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My Ireland

Looking for inspiration? Planning a trip? Or just want to scroll yourself happy? We'll show you an Ireland that's tailor-made for you.

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    Best daytime pubs in Ireland

    An afternoon spent in a traditional Irish pub is a great way to meet the locals, score yourself a snug or simply sit back and enjoy a bygone way of life in the cosiest of surroundings. We’ve got six to try…

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    There’s something about a traditional Irish pub during the daytime that just makes sense. Yes, pubs around the island of Ireland are more generally frequented at night, when they become hubs of great traditional music, lively banter and great craic, but during the day they offer a very different experience.

    The low-key chat, the soft light that spills through the windows, the soft wooden tones and the crackle of the fire make the pub during the daytime a thing of real beauty and charm.

    And if it’s too early for a pint or an Irish coffee, don’t worry… Ireland’s pubs aren’t just for drinking, you can get a cup of tea or coffee, as well as lunchtime favourites from ham and cheese toasties to seafood chowder. What are you you waiting for?

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    Sean's Bar, County Westmeath

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    Sean's Bar, County Westmeath

    1. Sean’s Bar, Athlone, County Westmeath

    Nothing in this world is more satisfying than scoring a seat in Sean’s Bar by the fire on a winter’s day. The dusty light straining through the windows, the soft scent of the turf burning, the gentle murmur of locals chatting – it feels like the world is standing still. Dating back to around 900AD, Sean’s is the oldest pub in Ireland, and is going for the title of oldest in Europe, too.

    Sawdust covers the black and white tiled floor, the walls are lined with artefacts and bric-a-brac, and the floor slopes to allow floodwaters from the River Shannon to run right through it. Take your time here, savour it – there’s nowhere else quite like it.

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    Grogan’s Castle Lounge, Dublin city

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    Grogan’s Castle Lounge, Dublin city

    2. Grogan’s Castle Lounge, Dublin city

    With a prime location facing the gracious 18th-century Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, Grogan’s is a go-to spot for the city’s barflies, bards and bohemians. Crowd-wise it’s about as mixed as you’re going to get in a Dublin pub, with artsy eccentrics perched next to glassy-eyed old men. Pull up a stool at the bar and you may just get someone’s life story, whether you want it or not.

    During the day, the pub is pure joy with a relaxed atmosphere, the soft hum of chat and a feel of the 1970s lingering in the air (it was a favourite with the city’s literary types back then). With art lining the walls, excellent no-nonsense toasted sandwiches, and a thoroughly garrulous clientele, this could very well be the best daytime pub ever.

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    Curran’s, County Kerry

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    Curran’s, County Kerry

    3. Curran’s, Dingle, County Kerry

    Dingle is stuffed full of excellent pubs including Foxy John’s, Dick Mack’s and Kennedy’s, but one of the best is Curran’s with its super-friendly bar staff and low-key vibe. The cream-white panelling here is in stark contrast to the darker colours of many of the traditional pubs in town, but that’s what makes it such a great place to visit during the day.

    It’s light, bright (but not TOO bright) and welcoming. Grab a seat at the wooden countertop in the pub, and you can spend hours enjoying the ebb and flow of regulars drifting in and out. Curran’s doesn’t feel like it’s changed much since 1871 – the shelves reflect the pub’s days as a hardware shop, and are crammed with everything from wellies to Guinness memorabilia, so sit back, relax and enjoy the afternoon.

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    Tigh Neachtain, Galway city

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    Tigh Neachtain, Galway city

    4. Tigh Neachtain, Galway city

    Sometimes in Galway, you can find yourself longing for a rainy day. Why? Because it gives you the perfect chance to escape the outdoors and cocoon within the gorgeous wooden surroundings of Tigh Neachtain. Founded in 1894, the pub is famous for its lively night-time traditional music sessions, but during the day, the quiet gives you the perfect chance to appreciate the pub's beautiful old interior while enjoying a lovely seafood lunch (the chowder is particularly good).

    Suitably, for a pub that was once owned by the animal rights activist, Richard Martin, dogs are welcome, so you might have some competition for that place in front of the fire.

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    The Crosskeys Inn, County Antrim

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    The Crosskeys Inn, County Antrim

    5. The Crosskeys Inn, County Antrim

    The Crosskeys Inn is easily one of the most picturesque pubs on the whole of the island. Dating back to the late 17th century, it’s a traditional thatched roof cottage with whitewashed walls and yellow trim and, trust us, and it’s a real beauty. You won’t find much around here – it’s a proper rural spot, but once you step over the threshold of this beautiful little place, you won’t want to leave.

    At night-time, the music sessions draw locals and curious visitors from all around, but the Crosskeys Inn is a place where the atmosphere matters as much as the music. The huge hearth with roaring fire draws people to it, and you’ll feel right at home amongst the old photos and knick-knacks that hang on the walls and from the old wooden beams.

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    The Harbour Bar, County Antrim

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    The Harbour Bar, County Antrim

    6. The Harbour Bar, Portrush, County Antrim

    The gorgeous seaside town of Portrush on Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast is all about the great outdoors. Here you can spend a morning surfing the boisterous waves of the north Atlantic, walking the spectacular ruin of Dunluce Castle or enjoying a round of golf on a championship golf course. But the afternoons? Well, the afternoons are made for the Harbour Bar.

    The “Front Bar” of this cosy pub is one of the oldest on the north Antrim coast and it’s a proper little gem. It’s so small, you’ll probably know everyone in it by the time you leave. Located right on the harbour, it boasts a beautiful old interior with a great selection of gins. The warm fire in the small back room and night-time music sessions are the icing on the cake.