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Our guide to luxury holidays in Ireland

Welcome to the Emerald Isle, where rugged coastlines, vast and viridescent landscapes, twee towns, and a hearty dose of Irish charm await. Here’s the Unique guide to luxury holidays in Ireland.

From the towering Cliffs of Moher to Kenmare’s fairy trails, the tapestry of Ireland is laced with craic, culture, and Celtic lore. The allure of lucky shamrocks and leprechauns might be what captures us in childhood, but it's Ireland’s thriving cities, storied castles, and wild western coastlines that linger in the grey matter of grown-ups. So, whether you’re seeking the solace and Skelligs of County Kerry or the spirit of Dublin’s bustling streets, where the Temple Bar beckons for a wee dram, you’ll find it all in our guide to luxury holidays in Ireland.

With our help, you’ll have the luck of the Irish on your side. Whether you’re in Eire for a last-minute weekend or a long stay, we’ve covered the sights to see, plus where to eat and what to do – from misty morning hikes up Macgillycuddy's Reek to the best local haunts for Irish dancing. As for where to call home? Expect everything from modernist architectural marvels to remote cabins set under dark skies, and a woodland lake house that was recently crowned ‘Ireland’s Home of The Year’. Céad míle fáilte, a hundred thousand welcomes await.

Locations in Ireland

Take the scenic route to appreciate Ireland at its best; from the craggy mountain ranges of Cork to County Westmeath´s jade green glades and mystical lakes. Here, getting lost has never sounded so appealing.

Collections in Ireland

If you´re looking to down tools and hit the Irish surf, or need a wilderness escape (with high-speed WiFi) to wrap up that first novel, our curated collections add secret gardens and woodfired hot tubs to sweeten the deal.

Things to do in Ireland

Fire up the lungs with a hike along Kerry Way´s formidable mountain peaks, spend afternoons under billowing sails in Schull, or sup local drams to thigh-slapping Irish folk bands before a lively night of craic agus ceol.

Things to see in Ireland

Lay low in loughside forests lined with native bluebells and oxeye daisies, or soar to new heights on Skellig Michael for otherworldly views of the Wild Atlantic Way, where bluenose dolphins pierce through the fray.

Where to eat in Ireland

From waterside spots plucked from Nantucket´s shores to surf cafes serving sourdough pizzas and prawn pil pil at sunset, Ireland is a nation for gourmands (though you´re never far from a perfect pint of velvet). Slainte!

Journals about Ireland

We´ve dropped the pin on Ireland´s best hiking trails, and where to treat weary limbs to cold water therapy. Plus, follow the story of a solo cross-country adventure, stopping at the country´s most coveted cottages along the way.

To the ends of the Earth

To the ends of the Earth

Ah, the ends of the Earth. From Ittoqqortoormiit to Alaska, all explorers have their own idea on the matter. But the notion that an “end” exists reveals a truth so often missed. Call it a reawakening.

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Unique Homestays´ travel trends for 2024

Unique Homestays´ travel trends for 2024

From nostalgic breaks that help connect those with their inner child to far-from-the-city “sleepcations” in Dark Sky areas — here’s what Unique Homestays predicts will be on the rise in the world of UK travel in 2024.

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The Great British Spa-cation

The Great British Spa-cation

Put the wrapping paper down and the feet up. This year, the most sought-after winter stays are all about warm water therapy, palatial living, and never missing out on poolside Champagne.

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The best houses to rent for a New Year’s Eve getaway

The best houses to rent for a New Year’s Eve getaway

From glittering affairs where grandparents waltz under crystal chandeliers to romantic getaways in cottages with hot tubs, New Year’s Eve parties are as unique as the folk who make them.

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Ireland FAQ´s

Looking to map your route to the Emerald Isle? Want to know more about Ireland´s vibrant festival scene? If you have an Ireland-specific query, you might find the answer here. For everything else, visit our general FAQs.

Are there any famous Irish festivals or celebrations?

Ireland is famed for its festivals and celebrations. The most significant being Saint Patrick's Day, a religious and cultural holiday held on 17 March to commemorate the death of Ireland’s foremost patron saint. The streets are awash with green, and this iconic celebration of Irish culture involves parades, traditional dancing, folk music and feasts.

Held over two weeks in July, the Galway International Arts Festival is one of Ireland’s largest arts festivals, with live theatre, music, dance, visual arts, and street spectacles attracting crowds from across the globe.

Every October, the city of Cork plays host to the Cork Jazz Festival. There are over 90 venues – from concert halls to pubs – where visitors can watch traditional jazz, swing, and blues performances.

What is traditional Irish food?

Traditional Irish cuisine includes dishes such as Irish stew, colcannon (mashed potatoes with cabbage or kale), boxty (a potato pancake, typically served with bacon and fried eggs, or sour cream and spring onions) and soda bread (every family cherishes their own time-honoured recipe, but this dense, unleavened bread is always served sliced and spread liberally with Kerrygold).

Surrounded by abundant seas and verdant farmland, Ireland enjoys some of the finest meat, dairy products, and seafood around (including Galway native oysters, Connemara clams, and Dublin Bay prawns), with a current total of 21 Michelin-starred restaurants across the country.

Can I visit filming locations of popular TV shows and movies in Ireland?

Ireland is a popular filming location for many famous TV shows and movies. Cross the border to Northern Ireland to spy scenes from Game of Thrones along the Causeway Coast, or trek the iconic landscapes of Skellig Michael, Malin Head, and Dingle Peninsula, as featured in the Star Wars franchise. The Cliffs of Moher have starred in many movies; most famously, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, while the backdrop to Oscar-nominated The Banshees of Inisherin can be found along the Wild Atlantic Way (with panoramic shots of Inis Mór and Achill Island stealing the spotlight – and film critic’s hearts, too).

How do I get to Ireland from the UK?

There are many ways to get to Ireland from the UK, including:

By air: Ireland has several international airports, with Dublin Airport being the busiest and most well-connected, followed by Shannon and Cork. Aer Lingus, Ryanair, easyJet and British Airways operate direct and regular flights between London and Ireland with a travel time of around an hour.

By sea: There are many popular ferry connections between the UK and Ireland. The most popular routes run from ports in England, Wales, and Scotland – such as Liverpool, Fishguard, Holyhead, and Cairnryan – to ports in Dublin, Belfast, and Rosslare. While flying might be the quicker option, the car ferry is scenic, cost-effective and enables you to bring the whole kit and caboodle (be that surfboards and SUPs or four-legged friends ready for adventure).

Own a property in Ireland?

Are you the keeper of a backcountry cottage? Or the custodian of a Grand Design by the water? From Wicklow to Mayo to Limerick, we´re seeking Ireland´s most unique homes to join our growing portfolio.

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