Ireland (or part of it)
A four day tour of Tipperary, Ireland in June, based at a superb
country house B & B makes a perfect early summer break.
spent a few most enjoyable days in County Tipperary in June 2009. Tipperary is
divided into Tipperary North (where the local car registration is TN) and Tipperary
South (where the car registration is TS). It is in the province of Munster and
has good road and rail connections from Dublin. It is approximately under 2 hours
drive from Dublin.
county is in the midlands and bordered by the counties of Waterford in the south,
Kilkenny, Laois and Offaly to the east, Galway to the north and Cork, Limerick
and Clare to the west.
my wife was participating in a four-day course in at the Tipperary Institute in
Thurles in north Tipperary we needed to find accommodation that accepted dogs.
There are several hotels in Ireland that are "pet friendly", but from researching
this on the Internet, the majority appear to be in the west of Ireland. We stayed
at one of these last June at Renvyle in Connemara. In the end I found Ashleypark
House, situated near Nenagh via a website that listed B & B accommodation that
is pet friendly.
they have a very informative web site (www.ashleypark.com)
full of information and great pictures, I used the old fashioned way of contacting
them - telephone to sort out our booking. They have a small flat adjoining the
property and a renovated gardeners cottage that can be rented for self catering
or a mixture of self catering and eating in the main house.
drove from Dublin on a hot sunny Thursday afternoon using the new
toll system on the M50 then via the N4, M4, and M6 and through Tullamore famous
for Irish Whiskey Tullamore Dew. We found the house after asking a couple of locals,
although it was well signposted on the N52 road and the AA route planner directions
House is set in 76 acres of woodland, formal gardens and a lake and with two entrances,
both with gate lodges it has a long drive of approximately 1 km. It is an 18th
century country house that has been restored by its present owners. It is full
of character and apart from providing bed and breakfast accommodation there are
excellent four course dinners with wine.
Left: view from
the bathroom window
first night we were in a back bedroom overlooking a grass covered courtyard that
is home to peacocks and cockerels. As it does not get dark till nearly eleven
at this time of the year and is getting light soon after 3, these birds don't
have much sleep and are calling out from just after 3.30 and they are noisy. Sean
the exceptionally active 80+ resident owner of the house suggested we move to
a room at the front of the house that has superb views over the lake and much
quieter. This was the room that President Mary McAleese stayed in a few years
ago. What an honour for our Irish born dog to sleep in the same room that the
president had slept in!
house was very good value costing around €100 per person a day for bed (with en-suite),
full Irish breakfast, a four-course dinner with coffee or tea and this included
the wine. Prices of wine ranged from €22 to €30 a bottle on average (and we found
a very good red at €25 a bottle).
day I had to take my wife to Thurles (some 40 km + away) and return for a full
Irish breakfast and then take in some touring with my mother in law who had come
with us and Joss the dog. On the first day we decided to explore the local area
- Tipperary Lakeside in Shannon's Lough Derg District. Lough Derg is the largest
lake on the River Shannon.
Although there is not a lakeside ring road, you can drive up to the various villages
situated around it. Taking in a visit to the newly built "Thatched Cottage" pub
in Ballycommon plus a factory shop was a great day. The area was full of recently
built houses, many large properties with electric gates illustrating Ireland's
wealth over the last few years.
the second day we went shopping in Nenagh. Nenagh is a very prosperous looking
Irish midlands town. There only appeared to be one shop that had closed down and
the town has a centre for tracing your ancestry, a cinema, modern out of town
shopping complex plus many traditional shops in the town. There are a couple of
shops that years ago would have been described as "drapers". These establishments
are on 2/3 floors offering ladies and gentleman's clothing, soft furnishing, furniture
One was Gough O'Keefe and Naughton drapery store and each shop was well stocked
the shopping trip we moved onto Limerick, driving into the city from the outskirts
is now similar to any major Irish city where the out of town shopping centres
are full of UK retailers. The city is not large and unfortunately has a reputation
over the last few years for gangland activity. This appears to be family gang
members of one gang attacking members of others. This should not put off visitors
to the city that has many fine streets and great scenery.
crossed over the Shannon again and moved into Co Clare and stopped at Bunratty
Castle. This fine old castle that has a "folk village" adjoining it is well worth
visiting. I had been then some twenty years earlier so on this occasion did not
go around the village. They hold mediaeval banquets in the castle. Bunratty now
has a bypass, but it has been well landscaped and you certainly don't miss the
turning off the main N18. Limerick and Bunratty are just a short distance from
It is a very popular
location for holiday makers with a large development of self catering holiday
homes run by the "Dream Ireland" company who feature many of their properties
on the jmlvillas.com
website. We parked outside Durty Nelly's which is one of Ireland's most famous
coffee in the spacious craft shop complex we moved onto the smaller roads following
signs for sixmilebridge. This is a picturesque little village and has a pub by
a stream that has miniature version of the pub next to it called the "Duck Inn".
