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The Irish Heritage Park in Wexford. Photo courtesy of The Irish Heritage Park.

7 Cool Places to Stay in Ireland in 2023

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Are you going to Ireland this year? Got your airline tickets but don’t know what accommodation to choose? Here are 7 cool places to stay in Ireland in 2023, whether it’s for one, two or more days of your vacation.

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Aside from the many hotels and B&Bs that can be found in Ireland’s cities and countryside, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the number of alternative forms of accommodation available on the Emerald Isle these days.

Some of the properties mentioned below are under the care of the Irish Landmark Trust.

Since 1992, the Trust has been saving some of Ireland’s most iconic buildings and preserving history at the same time.

Its 31 properties include castles and towers, lighthouses, lodges, and mews, as well as cottages and houses, to name a few.

Loop Head Lighthouse cottages are also Irish Landmark Trust properties. Photo: Bob Jones, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Even though rates for the Trust properties that are highlighted in this blog post are accurate at this time, rates for all of its properties will vary depending on the time of year and whether visitors are staying midweek or on weekends.

While there are many cool places to stay on your next visit to Ireland, I’ve chosen 7 that are located in different parts of the country to give you a taste of what’s available.

As in keeping with everything listed here on this website, all of the properties mentioned below are reasonably priced and affordable options for a night or two in accommodation that is just that little bit different from the regular B&B or hotel.

Some are only suitable for couples, while others, like the lighthouse properties near Whitehead in Co. Antrim and the ring fort huts in Co. Wexford, are more suitable for families.

Learn more about the 7 cool places to stay in Ireland this year.

Blackhead Lightkeeper’s House, Whitehead

Have you ever dreamed of sleeping in a lighthouse? For many, lighthouses are fascinating places.

Both engineering marvels and beacons of safety for passing ships, staying in one provides a glimpse into another way of life.

Not to be confused with the Blackhead Lighthouse in Co. Clare, the Blackhead Antrim Lighthouse was built at the turn of the 20th century, making it older than the Clare lighthouse, which was constructed in 1936.

The iconic Antrim lighthouse once guided the ill-fated Titanic on its initial journey out of Belfast Lough and into the Irish Sea before landing in Southampton, England.

While the lighthouse is still actively managed by the Commissioners of Irish Lights, no lightkeeper has lived at the station since 1975.

The Blackhead Lighthouse in Co. Antrim. Photo courtesy of Tourism Northern Ireland.

There are three restored lightkeeper properties for rent, which are all managed by the Trust.

They include the Blackhead Cutter, the Blackhead Lightkeeper’s House 1 and the Blackhead Lightkeeper’s House 2.

The self-catering lighthouse properties are about 20 miles north of Belfast by car and a 40-minute train journey from Belfast’s Lanyon Place Station to the nearby seaside resort of Whitehead.

All of them have oil-fired central heating throughout and contain many of the modern conveniences that you’ll find in other rental properties throughout the island of Ireland.

inside the Blackhead Lightkeeper's House courtesy of Tourism Northern Ireland.

Adding to their charm are the antique furniture and seafaring artifacts you’ll find in each of them.

Wake up to spectacular scenery from any of these properties, plus there’s a delightful coastal walk nearby called the Blackhead Path that shouldn’t be missed.

The 2.4 km (1.5 miles) coastal path is currently being repaired but it should be accessible to walkers by the summer.

The path will take you past sea caves toward the Gobbins Cliff Path, a popular tourist attraction. Go the other way and you’ll reach the lovely Whitehead.

Cost of Accommodation:

The cost to stay at the lighthouse is £372 for two nights.

Given that the lighthouse is close to Belfast, be sure to put this lively city on your list of places to visit in the region.

Shepherds Huts, Blackstairs Eco Trail, Borris

For more cozy accommodation, check out the Shepherds Huts on the Blackstairs Eco Trail in Borris, Co. Carlow.

