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Unusual Accommodation In Ireland

May 14, 2020

Joe and I have been staycationing for the last few years, in-part for sustainability reasons – this included our honeymoon last year. We’ve traveled up and down the Wild Atlantic Way and have stayed in lots of places. Over the last year, we’ve opted to try out some more unusual accommodation options in Ireland. I’ll talk you through some that we’ve already tried out. There should be something unique for every type of traveler so I hope you enjoy it.

Bubble Domes In Fermanagh

Unusual Accommodation In Ireland: Exterior of the bubble dome in Finn Lough

We have a list of unusual accommodations that we’ll be working our way through but we wanted to go with some really special ones for the honeymoon. One of our top picks was staying in a Bubble Dome in Finn Lough in Co. Fermanagh and it was amazing!

Our Experience In The Bubble Dome

I initially thought that I might feel exposed in some way and struggle to sleep due to the clear walls on the dome. How wrong I was, I slept like a baby. Being able to see a million little stars in the clear night sky was spectacular on the first night. It reminded me of the camping scenes you see in the movies. Our second night, it was hammering rain, so we experienced the best of both worlds. The sound of the rain while curled up in bed with the electric blanket on was an absolute dream!

Dinner at Finn Lough

It’s far from your standard glamping, each bubble dome has luxuries like a Nespresso machine, speaker, and some of the thickest bathrobes I’ve ever come across. The food in the restaurant is to die for! Night one, we had an unbelievable three-course dinner and were surprised with some extra treats to congratulate us. We planned on eating out on the second night but after doing The Stairway To Heaven hike (and getting lashed on) it was nice to stay in one spot. Before dinner on the second day, we did the elements trail in the spa. The elements trail consists of floatation, saunas, hot tub and relaxation room, all while wandering through a forest – bliss! It’s the best spa experience I’ve had to date.

Finn Lough offers a range of unique accommodation options but I think the bubble domes are the most special. I’ve written a more in-depth piece, if you’d like to read my full run-through of our stay in Finn Lough.

Lighthouse Staycation On Clare Island

Unique Accommodation In Ireland: External shot of Clare Island Lighthouse

We had heard a lot about Clare Island Lighthouse and how amazing it is for a staycation. After having an unintentionally nautical themed wedding, we thought it would be a fitting place to visit on our honeymoon. We arrived over to the island the night before and stayed in O’Grady’s B&B. It was a gorgeous spot and allowed us to wander about and see the island before heading up to the lighthouse. The lighthouse itself is at the far side of the island to most of the other accommodation. It’s beautifully remote and so tranquil up there – and the views!

We were welcomed with a spread of tea/coffee and fresh-baked scones – this should be a thing everywhere. Our fantastic host, Roie, talked us through different things to do on the island. Once we were fed and watered we were shown to our room. If being in a lighthouse wasn’t quirky enough, we stayed in the sauna suite. (If you haven’t noticed from other posts – I love a good sauna and am a regular in Fad Saoil Sauna) Just take a look at how amazing it was…

Our Experience In The Lighthouse

After a little potter around this side of the island and an attempted swim, we had a sauna before getting ready for dinner. All guests meet in the main sitting room for a pre-dinner drink and chat. Once our drinks order was taken we were welcomed into the dining room. Dinner in the lighthouse is eaten at a communal table with the other guests. Honestly, I thought it would be weird but it was actually quite nice to have the chats. The food and company were lovely and we finished our evening with a sauna before bed – I’m aware have sauna issues.

In the morning I had another sauna (are you seeing a trend here?) and went over to the main house for breakfast. With full bellies, we set off on foot across the island to get the ferry back to the mainland. Our bags were transported over to the harbor, giving us the freedom to explore the island more. It’s a gorgeous remote landscape, we walked the whole circumference of the island and bumped into maybe 5 people. It’s a great place to go for some headspace.

Treehouse Glamping In Leitrim

Quirky Accommodation In Ireland: The exterior of the treehouse in Teapot Lane

Last summer, Joe’s family got him a gift of a staycation in a treehouse! Now, to say I was excited about how unique this staycation would be an understatement. Teapot Lane is a beautiful setup and the treehouse itself was like something out of Sylvanian Families. We were met with cute stained glass windows and a wood-burning stove – so cosy.

Unusual Accommodation In Ireland: Interior of the treehouse in Teapot Lane

Our Experience Living In The Treehouse

For the stay, we opted to lunch out and cook for ourselves in the evening using the barbecue in the deck. We were blessed with the weather so cooking out on the deck was actually really enjoyable. Full disclosure, I sat on the deck with a glass of wine watching Joe cook 😁 After dinner, we sat on the deck with our bottle of wine and watched the sun go down. There was a DJ playing in the communal area on the first night, so we went for a bop.

