Ireland isn’t one of Europe’s most dog-friendly nations, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great holiday here with your dog. You just need to dig around a bit and we’ve done some of the hard work for you.
Rather than a hotel or a B&B, it’s a good idea to look for an Airbnb or a holiday cottage. We’ve found 9 pet-friendly options across Ireland from a bespoke villa company Oliver’s Travels. With a selection of country houses, historic castles and even an entire Georgian Manor Estate, there’s plenty of room if you want to take the whole family (four-legged or otherwise)!
During your staycation, you’ll want to see the best that Ireland can offer. At the very least, your dog will be eager to sniff out some new walking routes. So, we’ve gathered up five of the island’s must-visit attractions to make the most of your Irish holiday.
1. The Aran Islands
If your dog fancies a little trip out to sea, why not can take him on the ferry across to the Aran Islands? Just be sure to check the rules, as some ferries might require you to stay on the outside deck for the journey. These islands will give you the true Irish experience. In fact, they are well known for the continued widespread use of the Gaelic language. Inis Mór Island, Inis Meáin Island and Inis Oírr Island all have stunning landscapes, Celtic ruins and beautiful beaches which you can explore with your best pal at your side.
2. The Cliffs of Moher
Voted as Ireland’s favourite visitor attraction, this is a staycation day trip that’s not to be missed. Dogs are welcome to accompany you on the lead in the grounds of the visitor centre (although not indoors). You’ll enjoy gorgeous views out to sea and along the cliffs, bountiful fresh air and over twenty types of sea birds – including puffins, peregrine falcons, fulmars and kittiwakes. A true bird spotter’s paradise!
3. Ards Forest Park
Another spectacular walking spot is this park in County Donegal. It offers sandy beaches, woodland and rocky shorelines all in one place. And there’s a huge network of trails which will be sure to get your dog’s tail wagging. Along the different routes you’ll be able to spot national monuments, various archaeological features and some unusual natural sculptures. As with most of Ireland, just remember to keep Fluffy on her lead.
4. The Sliabh Liag (Slieve League) Cliffs
For breathtaking views of the Sligo Mountains, Donegal Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, hike along the Sliabh Liag cliffs with Fido in tow. Perhaps not one for those who suffer from heights, these are the tallest accessible cliffs in Europe with a 600m drop to the crashing waves below.
Once you reach the viewing point at the top of Sliabh Liag, there’s another trail called the Pilgrim’s Path that will take you even higher. However, the Pilgrim’s Path is not suitable for dogs (or children) so be sure not to venture any further with your four-legged friends.
5. Dublin Bay Cruises
If you’re staying near Ireland’s capital city, taking a cruise on Dublin Bay is a lovely way to spend a sunny day with your best furry mate. Be sure to keep your dog on the lead and she’ll be welcome in all areas of the boat.
Boats go between Dublin Port, Dun Laoghaire and Howth Harbours and the crew will provide a first-class commentary to explain the sights. You’ll learn all about the marine life in the bay, protected wildlife, and the surrounding nature reserves such as Bull Island. Meanwhile your dog will keep an eye out for her ocean-going pals – the seals and dolphins. Ships ahoy!
Get a Gudog sitter
Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to take your dog on holiday with you, and that’s where we come in. Whenever you need someone to look after your best four-legged friend, Gudog is here to help. Choose from plenty of friendly and experienced local sitters who will give your dog all the attention she needs while you’re away.