The Official Irish Times Best Places to Holiday in Ireland Thread


Only days to go. There has been a surge in nominations for County Sligo hotspots and the Yeats County leads the nominations, overturning Kerry's lead.


Just a few days remain for members of the public to nominate towns, villages, cities and regions for The Irish Times Best Place to Holiday in Ireland competition. The accompanying map shows the spread of nominations so far, covering all 32 counties. With 161 nominations, Sligo is the county with most entries so far, followed by counties Kerry and Donegal, both of which also have more than 100. Cities and islands have also been nominated. Northern counties remain under-represented among the nominations so far.
Places nominated by the public will be put before our panel of judges over the coming weeks, to be considered for the final award. There will also be runners-up and smaller prizes. The purpose of the competition is not only to find a winner, but also to highlight lesser-known holiday destinations.
Reader nominations are the starting point of the competition. Only places nominated by readers will be eligible, and the closing date is this Saturday, April 20th.
Nominating requires only a short write-up and answers to some straightforward questions. The method is set out clearly at
Below are some of the recent entries.

When I go to Sligo, Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Kilkenny or other areas of beauty around the country, I feel several things. I feel the fresh air and the wonderful country calm of nature. Then I notice how much petrol I’ve used up to get out to this beach five miles outside the town centre (it’s a bit bad that there is no Dart down here).
Then, I start to feel left out. Everyone else knows the words of the songs in the pub in the hotel. Everyone knows where to go for chips after the nightclub. Everyone has plans for tomorrow to see the match. I’m just here for the weekend.
Lastly, I start wishing I could get a Donnybrook Fair salad for lunch down here, and wondering if McDonald’s is the only place I can get a latte. And, oh no, Ed Sheeran is playing the 02 tonight – I so wanted to see him play live.
The thing is, although not the most attractive county on an average cloudy day, Dublin is the best place to actually spend time and money, and nature takes a back seat. You don’t need empty beaches to focus on your problems; you need entertainment and action to have a good holiday.
Most people who come to Dublin love it so much they stay way past the end of their holiday. What other place in Ireland can say the same?

Co Donegal
I first saw Portnablagh from under the hood of a pram and today my children love it almost as much as I do. Generations of Northerners have fled the 12th each July to find the waters of freedom flowing over the sands of time in this soft, wet cove.


Anyone want to recommend a decent hotel forns few days in May? Needs to be baby friendly, with a pool and preferably in walking distance to a town or village. If the mods feel this would be more appropriate on the Fathers' Issues thread then feel free to move it.


Who wrote that piece Fagan?


What's your budget mate and how far outside the Pale are you willing to venture? The Ardmore Hotel on Taylor's Hill in Galway is pretty family friendly-has a pool and is 15 minute walk from the city or Salthill. A mate went there recently and got a pretty good deal-about €280 for a family room for 2 nights including breakfast both days and 1 evening meal.

Edit the Ardilaun not the Ardmore. Going to the Cliff House in Ardmore in 3 weeks but it's not really a family spot.


A wet blanket probably.


Don't really have a budget in mind because I'm not really sure what hotels cost. But won't be going ultra extravagant or low budget.

Anywhere west or northeast or southeast is in. Basically from Antrim counterclockwise around the coast to Wexford but not necessarily on the coast of those counties. Or to look at it another way... from Wexford clockwise around the coast to Antrim but not necessarily on the coast of those counties.


Athlone is where its at Rocko


You should come to the Mid west. The lakeside Hotel in Killaloe/Ballina would be ideal


Kelly's in Rosslare Strand, pal. cesc4 will back me up here.


Not sure about the ardilaun myself. Stayed there a while ago and it has a decent pool but it's a bit of a stairsy maze. More importantly for your baby life, the stroll isn't as nice as the salthill ones. The salthill hotel and the galwaybay hotel are perfect for the baby life strolling weekends. Galway bay is a nicer hotel with a wonderful balcony and indoor sunroom lobby bit for chilling but salthill hotel has a kickass baby swimming pool. Shallow enough that you won't be worried yourself. If all else fails mrs rock can take the lady in while you chill in the viewing area/keep tabs on tfk. More importantly, you'll be straight out on the prom for family walks/ beach/ coffee shop life. Just shut your eyes and you're living the dream, just like tase.


Yes fair points Juhniallio-however Rocko, being the difficult person he is, now seems reluctant to stay in a coastal hotel so we better go back to the drawing board. Carryharry has proposed the heroin capital of Ireland for a family break so I think we will have to disregard any further advice from him on this particular matter.

I will have to think a little bit more on this one.


Heroin capital me hole, have you ever been to Carrick On Suir?


Was just about to post this. Expensive but worth it. Very child friendly and right on the beach.


Is Ballylynch where you go to buy pot Harry?


Four seasons hotel carlingford. Family friendly. Kids pool. Nice village a few hundred metres away. And all the stag parties you need to remind you of the then and now of your life. Only an hour from dublin.


Agreed- Killaloe if the weather is nice is a fantastic spot


How far are you willing to travel?

Edit. I see there you have limited already


I've got it. The portmarnock hotel ang golf links. Brilliant nama facilities. Right beside the beach. Lovely local village only a 10 mins stroll. Journey time from your current residence would be minimal.


Some great Suggestions here. Kelly's in Rosslare is perfect. Right on the beach. There is a hotel/Restaurant accross the road that do great food called Cedars at decent prices. It's a nice scenic drive from Dublin as well. That would be my first choice if I were in your shoes.

Carlingford is nice as well.

A personal favourite of mine is Doonbeg. We stayed in these old style self catering holiday cottages overlooking the atlantic ocean and it was spectacular.