very high standard.

The south west corner of Ireland

So where should you go? Many people will think first of the south-western corner of Ireland, where the great bays and peninsulas of Bantry, Kenmare and Dingle are home to a delightful collection of towns and villages where the pubs are friendly and the seafood sublime. If you're lucky with the weather the scenery is superb – a drive around the Ring of Kerry will show you the best.

The west and north of the Irish Republic

Further up the west coast of Ireland, the beautiful estuary of the Shannon stretches inland as far as Limerick. Between the Shannon and Galway Bay lies Co Clare, home to the Burren, a strange limestone plateau, and the towering Cliffs of Moher. Galway and Sligo are two more beautiful western areas, and finally there is Donegal, tucked up to the west of Ulster. Perhaps because of its out-of-the-way location it is less visited than other coastal areas, but has some of the finest beaches in the country.

The south and east coasts

While the Irish west coast has the best scenery, the south and east coasts have more sunshine and their fair share of delightful cottage holiday destinations. Along the whole south coast, from Mizen Head (the western one, not the other near Wicklow!) via Cork and Waterford to Rosslare (where the ferries arrive from Wales), is a string of pretty Irish towns, harbours and inlets, some decidedly trendy with prices to match.

Turning the corner northwards, the coast from Wexford to Wicklow also offers charming towns, beaches and resorts, many of them growing fast as weekend havens for Dubliners – Courtown is a typically pleasant example.

The interior of Ireland

The interior of Ireland offers a wonderful patchwork of mountains, lakes, rivers and farmland, with usually a ruined castle, crumbling mansion or abandoned church somewhere in sight. Holiday cottages taken here offer peace, tranquillity, the chance to fish and walk, drink Guinness and reflect on the lunatic pace of life back home.

Search for holiday cottages in the Irish Republic:
or visit our Republic of Ireland cottage holiday planning guide:

     

More Republic of Ireland ->

Property image: Pier Cottage, Castlecove

Pier Cottage, Castlecove , Ring of Kerry in S W Ireland
EAST END SLEEPING 2 TO 4 & WEST END SLEEPING UP TO 7

Pier Cottage, overlooking the ...

Prices
from €360
Sleeps 11

Property image: Ballyvaughan Village & Country Holiday Homes

Ballyvaughan Village & Country Holiday Homes, Ballyvaughan, Burren District
**From €295 - €799 per week**

Village and Country Holiday homes offer a selection of ...

Prices
from €295
Sleeps 6

Property image: Donegal Cottage Holidays

Donegal Cottage Holidays,

**A wide and varied selection of individually owned cottages, apartments and holiday homes ...

Prices
apply for price
Sleeps No info

Property image: Imagine Ireland - 1500+ Coastal Holiday Cottages

Imagine Ireland - 1500+ Coastal Holiday Cottages,
On the beach, in pretty villages

NEW!

Excellent locations throughout Ireland. ...

Prices
apply for price
Sleeps No info

Property image: Coach House Cottages

Coach House Cottages, Lorrha
Once a coach house and stables for the rectory next door, these have now been converted into 5 ...

Prices
from €220
Sleeps 6

Property image: Two traditional cottages

Two traditional cottages, Nr Buncrana
Two traditional cottages, one with three bedrooms, the other with two, in a scenic rural area, 1.5km ...

Prices
apply for price
Sleeps 9

Property image: Sandstone Cottage

Sandstone Cottage, Dingle
Newly built in 2005, Sandstone Cottage lies 5km west of Dingle town in the heart of rolling ...

Prices
apply for price
Sleeps 10

Property image: Ardtarmon Cottages

Ardtarmon Cottages, Ballinfull
Traditional renovated cottages set in mature grounds in quiet rural setting less than 500 yards from ...

Prices
apply for price
Sleeps 6

More Republic of Ireland ->