We slept so well in the pitch black of the woods, away from all synthetic light. In the morning, I woke to a chorus of birds just outside our door – bliss! We did the 13km Gleniff Horseshoe walk one of the days and did a little Geocaching on the way. . It is a beautiful walk (or drive) surrounded by lush green in every direction.

Unique Accommodation In Ireland: The outdoor shower in Teapot Lane

For this particular staycation, I have to give a special shout out to the shower! It was beneath the treehouse itself and had a window that opened out onto the woods. I never knew I needed to feel that freedom but, Jaysus, I really want an outdoor shower in my house when I get one – the notions on me. But seriously, you need to experience it for yourself. I left Teapot Lane feeling so centred and as though we had been there for a week rather than a weekend. On the drive home, we stopped off in one of my favourite spots, Shells Cafe in Strandhill for lunch. After that we grabbed an ice cream in Mammy Johnstons, just to finish the weekend on an absolute high.

If you’d be interested in reading more on this unusual accommodation in the west of Ireland, I’ve written a full blog on our treehouse adventure in Teapot Lane.

Unique Yoga Retreat In Mayo

Unusual Accommodation In Ireland: The communal area of The Atlantic Lodge

The BigStyle Atlantic Lodge has to have been one of my favourite getaways last year! We went for a yoga (or not just a yoga) retreat, and honestly, I left feeling like a new woman. Kris and the lads have built something really special in the lodge, we walked in the door and immediately felt like we were in an old friend’s house.

Our Experience In The BigStyle Atlantic Lodge

Each morning did yoga practice, followed by a hearty homemade breakfast and a chill-out. In the afternoon, we did a variety of activities, from surfing and hiking to massage workshops and acro yoga. There was plenty of downtime between activities, which was very welcome as we had been up to 90 in the weeks before.

The communal area was so comfortable and chilled without everyone sitting on top of one another. The rooms were more like a paired back hotel than a hostel. We had a private double room with ensuite and it was super comfy and clean. I don’t know if it was the bed or the fact that I got so chilled but I slept like a rock for the whole week.

Post surf, drying off in my room in The Atlantic Lodge

The combo of sea air and lounging by the wood-burning stove, paired with the activities had me feeling both invigorated and relaxed. One evening we went for a sea swim followed by chats and a couple of beers in the outdoor hot tubs, looking out over the bay – complete and utter bliss! The atmosphere and the guys down there make the whole experience, they’re more like a family than colleagues which immediately makes the vibe down there super welcoming.

For more information on the retreat check out my full review or thinking just heading down for the weekend check out the BigStyle website.

Unique Accommodation In Ireland: Hot tubs in the outdoor area of The Atlantic Lodge

I have plans to visit some more unusual accommodation options in Ireland when we are safe to travel again. Of course, when we do, I’ll let you know my thoughts but until then, are there any slightly different places that you’d recommend? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

Leitrim Places To Stay

Treehouse Glamping In Leitrim

March 17, 2020

Over the summer, we had the pleasure of glamping in a treehouse in Leitrim – yes, that’s right, a treehouse! Teapot Lane is located on the border of Leitrim and Sligo, and just down the road from Bundoran, so there is loads to do in the area.

When we arrived we were met by the owners, who have a policy of being available should you need anything but not being intrusive at all. They showed us around our beautiful surroundings and guided us to our treehouse. In the treehouse, the wood-burning stove was lit (DREAM!), so it was super cosy. I felt like I was in the movies (or Sylvanian Families, minus the slide) rather than glamping. I immediately never wanted to leave!

Treehouse Glamping, Teapot Lane, Co. Leitrim

Go On Go On Go On

For me, being able to have a cup of tea anywhere I stay is a must. If there are no tea making fahilities I don’t want to know about it! Cue the greatest set up of all time… In the little kitchen area of the treehouse there was a kettle, Nespresso machine and a wine fridge (a bloody wine fridge!). I know I’m sad but that wine fridge brought me endless joy. It meant we could store little bits to eat (all the cheese) and real milk for the tea!! I’m a red wine drinker so no space needed in the fridge for that 🙂 Please don’t @ me for my wine fridge love

Treehouse Glamping, , Teapot Lane, Co. Leitrim

Night one, we (Joe) cooked dinner on the barbecue on the decking and I set up residence in one of the loungers to chill. We cracked open a bottle of wine and sat on the deck watching the sun set and the stars come out. Teapot Lane host a lot of hen parties, so there’s a DJ in the communal area on a Friday (bonus for us!).  The communal area bar is BYOB and you can stock yourself if you are there with a party. The DJ was great and had everyone dancing the night away in the middle of the woods. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t love that!