Following on from the recent UK Parliament's expenses saga when an MP was claiming
for costs involving his floating duck island house, I could not resist taking
a couple of pictures of this floating "duck pub". (below)
then followed signs to Knappogue Castle. I remember going there one summer when
visiting Ireland with relatives over thirty years ago for a Mediaeval banquet.
The more popular even at Bunratty was booked out so we went to Knappogue, which
is not so much on the tourist route. That Saturday in June it was deserted, the
weather by that time had changed to rain, but the notices said they still hold
these banquets and wedding receptions there.
next objective was drive to Thurles via Limerick and not taking the road to Nenagh
which would be out of the way. You needed a map with the villages you would pass
through as the route was deliberately not signposted to Thurles until you were
some 30km from it. Although it was raining it was a great drive through these
picturesque villages, most of which has a shop, pub and church. Rather like the
day before there has been a lot of new houses built over the last few years and
property, old and new are in very good condition. No doubt the owners would be
working in Limerick.
you went to be it in the remote countryside, a town or city there were hundreds
pictures of candidates for the Irish local elections and the European Parliamentary
elections that was held in Ireland on the Friday. Visiting Ireland again a couple
of weeks after the event, there was something missing with all the bare lampposts
and telegraph poles where these posters had been. It was rather like when the
Christmas decorations have to come down at twelfth night with just the odd poster
slipping through the removal net.
getting to the Tipperary institute we drove around Thurles itself, even though
it was raining you got a very good idea of the town. This town is a very prosperous
looking place full of shops, pubs and restaurants.
was the final touring day and as we were in Tipperary could not miss the opportunity
of visiting Tipperary itself. The day was warm and sunny again turning off the
familiar Nenagh to Thurles route we drove down a very bumpy road that at one stage
turned into a single track road with grass in the centre, rather similar in width
to those country house properties like Ashleypark House. The worrying factor was
that there were not many passing places and fortunately no other traffic was coming
in the opposite direction.
car was very low on petrol and none of the picturesque villages had filling stations.
We arrived on the outskirts of Tipperary without incident and refreshed the car's
was very similar to Thurles, Nenagh and the other local towns. After looking around,
we moved onto Thurles again this time following the route via Cashel which is
One of the most spectacular tourist attractions in Ireland and one of the most
visited. It is home to the iconic Rock of Cashel.(below)
was the day to leave Ashleypark House a place that was so tranquil. There is a
rowing boat available for guests to use on the lake and plenty of walks and the
bonus is that they accept dogs.
are so many people travelling with dogs to Ireland that it seems very strange
that there are not more establishments that are pet friendly. Maybe the economy
has been so good for such a long time that they have had full occupancy without
needing to encourage people with pets. Now that tourist levels are going to be
lower and fewer visitors from Britain because of the high ferry costs on the Irish
Sea routes (unlike going to France) and the weakness of sterling against the euro,
hotels will have to look at their market and restrictions they impose.
House is listed with "The Hidden Ireland" here they 30 similar types of accommodation
in locations around Ireland. Apart from Ashleypark House there was only one other
house advertised that would allow pets and in that case, stating "Kennels and
Stables available". It is a great pity that others are not pet friendly, as we
will be looking for another area to visit next year.
looks like prices in general will have to be reviewed to attract more custom.
I discovered in a hotel in Malahide, near Dublin the other day that a pint of
Kilkenny beer was costing €4.90 and this is higher than the same brand in the
south of France. A pint of real ale back in my local pub in England will set you
back around £3.00 so they do need to look at costs to attract the important tourist
the subject of Dublin, we drove back via Roscrea and the N7 before negotiating
the M50 toll again, paying the fee this time at the local Spar store instead of
visiting Ireland for the past 35 years it was really great to go to Tipperary
for the first time and managed to cover a lot of the county, be it Tipperary North!
It is a very prosperous, place to visit and you get a great welcome and prices
appear to be much, much better value than Dublin.
Suter of jml Property Services - June 2009
photos ©jml Property Services June 2009
you are looking for self catering accommodation in Ireland or want to advertise
your property visit
accelerating cost of taking a car on holiday to Ireland 2011
to Ireland and hiring a car can prove cheaper than taking your own car - March
Car Rental Companies make customers buy their car hire insurance by financial
constraints - Article February 2011
car hire companies are taking visitors for a ride - Article November 2010
Irish car hire companies are not improving Irish Tourism Article - October 2010
and Letting In Ireland
Christmas in Dublin, Ireland
what recession in Dublin Ireland June 09
get caught not paying the toll on the M50 in Ireland - Find out more Here
Tipperary, Ireland or part of it
hire charges could increase in Ireland - June 2009 - More Here
Irish Property Insurance Plus
Irish Property Insurance