Looking for a pub teeming with character, the possibility of a lock-in and one that’s off the beaten track? Here is our list of ten of the best remote pubs in Ireland.
A good pint is the perfect reward after a long day hiking on the trails. When the rain is bucketing down and the wind is howling, there is little better in life than a cosy pub and a pint. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of the best remote pubs Ireland has to offer.
1. The Blackbird, Cork
The Blackbird is located in the picturesque fishing village of Ballycotton in East Cork and is well worth making a detour off the tourist trail. They do a mean pint of Guinness and as it’s located just down the road from the Jameson distillery, means the whiskey isn’t bad either. With a beer garden and food truck style kitchen out the back it’s a great spot in the summer months, then there’s a stove inside to keep you cosy in the winter time. They serve home made locally sourced food, and have an incredible live music scene with class acts like Mundy, Glen Hansard, and Dublin City Ramblers amongst the talent who have played in the ‘Back room’ at The Blackbird.
Location: Ballycotton, Cork
2. Michael J Ward’s, Coney Island
Between Rosses point and Strandhill, on Coney Island is Michael J Ward’s pub. Coney Island is not a true island as you can walk across a sand bar at low tide, which is pretty cool! The causeway used for the crossing is marked by 14 pillars which will guide you the 2.5km to the Island. Reportedly the landlord of the Michael J Ward’s pub is the only permanent resident of Coney Island and because the pub is a one-man show opening and closing times are very much down to the publican!
Location: Coney Island, Sligo
3. Jolly Roger, Sherkin Island
Not far from Ireland’s southernmost point, the Jolly Roger is a well-known drinking establishment in the area. There’s daily live music throughout the summer and the pub serves a range of craft beer and stout. Their seafood is amazing, we’ve heard stories of the staff running down to the dock to get a lobster out of a trap to cook when ordered. We recommend trying the chowder and smoked salmon sandwiches. If you are in the area, call in for a great welcome, great food, and great craic!
Location: Sherkin Island, Co. Cork
4. Teach Ósta, Inis Meáin
Inis Meáin is one of the three Aran Islands (the one in the middle) and Teach Ósta is the only pub on the island. Inis Mór and Inis Oírr both receive more attention but Inis Meáin is well worth a trip. Teach Ósta is the social hub of the most sparsely populated of the island trio and if you stick around long enough chances are you’ll see most of the 170 or so residents. It’ll take you a lengthy drive from Galway and a ferry across the sea. If you miss your ride home you’ll just have to get another round in. Live music plays most nights in the summer, with plenty of weekend sessions dotted throughout the rest of the year.
Location: Inis Meáin, Galway
5. Jim O’ the Mills, Tipperary
This pub was named Ireland’s best in 2015 by the Irish Times despite the fact that it only opens one night a week (Thursday). The bar is a compact affair, with just a single beer tap, and is situated in the living room of the Ryan family home. There’s plenty of live music, often provided by one of the family’s five daughters. You’ll be welcomed in like one of the family, assuming you can find the place. Old style with an open fire and a legendary trad session, this pub is pretty special.
Location: Upperchurch, Tipperary
6. The Vine Cottage Pub, Saltmills
A gem of a pub along the the Wexford section of the Eurovelo cycling route, just around the corner from Tintern Abbey. This cosy spot is the perfect place to take a break from the cycle, or just for a sneaky pint if you’re in the locality. It really comes into its own in the summer, with an impressive beer garden out the back. Be sure to check out the artwork on the shipwreck on your way up to it.
Location: Saltmills, Co. Wexford
7. Tory Island Social Club, Tory Island
Ireland doesn’t get much more remote than Tory Island. On this small island, 15 kilometres off the coast of Donegal, there’s not much in the way of nightlife but the social club is the hub of excitement and the parties go on late into the night. As on Inishmaan and the Aran Islands, Irish is the dominant language here but the barman will happily take your order in English if you are unable to muster up a cúpla focail.
Location: Tory Island, Donegal
8. Teddy O’Sullivan’s Bar, Kerry
Teddy O’Sullivan’s has a prime location on the harbour so the seafood on offer really doesn’t get much fresher. The northern face of the Beara Peninsula is picturesque and the views across the bay are fantastic. If you’re doing the Wild Atlantic Way then pull in to treat yourself at Teddy’s, the fresh local mussels are to die for!
Location: Kilmackillogue, Co. Kerry
9. Ellen’s Pub, Sligo
Ellen’s Pub is reportedly the oldest pub in Sligo, its been serving pints since 1610! The pub draws in locals from miles around and is very welcoming to outsiders. Ellen’s is small so it fills up quickly, guaranteeing a lively atmosphere. The staff pour an excellent pint and there is live music every Friday night.
Location: Ballyconnell, Co. Sligo
10. Top of Coom, Kerry
Situated over 1000ft above sea level, Top of the Coom claims the title of Ireland’s highest pub. Five years ago it was gutted by a devastating fire, but it reopened in 2014 and has gone from strength to strength. Situated on the border between Kerry and Cork (the pub supports both GAA sides), Top of the Coom has been an institution for over a century and has been in the family of the current owners for five generations. Nestled somewhere between Kilgarvan and Ballyvourney, you’ll have to go out of your way to get there, but the journey is worth it for the atmosphere, the great pints, and the sheep shearing!
Location: Kenmare, Co. Kerry
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