Teapot Lane Communal Area, Co. Leitrim

Shower Of Dreams

The next morning I got up and had what I can only describe as one of the best showers of all time! I genuinely still think about it to this day. When glamping in a treehouse you don’t necessarily think of a private shower with windows out into the woods. In this set up you get a real sense that you’re showering outside – something I didn’t know I was into. The rainfall shower head was amazing and being that close to nature was just gorgeous. I was left feeling really (and weirdly) zen afterwards. Not gonna lie, an outdoor shower is now one of our ‘needs’ for when we get a house…Say it with me, FREEDOM!!

Treehouse Glamping Shower, Teapot Lane, Co. Leitrim

Now don’t get me wrong, this is still glamping! So I should warn you about the one thing I was apprehensive about before going – the compost toilet. Turns out they’re absolutely fine, especially in summer as it’s not too cold out there (its around the side of the treehouse). It’s also a private loo rather than shared with other guests.

Final Thoughts…

It was such a gorgeous weekend. There was something so relaxing and revitalising about waking up to the sound of the birds and just chilling out in nature. We were only there for a weekend but we both left feeling so relaxed and rested it seemed like a week.

Treehouse Glamping at Night, Teapot Lane, Co. Leitrim

There’s loads of options for accommodation, including yurts, a vintage caravan and a cottage that accommodates for those who are less into the camping/glamping side of things. If you’re booking in, they”ll also arrange adventures for you if requested – surfing, supping and horse riding can be arranged.

Being on the boarder of Leitrim and Sligo, there are so many options for things to do. Bundoran and Mullaghmore are nearby if surfing is your thing. On this trip we opted to do the 13km walk the spectacular Glenniff Horseshoe Drive which is approximately 30 minutes away.

If yoIf I’ve sold you on glamping in a treehouse and you’re thinking of booking a stay, check out the Teapot Lane website.

Mayo Places To Stay Things To Do

Not Just A Yoga Retreat On The Wild Atlantic Way

March 17, 2020

In September, we decided to honeymoon around Ireland, we wanted to stay local as we’re very aware of the carbon footprint that would be involved in doing long haul flights. There are so many amazing things to do right on our doorstep, so we decided to take advantage of it and offset our carbon footprint by planting native trees. We spent five days doing the “not just a yoga retreat” in the BigStyle Atlantic Lodge on the Wild Atlantic Way. We couldn’t have been happier with our decision.

Driving through Louisburg, we looked at each other with thinking “what did we get ourselves into?”. On arrival, that feeling totally lifted! We were welcomed into the lodge, which immediately felt like an old friends house. Kris and the lads have really created something magical on the Wild Atlantic Way.

The Atlantic Lodge is reminiscent of Irish College but for grown-ups. Once you step into the Lodge the rest of the world just kind of melts away. Thankfully, in this particular Irish College, the Irish and awkward dancing is replaced with surfing, hiking and outdoor hot tubs. I remember during my Irish college days, the food was questionable at best so I survived on a diet of Drifter Bars, brown bread and jam. But in the Lodge you are spoiled with an array of comforting and delicious vegetarian goodness. Porridge, paella, pizza and chickpea burgers to die for.

Our Arrival To The Yoga Retreat

Day one, we drove up from Lahinch, had something quick to eat and then prepared for our first surf lesson. Getting in the sea is one of my favourite things to do – nothing really bonds you with a group more than collectively being battered by the sea 🙂

Me Post Surf At Atlantic Lodge Yoga Retreat

I don’t know what exactly I was expecting from the rooms but it was so much better than what I had in my head. It was like a slightly pared-back version of a modern hotel room rather than a hostel. There was a fab ensuite and an incredibly comfy bed (probably made more comfy with the post surf tiredness). The walls in the rooms and corridors were covered in pictures of the guys adventures around the world. The style and pictures gave it a really personal touch, which I loved.

We went downstairs for a chill out by the fire while Pete, our fantastic yoga instructor, cooked us up a feast. This man is a miracle worker, he managed to get Joe to happily eat vegetarian for the full five days. We genuinely thought he’d be sneaking out for a steak at some point to keep him going. The pizza making workshop was so much fun. Everyone got hands on, rolled out a pizza and topped it with whatever hey fancied. We all had a couple of drinks and shared the pizzas as they came out of the oven.

