Travel With Bender

Uncovering the best family holidays

Ireland

Charming Irish Cottage Retreat With Just A Few Clicks

For 10 nights we had been moving consistently around Ireland. From East to West, West to South, South to North and then we finally found ourselves heading back to Galway.

I had spent 3 wonderful days touring Galway on a press trip and was dying to take the family there. We had stayed in our fair share of cozy B&Bs throughout Ireland and were hoping for a little bit of space for our 3 nights in Galway. Sykes Cottages saved the day.

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This handy website offers gorgeous cottages situated all over the UK and Ireland. The moment you go to the site you feel a certain cozy warmth. It’s amazing how a website can emulate the feel of already sitting in a cottage. Nice touch. It was super easy to use and in just a few clicks we had a list of places in Galway at our disposal and, my goodness, the prices were actually very reasonable.

We ended up choosing Oyster Lodge (check prices...), not far from Galway, but far enough to be secluded, romantic and extremely cottage-like. Well, as far as large cottages go. There were 4 bedrooms across two floors, a large kitchen with warm, freshly made brown bread on the counter at our arrival compete with jam and butter. In addition, a dining room, 2 living rooms, a washing machine – hallelujah!

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Outside in the great green expanse of yard a lonesome tree stood with a swinging tyre. My kids begged daily to go play outside on that tantalising tyre. It was like a strange twilight zone moment compared to their usual badgering to watch TV.

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The Owner met us at the cottage later in the day and showed us around. She was a lovely Irish lady and made us feel so welcome. The beds had been made and the heaters were on. Despite it’s enormity (well, we wanted space, right?) it felt every bit the little cottage we had imagined on the lush, green countryside of Ireland.

During our stay we managed to find absolute peace and relaxation after our break-neck fast-paced driving tour around Ireland. We took the kids to the movies, we moseyed the outdoor pedestrian mall in Galway (where hubby found me a wonderful anniversary present), cooked up a storm, wrote more blog posts and slept like a log dipped in chloroform.

It was exactly how we wanted to end our memorable road-trip around Ireland. The day was bittersweet as we left our cottage. We had a 2-hour drive back to Dublin to meet friends and an early morning start on the road. We left the house keys on the kitchen counter and, with more than one look over my shoulder, said goodbye to our sweet country cottage.

It goes without saying that when we are looking for an authentic experience in the UK or Ireland we will be using Sykes again. The prices were on par if not cheaper than most B&Bs and we had so much room. It was a perfect stay in a little piece of Ireland I may never have seen without Sykes Cottages. 

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