10 Best Farm Stays In Ireland – With Breakfasts, Animal Encounters & Wood Fired Hot Tubs
Over the past 18 months, we’ve all enjoyed the great outdoors a lot more. We also learned the value of local food.
o What might sound healthier (or, whisper it … educational) than a visit to a farm, especially if you have kids who like to meet and learn about animals?
Give a group of kids a few pigs to greet, tractors to spot, and baby lambs to pet, and they’ll be entertained for hours.
If this sounds like your brood, the promise of a vacation on a real farm might be right for you. While Covid has put an end to some of the more interactive farm experiences, there are still plenty of Irish farms where you can spend a few nights in a charming cottage, collect freshly laid eggs for breakfast and wake up to the sound. of a rooster. song.
Here are ten of the best …
Top of the Rock, Co Cork
The cute glamping pods here have long been popular with families, but it’s the Farmhands experience that kids really love. The whole family can get eggs from the henhouse, run with tiny goats, and feed the baby animals. You also get a wagon ride on the trailer and explore the hay bale maze.
The whole gang can dig the potatoes and even try their hand at milking a lamb. David and Elizabeth Ross are extraordinarily passionate about bringing families together and giving kids a real taste of farm life (and getting them off their screens in the process). If there’s one place to get your kids excited about the great outdoors, it’s this Pod Páirc in Drimoleague.
Details: Pods from 65 €, Farmers 5 € for children / adults; topoftherock.fr
2. Rock Farm, County Meath
Hidden by ancient oaks, sycamore and chestnut trees, set in a grove surrounded by the beautiful meadows and verdant fields of the Boyne Valley, you cannot dream of a more scenic setting than Rock Farm. A fully-functioning organic farm on the grounds of the Slane Castle Estate, accommodation includes chic yurts, bell tents, cozy shepherd’s huts and a six-bedroom straw bale eco-lodge.
But the best? Wood-fired hot tubs, where you can sit and soak under the tree branches. You can also go kayaking, and there’s a natural pool with a sloping beach for some wild splashing, if you feel like it. Guided tours of the farm are available on Thursdays, when you can visit rare breed Dexter cows and Tamworth pigs before tasting cheese at the farmers market.
Details: Shepherd’s huts from € 55; visits from € 15; rockfarmslane.fr
3. Trean House, County Donegal
Perched on the Inishowen Peninsula, Trean House is the perfect place to escape the madness of the world. With the rolling fields strewn with sheep, the peaceful little streams and the sea view, there is plenty of room to stroll and clear your head here. You’re free to explore the farm, and Farmer Mervyn will join you, if he’s free, to introduce you to all the animals. Visit in the spring and you might come across some lambs that will need to be bottle fed. In the fall, you can pick apples from the orchard and eat them straight from the tree. In the evening, curl up by the fireplace and dream of the hearty all-Irish that awaits you the next day.
Details: Rooms from € 80; treanhouse.com
4. Hushabye Farm, Co Offaly
Is there anything more joyful than the sight of an alpaca? The answer, of course, is no. So imagine how happy you would feel if you were surrounded by a whole herd. Hushabye Farm is an alpaca stud farm located at the foot of the Slieve Blooms, where you can fully immerse yourself in everything alpaca-related.
You can walk around their enclosures and meet the gang, take them for walks and help with food (all included for residents). Kids love the experience, so expect your wrap to be full within minutes. There are two cabins on site, where alpacas roam right on your doorstep. At night, you even snuggle up under soft and cozy alpaca bedding. The cottages are super cozy thanks to the walls insulated with (you guessed it) alpaca wool. Paradise.
Details: Rooms from € 90, with a minimum stay of two nights; hushabyefarmalpacas.com
5. Kilmore Cottage, County Wexford
There are three modern cabins in Kilmore, with plenty of room for the kids to run wild out front – there’s a football station, outdoor toys, and even a boat on the lawn to play. The chalets are located on the Cousins biological family. farm so you will likely hear cows and donkeys throughout your stay. And you will certainly meet Molly, the friendly farm dog, who loves to welcome the little ones. Unfortunately, farm tours are on a hiatus at the moment, but you will certainly get a taste of farm life when you are there. They have a nifty trick to encourage kids to eat their vegetables to boot – if they do, they can give the peelings to donkeys.
Details: The cottages start from € 295 for three nights; kilmorecottage.com
The animals residing in Ballinwillin are a little more unusual than most. This is the only organic combined game, wild boar and goat farm in Ireland, and accommodation is in a beautiful 18th century country house. You can take a guided tour of the farm, meet the animals, and choose the brain of Patrick Mulcahy, also known as the Mindful Farmer (they also run mindfulness and meditation retreats). It may be more suitable for adults than children – their sister property is a vineyard in Hungary, which means you are going to have a great time when it comes to wine (they have tastings in the cellar). Breakfast is a delight, with wild boar bacon and venison sausages, organic eggs and Ballinwillin cold cuts, if you prefer the continental option.
Details: Rooms from € 100; ballinwillinhouse.com
7. Ireland West Farm Stay, Co Mayo
If you had to close your eyes and imagine a perfect country farm, it would look like this. The renovated stone cottage is beautiful, with original features from the famine era, but don’t worry – there are modern touches like underfloor heating as well.
The cottage is located on a working cattle farm, but Eddie Joe Dooney is passionate about sharing traditional farming methods with guests, showing them how to cut grass with a slane or try their hand at building stone walls dried.
Details: Rooms start from € 100; group visits from € 50; irelandwestfarmstay.com
8. Mount Briscoe, County Offaly
If you really want to dig deeper into organic farming, Mount Briscoe is the place to do it. They have been practicing organic farming since 1998 (that is, long before most people heard of the concept) and you can learn all about their methods on one of their farm tours.
You will also learn more about vegetable cultivation, conservation, history and nature, walking through the badger sets and the hedgehog route. But that’s not all – you can take a baking class or even get a massage from a local dairy farmer, Paula Brennan-Collins. she is a fully qualified therapist and has even done massages outside when the weather is hot, setting up the table under a yew tree. Accommodation ranges from pretty bell tents, a shepherd’s hut and an incredible hunting lodge.
Details: Bell tents from € 125; mountbriscoe.fr
Hillview Farm, County Clare
A traditional B&B farm now extending to self-catering, Hillview is a fully functioning farm, with a huge brood of animals, near Ennis. You can help them feed them, collect eggs for breakfast, and walk around to say hello to the different creatures that live there. It’s not just cows, sheep, and chickens – there are plenty of dogs (including a gorgeous golden retriever and the occasional puppy), spring lambs, and alpacas. It is also a great place for fishing. If you don’t feel like driving into town to eat out, they can organize a home cooked evening meal (think hearty stews and roasts), so you can enjoy it with a glass of wine before you go. to sleep.
Details: Rooms start from € 75, with a minimum stay of three nights; hillviewbandb.com
10. Blessingbourne, County Tyrone
Set on a 550 acre estate, Blessingbourne offers a taste of country living. There is a working farm on the site, with Aberdeen Angus cattle, goats and even peacocks roaming the area. You’re free to roam the grounds and greet the animals, and there are also some great mountain biking trails on-site. Accommodation is between the stable apartments and the cabins, and there is a beautiful door pavilion, if you fancy a little more privacy. The accommodation also accepts pets.
Details: Apartments from € 349 for two nights; blessingbourne.com
Looking for more farm stays? B&B Ireland has a dedicated page with options throughout the country (irishfarmholidays.com). Agrikids.fr is another website that educates kids of all ages about farming (and safety) through fun online games and facts. Did you know that cows have best friends, for example?