One of the Shepherds Huts at the Blackstairs Eco Trail in Co. Wexford. Photo courtesy of the Blackstairs Echo Trail.

The huts are owned by Robert and Mary White, who runs a guided wildlife walking company out of their nearby home on the property.

The Shepherds Huts are ideal for couples looking to get away from it all in a serene environment.

Equipped with double beds and central heating, these quirky cribs are just 50 meters (164 feet) away from a restored 19th-century barn that has all the modern-day facilities you might still crave.

The Barn includes a wet room, showers, a modern, well-equipped kitchen, as well as space to relax.

Outside, indulge in the wildflower meadow and rose garden.

If you are interested in taking a nature walk, going on a hike or you’re just curious about the popular outdoor activity known as foraging, you should definitely stick around.

The Whites offer a number of walking tours that focus on the region’s natural beauty, as well as its archaeological sites.

See the video below to get an idea of what’s in store at this magical spot.

Cost of Accommodation:

€75 per night for one hut, which includes an organic continental breakfast of cereal, juice, eggs, tomatoes, and artisan bread.

Anne’s Grove Miniature Castle, Castletownroche

Feel like a royal when you stay in this miniature medieval castle designed in 1853 to impress visitors to its larger nearby property called Annesgrove House and Gardens.

Located in the quiet Co. Cork countryside about 16 km (about 10 miles) outside of Mallow, this renovated house, one of the 7 cool places to stay in Ireland this year, has electric central heating throughout, a wood-burning stove and all of the other modern conveniences you’d expect from a rental property.

Anne's Grove Miniature Castle in Co. Cork. Photo courtesy of the Irish Landmark Trust.

Perhaps the most enticing part of the house is the narrow winding stairway that leads to the bedroom.

While staying at Anne’s Grove Miniature Castle, be sure to check out the estate and gardens nearby.

Other Nearby Attractions in Co. Cork and Surrounding Area:

The estate once belonged to the Grove family.

The walled garden, formerly an orchard, is where you’ll find native and exotic species like Himalayan rhododendrons blended together into the natural landscape.

Cost of Accommodation:

From €350 – 2 nights

Bookings for Anne’s Grove Miniature Castle, which is managed by the Irish Landmark Trust, can be made on the Trust site.

Note that Anne’s Grove Estate and Gardens is open only from March 17 through Sept. 30, Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Admission is €6 for adults; €4 for seniors and students; and for children, €5. Free admission for kids under 5.

Bookeen Hall, Athenry

Fancy staying in a 200-year-old converted Church of Ireland chapel?

Sounds fascinating, doesn’t it?

Well, this place certainly is.

Located about 20 miles from Galway City and within easy reach of the Burren, the Cliffs of Moher, as well as Connemara, Bookeen Hall was constructed in 1820 but deconsecrated in 1920, which is why it can now be used as a family home.

The church was part of the Dunsandle Estate (headed by Lord Dunsandle, who owned large tracts of land throughout Galway) and was used for its Church of Ireland congregation.

an old church 7 cool places to stay in Ireland
Bookeen Hall in Co. Galway. Photo courtesy of Bookeen Hall.

It had been left vacant until it was lovingly restored into a two-bedroom home that also includes an open-plan living/dining room and plenty of architectural evidence from its days as a place of worship.

The guest bedroom (for visitors) has access to its own bell tower/reading room with great views of the surrounding Co. Galway countryside.

A private bathroom includes a claw-foot bathtub.

a bedroom 7 cool places to stay in Ireland
The guest bedroom at Bookeen Hall. Photo courtesy of Bookeen Hall.

Bookeen Hall can accommodate up to 5 with the use of the second bedroom, which includes a king and a single-sized bed.

You’ll be treated to tea/coffee along with a home-baked treat once you arrive, and an additional warm welcome from the owners’ two dogs.

A continental breakfast is served each morning.

Cost of Accommodation:

€140 per night for 2 people; €170 for 3 people in 1 room and €210 for 3 people in 2 rooms; €240 for 4 people in 2 rooms and €250 for 5 people in 2 rooms.

