20 of the perfect pubs in Eire: readers’ ideas

Successful tip: Tin Pub, Ahakista, Co Cork

On a very good night time, the Tin Pub on the Sheep’s Head peninsula is a harmful place. The title comes from the sheets of corrugated iron holding it collectively round a concrete ground and a small picket bar that serves Murphy’s and a cocktail known as Cormac on the Seashore, named after the red-headed barman. The backyard runs all the way down to the ocean and a view to the hills of the Mizen. That good night time generally is a few males enjoying guitars after which some singing begins, and instantly it’s an early morning stroll house.
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Seashore Bar, Aughris, Co Sligo

An image postcard thatched Irish cottage perched on a stunning Atlantic seashore with beautiful views of the distant mountain ranges may sound just like the stuff of fantasy. Nevertheless it exists within the Seashore Bar. Inside the unique cottage, eccentric trinkets line the partitions, from previous fishing paraphernalia to Irish cottage dioramas. This household that runs the bar and restaurant additionally runs the campsite subsequent door. However the true draw of the Seashore Bar is its location, in west Sligo, an space steeped in historical past, with castles, holy wells and megalithic monument.

Each week we ask our readers for suggestions from their travels. A collection of ideas will likely be featured on-line and should seem in print, and the perfect entry every week (as chosen by Tom Corridor of Lonely Planet) wins a £200 voucher from inns.com. To enter the most recent competitors go to the readers’ ideas homepage

JJ Hough’s Singing Pub, Banagher, Co Offaly

JJ Houghs Singing Pub, Banagher, Ireland.

I took 5 associates on per week’s boat journey on the River Shannon, and this was our most memorable cease. Bushes and vines develop out and in of the home windows. The wall decorations have accrued organically over three generations and vary from marketing campaign posters from the 1970s to objects selling now-defunct beer model Merch. On our first go to I requested the younger lad behind the bar if I might borrow his bodhrán and play with the band. He gladly obliged and performed the spoons whereas pulling pints. His aged aunt was on the piano. I’ve by no means seen a household enterprise fairly prefer it.
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Stephen Herlihy

Bridge St bar, Castlebar, Co Mayo

Bridge St, Castlebar, Ireland

: John Mee

My cousin introduced us straight to her “locals’ native” in Castlebar shortly after we flew into Knock. On a Thursday afternoon, I wasn’t anticipating to discover a pub that might genuinely rival the perfect on this planet, hidden behind an unassuming entrance door – with an acoustic music session in full stream. The decor in Bridge St bar is just fabulous. The eye to element is unbelievable (Castlebar Comedy Membership was upstairs that night time and there was a pint holder on the mic stand!). Castlebar goals to be Eire’s gin capital and Bridge St is likely one of the pubs in town’s gin path – we liked it.

Powers Thatch, Oughterard, Co Galway

Powers Thatch, Bar & Restaurant, Oughterard, Ireland

This can be a fantastic pub in pleasant Oughterard, a city proper on Lough Corrib, the biggest lake within the Republic and never removed from Galway. The meals is actually fabulous with superb do-it-yourself Guinness and honey bread. There’s quirky decor, stay Irish music, however better of all of the friendliest customer support the perfect I’ve had wherever ever. The owner says his workers ought to deal with you as if you happen to have been visiting your grandmother who has cooked you your favorite Sunday lunch and is overjoyed to see you. And that’s the way it was throughout each go to.
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The Quays Bar and Restaurant, Galway

The Quays Bar in Quay Street, Galway

: Alamy

On our biking tour of Eire’s west coast we fetched up within the 400-year-old Quays Bar in Galway’s vibrant Latin Quarter. It’s a hanging place, with stained glass, inlaid wooden, Gothic arches and church pews. Throughout the summer time there’s stay music seven nights per week. We caught wonderful native folks band Caltra. The Quays additionally hosts the filming of Glór Tíre (a highly regarded TV nation and western expertise competitors). Pleasant, with an actual buzz and a high notch à la carte menu, it was simply the raise that two rain-bedraggled, saddle-sore guests wanted.