Pizza Workshop At Atlantic Lodge Yoga Retreat

Yoga & Other Bits

Every morning we did a yoga class and followed it up with a hearty breakfast. Activities consisted of hikes, surf lessons, acro yoga (this was so much fun), a massage workshop and sea swims. There was a good amount of chill out time between activities which was great. Being forced to sit and chill was a blessing in disguise. During the down time, people just chatted, played games, read books and just completely unwound.

There was nothing about this yoga retreat that didn’t leave you feeling revitalised and centred again. We were there from Mon – Fri and when we left we were the perfect balance of rested and energised. It also isn’t your average yoga retreat as you are free to have a few drinks if you fancy it. One of my favourite moments was following up a sea swim with a couple of beers and chats in the hot tub while looking out across the bay, soaking in the Wild Atlantic Way.

Outdoor area with Hot Tubs At Atlantic Lodge Yoga Retreat

The key to this amazing place is the team that work here – they’re more like a family than colleagues. As I said before, it’s like being welcomed into an old friend’s home. With stunning views of the West Coast, this is a place I was genuinely sad to leave and I would go back without hesitation.

They also provide amazing surf and adventure retreats to Portugal, so you have the added bonus of some (pretty much guaranteed) sun. Regardless of the retreat you choose, you’re guaranteed to have the craic and return home reenergised.

If you’re looking for a yoga retreat on the Wild atlanticWay, I couldn’t recommend a stay in the Atlantic Lodge more, you can find all the info you need on the BigStyle website.

The lads are building a new stand up paddle boarding school in Dun Laoghaire this summer. I will definitely be down the second it opens and will report back.

View From Atlantic Lodge Yoga Retreat
Fermanagh Places To Stay

Bubble Dome Staycation In Fermanagh

March 17, 2020

In Autumn last year, we went on a magical staycation in Fermanagh. We stayed in one of the bubble domes in Finn Lough. My beautiful friends got us the stay as a wedding gift – they know us so well. It was a totally unique staycation, with amazing food and one of the best spa experiences I’ve ever had.

The Bubble Dome was so beautiful! I thought I would have trouble sleeping as I HATE the idea of being exposed like that but I was so wrong. I had some of the most restful nights of my life when we were there. The first night we had a clear night so we were just lying in bed looking at millions of stars above us. It was just stunning! On the second night it was raining so we lay there listening to the soothing sound of the raindrops – bliss!

Bubble Dome in Finn Lough, Co. Fermanagh
Views from the bubble dome

What’s In The Bubble Dome?

The bubble dome has a speaker, hair dryer, Nespresso machine and a wind up torch to allow safe travels through the woods. The torches were needed to ensure it was dark enough to see the stars. The bed was unbelievably comfortable and we were given the fluffiest robes I have ever come across in a hotel. There was also an electric blanket in the bed in case the night was chilly – I can’t begin to tell you how nice it is to watch the stars from a toasty bed. So when it came to our room I was happy out, so what about the food?

Roast loin of venison, Finn Lough, Co. Fermanagh


The food in Finn Lough is some of the best I have had when away. The breakfast was fantastic, offering both a beautiful buffet and a hot cooked breakfast from the kitchen. Both nights we absolutely stuffed ourselves with unbelievably delicious dishes . I ate a lot of game on our stay and it didn’t disappoint. The venison in particular was a favourite. On our first night, we were spoiled with some extra sweet treats to congratulate us on our wedding – such a lovely touch.

Desert, Finn Lough, Co. Fermanagh

On the second day, we went out and walked the Stairway To Heaven – how could we staycation in Fermanagh and not give it a visit? The walk is amazing but on the day we did it the heavens opened about 5 minutes into it. I had forgotten my proper rain gear that day so wound up soaked to the skin by the time we got back to the car. It was an amazing walk but I couldn’t have been happier when we got back into the car and remembered that we had booked the ‘Elements Trail’ in the spa in Finn Lough for that afternoon.

The stairway to Heaven, Co. Fermanagh
Stairway To Heaven

Elements Trail

We went to the spa area which is situated in the woods and were given talk through what was to follow. Again, the robe game in the spa was strong, they were weighty and amazing. The Elements Trail consisted of a 20 minute floatation, which was outrageously relaxing. We then walked through the wood for a dry sauna (with a dip in the lake). Another stroll through the woos took us to an aromatherapy sauna. Finally we did an 20 minute hot tub overlooking the lake and then chilled in a relaxation room. My body didn’t know how to cope with those levels of relaxation. We then stuffed our faces in the restaurant again and then back to the bubble dome to curl up and listen to the rain.

If you’re thinking of booking a staycation in Fermanagh I would highly recommend the bubble domes, visit the Finn Lough website to book.