6 B&Bs that are anything but ordinary

Newforge House, County Armagh

Looking for a luxurious city centre stay or a cosy cottage getaway in a rural idyll? Ireland’s B&Bs are the perfect blend of character, charm and that famous Irish welcome

Springview Farmhouse, County Kilkenny

Why we love it: You’re in for a cosy country welcome at Springview Farmhouse, according to B&B Ireland, which recently voted this charming getaway B&B of the Year. And it's all thanks to its friendly hosts, Eileen and Michael Joyce. Deep in the beautiful County Kilkenny countryside, this 18th century house is a working dairy farm. All guests are welcomed with freshly baked scones and cakes, and delicious cooked breakfasts are served each morning. Eileen is known to go above and beyond for her guests, while Michael happily shows visitors around the farm.

I was a solo traveller, but was treated like a king. I was allowed to walk around the farm and the sound of cattle munching grass outside the window was the ideal environment to get away from it all.

David, Trip Advisor

What you can do nearby: The house is situated halfway between Kilkenny city and the mystical Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary. Be sure to also take a trip to the intriguing Dunmore caves!

How to get in touch: To experience that famous Irish hospitality for yourself, check out their website and book yourself in. You’ll thank us later!

Number 31, Dublin city

Why we love it: Number 31 is where Georgian style grandeur meets cool contemporary B&B. Despite its central location, this is an oasis of quiet and tranquillity, with tastefully decorated suites leading to a secret garden. The centrepiece of this beautiful location has to be its famous sunken lounge, where comfy leather couches surround a flickering open fire. Famed for its award winning breakfast, it has been crowned Georgina Campbell’s Guesthouse of the Year.

Skip the better-known boutique hotels and open the gate to Number 31, a modern guesthouse designed by Sam Stephenson, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright.

New York Magazine

What you can do nearby: Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover or a shopaholic, you're in the ideal spot here. Dublin's Grafton Street, lots of restaurants, Trinity College – home to the Book of Kells – and the National Gallery of Ireland are just some of the attractions to explore.

How to get in touch: Suddenly feeling like a weekend break? Number 31 to the rescue!

Newforge House, County Armagh

Why we love it: On the outskirts of Magheralin village in County Armagh lies the ivy-clad beauty of Newforge House. This historic Georgian home has been in the Mathers’ family for six generations, and this charming guesthouse has forged a path as one of the premium 5 star guesthouses in Northern Ireland. Why? It could be the freshly-laid eggs in your Ulster fry, collected each morning from their own hens. It might be the homegrown fruit and vegetables, orchard apples and local produce, lovingly prepared by John Mathers who strives for seasonal symphonies for your palate.  Or it could be the bedrooms – six sumptuous rooms featuring open fireplaces, beautiful ensuites and cosy beds. You choose...

You will feel right at home at this oasis of calm, waking up to their legendary Ulster fry, which was recently awarded the ‘Best Breakfast in Ireland’ by Irish Breakfast Awards.

Belfast Telegraph

What you can do nearby: Enjoy the gorgeous Rowallane Gardens, Lough Neagh and Oxford Island Discovery Centre. Explore the stunning cathedrals dedicated to St Patrick in Armagh city, and discover bustling Belfast city, which is just a half hour away!

How to get in touch: We reckon Newforge House is the perfect place for a romantic getaway.

Burren Glamping, County Clare

Why we love it: This is quirky accommodation at its finest. Found on a working farm in County Clare, Burren Glamping offers the perfect blend of rustic design and home comforts. Guests stay in a converted vintage horse truck, complete with bathroom, cosy stove and a compact kitchenette – all within the snug surroundings of varnished natural wood. And did we mention the catered meals from owners, Eva and Stephen Hergarty, whose award-winning Burren Free Range Pork is sure to be on the menu. After all, the Hegartys are members of the Burren Food Trail – so you know their food is top-notch!

Burren Glamping is a total one-off and simply has to be seen to be believed.

Georgina Campbell Guides

What you can do nearby: Stephen happens to be an experienced Burren Guide, so be sure to opt for a guided tour of this wonderful limestone landscape as well as a trip to County Clare's majestic Cliffs of Moher. Stop by The Burren Perfumery, too, for some gifts to bring home.

How to get in touch: Burren Glamping is open all year and we’re told it’s just as toasty in the winter months as it is during the summer! 

Maryville House, Belfast

Why we love it: With its Victorian origins, Maryville House in Belfast, County Antrim, is luxury through and through. These boutique bedrooms have beautiful four poster beds, comfy lounge chairs and stunning ensuites. When it comes to food, guests can indulge in a cooked breakfast, freshly baked goodies from their inhouse bakery and indulgent afternoon tea, if you feel like spoiling yourself! Combine all that with friendly staff who go that extra mile to make you feel at home and we think you’re onto a winner.

From the warm welcome on arrival until our departure the next day, everything and everyone was just lovely.

Sharon, TripAdvisor

What you can do nearby: Definitely explore Belfast. Just a ten minute walk away, you’ll find Lisburn Road, where you can shop till you drop! Titanic Belfast is a must-visit attraction where the tragic legacy of the Ship of Dreams is brought to life. And foodies will love St George’s Market, which opens its doors on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

How to get in touch: Awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, Maryville House is a super venue for a city break to Belfast.   

Cloch na Scíth Thatched Cottage, County Galway

Why we love it: It doesn’t get more idyllic than a traditional thatched cottage on the edge of Galway Bay. At Cloch na Scíth, Nancy and Tomás greet guests on arrival with freshly baked scones and tea served in the sitting room, where an open peat fire burns in the hearth. Each day, Nancy bakes homemade soda bread in an iron pot over the open fire, a skill that was passed down from her grandmother and one she happily teaches guests. Breakfast is cooked to order each morning and fresh fruit salad is on offer. And with snug bedrooms, you’ll be well rested for your journey around the Wild Atlantic Way.

We loved this cottage! It was quaint and clean and the whole area was so picturesque. We would definitely recommend Nancy's cottage to anyone visiting the area. You won't be disappointed!

Lori, Airbnb

What you can do nearby: The Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) village of Spiddal is just a short walk away, so maybe pick up a “cúpla focal” (couple of words) while you’re here! Walk the beach, enjoy a trad music session at Tigh Giblin or take a ferry ride to the Aran Islands.

How to get in touch: Cloch na Scíth comes highly recommended by Lonely Planet so make sure to call Nancy and Tomás directly on 00353(91)553364 for your ideal break away.

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