South Pole Inn, Annascaul, Co Kerry

Early 20th Century Antarctic Explorer Tom Crean’s Pub, The South Pole Inn, Anascaul

: George Munday/Alamy

Regardless of having a glacier and a mountain named for him, Tom Crean’s most enduring legacy is unquestionably the South Pole Inn, which he opened within the early 1920s. The blue and orange pub is an ideal pitstop on a visit round Dingle, the within is roofed with maps, images and every kind of polar memorabilia in celebration of the three-time Antarctic explorer (with Scott and Shackleton, with whom he made the astonishing small boat journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia), and former landlord. Drink Expedition Ale Irish Purple, which is made by Tom’s granddaughter Aileen. A life-sized statue of the person himself holding two husky pups stands in a park throughout the street. Although additional afield Shackleton and Scott will at all times be extra well-known, in Annascaul Crean is king.

Murphy’s Bar, Brandon, Co Kerry

Murphy’s Bar Brandon

This conventional family-run pub sits on the finish of Brandon pier, the place the mackerel appear to leap in the direction of fishermen’s hooks. The view of the bay is gorgeous and the skin tables enable guests to absorb the ocean air whereas having fun with a wonderfully poured pint of the black stuff. The meals menu is brief however in content material solely. Attempt the pleasant crab sandwich with a very good previous packet of Taytos. Don’t overlook your swimming wear and revel in a dip within the sea earlier than your drink.
Rita Cunha

Ned Natterjacks, Fort Gregory, Co Kerry

Ned Natterjacks, Ireland

On vacation on the Dingle peninsula we used to go right here for lunch and for evenings out. The pub’s title is taken from the natterjack toads discovered within the space. The inside is stone and beams, and the environment was terrific, with locals and guests mixing. The music and repair have been wonderful. It’s not removed from the coast, with wonderful walks and views of mountains. When the drummer mentioned the band was generally known as the Chippendales as a result of they appeared like furnishings, I knew we have been in the correct place.
nednatterjacks.enterprise.web site

Charlie’s Bar, Cork

Charlie’s Bar, Cork

Reside fiddlers and flute gamers appear to show up out of skinny air at Charlie’s Bar, subsequent to the waterside on Union Quay. Eire’s rogue insurgent spirit is captured in a couple of hours right here, whether or not you’re cranking up the environment with the pleasant locals or having a morning espresso alone with the bar workers. Guinness and native beers stream as soon as the solar units and free folks music, with conventional Irish bands on Sunday evenings, attracts a energetic crowd. The normal coal hearth warms up the environment too – dancing, with linked arms, typically spills out on to the streets in summer time – simply watch out you don’t fall into the water.
Nigel Cox

The Marine Bar, Pulla, Co Waterford

Marine Bar, Pulla, Dungarvan, Ireland

On the fringes of the Ring Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking space), the Marine Bar has been preserving the locals watered for greater than 300 years. These days the pub is understood throughout the sunny south east for its conventional music classes, led by proprietor Christy O’Neill. Hunker down for some ballads (participation welcomed) after a day’s exertion on the wild Copper Coast or biking the superb Waterford Greenway. Friday night time hearth classes are the most well-liked, however there’s music all through the week. The black stuff optionally available, however extremely advisable.
Steve Kirby

The Conferences, Vale of Avoca, Co Wicklow

The Meeting of the Waters in the Vale of Avoca

: Bernard Golden/Alamy

“There may be not on this broad world a valley so candy, because the vale in whose bosom the brilliant waters meet.” The previous folks track precisely describes the wonderful setting of The Conferences pub on the confluence of the burbling Avonmore and Beg rivers. We loved a conventional seisiún with bodhrán, whistle and fiddle, within the firm of pleasant regulars. One, seeing us scrabble our few remaining euros collectively for a bar snack, beckoned us over, opened her capacious purse and doled out ham sandwiches and bananas. “Save your cash for the Guinness,” she mentioned.

The Previous Faculty Home, Swords, County Dublin

The Old School House Pub in Swords, Co. Dublin, Ireland

In case you’re near Dublin airport, try The Previous Faculty Home, 5 minutes away, which has nice meals and common music evenings. The place is common with locals and at all times packed. It’s on a number of ranges and plenty of small alcoves add to the cosy environment. The place is steeped in historical past, with the constructing courting from 1846, immediately throughout from a spherical tower courting from 512AD – all that’s left of an early Christian monastery – and a brief stroll from a Norman fort. A should for folks in search of an genuine expertise.
Chris Wilson

Mulligan’s, Dublin

Mulligan’s Pub interiod

: Alamy

Between Tara Avenue Dart station and the Display screen cinema on Poolbeg Avenue, this boozer is just about unchanged since James Joyce’s time. It’s the place to go to if you wish to see a conventional pub (no jukeboxes, no musak, no pool tables) that sells what might be the perfect Guinness in Dublin (and subsequently the world), the place the pints are stored on trays whereas going by the varied phases of being pulled.