Find Your Rental Car

Yurt Self-Catering Accommodation, Teapot Lane Glamping, Mallanyduff

There’s really something for everyone at Teapot Lane Glamping in Co. Leitrim.

But if you’re looking for something, well, unusual, how about staying in one of the Mongolian yurts on the property?

It’s not an Irish cottage for sure, but you’ll have everything you need in these traditional dwellings that originated in Central Asia and have been used by nomads for centuries.

a yurt 7 cool places to stay in Ireland
A yurt at Teapot Lane Glamping in Co. Leitrim. Photo courtesy of Teapot Lane Glamping.

Don’t expect to lay your head on a sleeping bag, though.

Each yurt is elevated off the ground with solid timber flooring and includes king, single and day beds, as well as additional furniture you’d easily find in any B&B or hotel.

The yurts are made from a wooden frame that is covered with felt or canvas, making them quite warm. In addition, they are heated by electricity.

Each yurt has an outdoor deck where you can kick back and relax.

Shower facilities and a communal cooking area are both nearby.

Cost of Accommodation:

Rates range from €165 per night to €175 per night. Find out more on the booking page.

Cuckoo Wood Hexagon, Westport

Located on a piece of property that is part orchard, part-woodland, this hexagon-shaped wooden hut is another one of the 7 cool places to stay in Ireland this year.

a treehouse 7 cool places to stay in Ireland
The Cuckoo Wood Hexagon Cabin in Co. Mayo.

Located 5 km (3 miles) outside of Westport in Co. Mayo, the hut is ideal for two people.

It includes a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, wood-fired stove, and all the other modern amenities you might expect in a rental.

There’s also a cool deck to relax on during the summer months.

Check Out these Other Attractions in Co. Mayo:

There are plenty of opportunities to hike in the area, including a climb of nearby Croagh Patrick. A nearby river is ideal if you’re up for fishing.

Cost of Accommodation:

The average cost of a stay at the Cuckoo Wood Hexagon is €95 per night.

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Ringfort Stayover, The Irish National Heritage Park

You can’t help but feel like you literally stepped back in time at the Irish National Heritage Park in Wexford. And when I say back in time, I mean, 1,500 years ago!

a room with bear skins and dishes on the table 7 cool places to stay in Ireland
The Ringfort House accommodation at The Irish National Heritage Park, Wexford. Photo: Chris Hill, Tourism Ireland.

You’ll most likely get that feeling as you check in for the night at one of the park’s ringforts, an authentic experience that is intended to give visitors a glimpse into life in Ireland during the Age of the Vikings.

You’ll get to stay in an early medieval ringfort known as the Farmer’s House, complete with stone walls, a thatched roof, and a central hearth.

You can even dress up in an authentic costume if you like and then cook on an open fire. This is an ideal experience for up to 8 people or two families of 4.

The National Heritage Park in Wexford. Photo: Tourism Ireland.

Be sure to check out the remainder of this fun 40-acre park, which includes natural woodland, 16 reconstructed historic sites, and a live archaeological dig where the first Norman castle was said to have been built in Ireland.

There are three themed heritage tours available to visitors.

They include Pre-Historic Ireland, Early Christian Ireland, and the Age of Invasion.

Cost of Accommodation:

The cost to stay overnight in either a ringfort or Viking House is €500 per night.

Contact the park for more information and to make a reservation. If you've come across a cool hotel, Airbnb, or another form of accommodation in Ireland, let me know in the comments section below and I can add it to the 7 cool places to stay in Ireland for 2021.

And as always, don't forget to sign up for my regular e-newsletter, where I dish out all the latest tips on traveling to Ireland on a budget.


Colette is a County Sligo native who created Ireland on a Budget to provide her readers with money-saving tips on how to get to Ireland and then save even more when they're there. She's a professional copywriter who lives in the New York area with her husband and two children.

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