As winter draws in and evenings become dark, cold and wet what could be more enjoyable than to curl up in the corner of a cosy Irish pub with a hot whiskey or a pint of the black stuff?
Ireland is renowned for its watering holes with most ranking high on the cosy factor given the climate but which of these hot spots tick all the iceboxes? We take a look at 10 of the best places to warm up during the chilly season.
10. De Barra’s Folk Club, Clonakilty, Cork
Grab your coat! The ultimate venue for a night out of great music, cold pints, yummy food and craic, De Barra’s reputation goes way beyond West Cork. Its quaint seaside setting compliments the world of music beyond the walls of the pub where there is a roaring fire and endless hours of entertainment to greet you. A spot not to be missed by music lovers everywhere!
9. PJ O’Hare’s, Carlingford, Louth
Winner of the Best Gastro Pub in Louth this year PJ O’Hare’s sets the scene for a cosy night out in front of the fire with a plate of delicious grub and a glass of your favourite tipple. Renowned for its great atmosphere and fresh oysters this is the perfect spot to simply recharge the batteries or treat the whole family over Christmas.
8. The Bulman, Kinsale, Cork
This nautical themed pub has all the charm of a cosy Irish pub and has been warming up fishermen and locals since the 1800s. Enjoy the warmth of the open fire and allow your plans for next summer to be inspired by the splendid view across Summercove harbour.
7. Billy Andy’s, Larne, Antrim
Another excellent place to eat, Billy Andy’s offers a tantalizing Christmas menu of homemade dishes. Step back in time and cosy down in the pub ‘snug’ with a chosen few friends and loved ones.The comforting smell of home cooked food and peat fire will make it very difficult to leave.
6. Sean’s Bar, Athlone, Westmeath
One of Lonely Planet’s “5 bars to blow your mind” this cosy bar in the heart of Ireland is not to be missed. Famous for being Ireland’s oldest pub this spot is crammed full of history and offers a great night of live music and craic for all. Sawdust on the floor and an open turf fire only adds to its charm – a must-see spot to warm up at this winter.
5. Foxy John’s, Dingle, Kerry
A hardware store by day and a traditional Irish pub by night Foxy John’s is both convenient and entertaining. With live music, a blazing fireplace and beer on tap this Kerry hotspot welcomes everyone. So if it’s a hammer and a pint you need, Foxy John’s is the place to be!
4. Durty Nellies, Bunratty, Clare
Mesmerizing views of Bunratty Castle, hearthside bar snacks and welcoming staff leaves little wonder Durty Nellies is so popular with tourists from around the globe. With low beams and quirky memorabilia, this traditional Irish pub is the perfect spot to warm up after stepping back in time in the Medieval Folk Village next door. A true experience to remember, this heart-warming spot will stay with you long after you leave.
3. The Bloody Stream, Howth, Dublin
A walk along the pier followed by a pint of Guinness beside a roaring fire while a guy plays the fiddle in the corner sets the scene in this North Dublin pub. Popular with locals and tourists alike, this buzzing pub has lots on offer to pass the winter evenings and as it is located directly under the Dart station there is plenty of time to squeeze in an extra pint (or three) before heading home.
2. The Strand Bar, Strandhill, Sligo
Surf’s up! The Strand Bar is a frequented gem in the heart of this coastal town. Turf fires, cosy snugs and home-cooked food all makes for a popular spot among surfers, families and local friends. The stunning surroundings, sea air and warm welcome make this family-run business an ideal spot for some well deserved R&R.
1. Bonner’s Bar, Kincasslagh, Donegal
A traditional, cosy spot full of welcoming locals, music and endless craic this heart-warming pub in beautiful Donegal gets number one. Quaint décor and creamy pints will make you want to stay late and soak up the atmosphere among new friends. A great place to visit before the year is out!