Blakes of the Hole, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh

The interior of Blakes Of The Hollow, Enniskillen

Earlier than I used to be sufficiently old to drink I used to be conscious that Blakes of the Hole in Enniskillen was a particular place – the pink and black-painted entrance, gaslights dim within the excessive steamed-up home windows, chatter and laughing and the beautiful odor I knew from my father’s beer at house wafting from the door. I’m gone from Enniskillen now however going again brings a go to to that slim entrance bar, the marble high, the previous barrels behind the bar, hearth, images and, after all, one of many most interesting pints of Guinness in Eire. The little Victorian bar stays in a constructing now internet hosting a number of bars and restaurant and but retains its character – it’s the place for a drink for any customer to Fermanagh.

The Belfast Empire, Belfast

The Belfast Empire Music Hall exterior

: J Orr/Alamy

On Botanic Avenue within the college quarter, this historic bar and music corridor is on one of many fundamental thoroughfares of Belfast nightlife. Its attraction lies in its authenticity, the sense of historical past and the soul of a long-loved bar that was adorned lengthy earlier than Instagram got here round. Weekly blues bands, comedy nights and sport on the large display. Native crowd and college students. No fuss, no must shout over acoustic covers of pop songs (the plague of many Belfast bars). Pours a very good Guinness. The beneath-street-level out of doors space is a should in the summertime.

The Spirit Retailer, Dundalk, Co Louth

Folk band Villagers on stage at the Spirit Store

People band Villagers on stage on the Spirit Retailer

The Spirit Retailer at George’s Quay in Dundalk bay overlooks the mythology-steeped Cooley mountains. A 19th-century port service provider’s home lovingly restored and reopened 20 years in the past, it’s a place for dialog, characters, chess, native beers and whiskey, roaring fires, and imbibing by the harbour’s edge when the solar finally peeps by. To high it off, upstairs is considered one of Eire’s main stay music venues, liked by musicians and comedians alike for the sound system and the heat of the gang. Sunday afternoon trad classes are legendary, as have been the late night time lock-ins with Glen Hansard of The Frames.

Packies Bar, close to Lettermacaward, Co Donegal

On a leisurely amble towards Corr Level, we came upon an incongruous-looking place known as Packies Bar, resembling extra somebody’s house than a pub. There have been no indicators outdoors to recommend whether or not it was open, solely the solitary previous bartender’s matter of truth assertion: “Is the door open? Then I’m open.” We have been despatched to take a seat down whereas, with meticulous precision, he poured us the creamiest Guinness we’ve ever had. Merely scrumptious. We drank black nectar in his “lounge” overlooking breathtaking Gweebarra Bay. What a discover!

The Seaview Tavern, Malin Head, Co Donegal

Seaview Tavern, Malin Head, Ireland

This pub is passionately run by the Doherty household and frequented by a loyal clientele for over 30 years. A picturesque setting out and in: conventional Irish décor – now dotted with Star Wars paraphernalia after its capturing close by – and a shocking view over the Atlantic. It serves as a eating pub and three-star lodge with affordable costs. The northernmost level in Eire is understood for drinks being so low cost that folks depart them behind untouched; the £15 fundamental programs could appear expensive, however include a stuffing vary of sides. Both for a full meal, a drink within the salon or a decadent pint in “the wee bar”, it’s actually top-of-the-line spots within the nation.

Dawros Bay Home, Rosbeg, Co Donegal

Dawros Bay House & Joe’s Seafood Bar, Ireland

This have to be the pub with the perfect view in Eire. It’s bought a spectacular location searching over Loughros Beg Bay to the hanging Tor Mor rock. The pub’s scrumptious fare attracts on the perfect of the (very) native seafood – these crab claws in your plate have been in all probability within the bay that morning. In excessive summer time there’s a well-liked pub quiz each Thursday night time, the place some groups have a 20-year-long rivalry. It’s a hidden gem on Eire’s Wild Atlantic Approach.
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