With Easter just two weeks away, what better time to take the kids away for a cheap and cheerful trip around our very own beautiful country?
Hostelling makes that possible for even the most hard-pressed families.
Apart from saving money it’s also a visual treat, especially when you take the time to go hillwalking or rambling and see the sights.
It’s also one of the healthiest ways to get to know the island we live on.
Family holidays can often end up breaking the bank, but it needn’t be so – staying at hostels will save you a fortune. For many, hostels conjure up images of noisy teens and hairy hippies, but that was way back there.
Today, many hostels offer same standard accommodation and facilities as much more expensive guest houses and hotels, so you’re not scrimping on comfort. This week we’re taking a look at five of the most popular Irish hostels – there are hundreds of them up and down the country – which have private family rooms.
WITH an average rating of 88 per cent from hostelworld.com costumers, this is not only a gorgeous hostel but is one of the most spectacularly situated in western Europe. Rooms for families range from three to six beds and all have en suite bathrooms. The hostel has its own tennis court, pool table and mini-supermarket, and with the Killary Adventure Centre just next door, adventure activities and outdoor pursuits are available on the doorstep.
The serenity of the location is an attraction itself. Private rooms from €12 per person per night.
“Setting was gorgeous, the staff so very helpful.” AC Grundstrom, USA
VALLEY HOUSE HOLIDAY HOSTEL, ACHILL
WHAT better place to take the family than the scenic island of Achill?
Valley House, a historic Victorian dwelling, is located on scenic wooded ground close to Blue Flag beaches and lake stocked with trout in the grounds.
If weather permits there’s a barbecue in the courtyard, perfect for crisp spring evenings.
Alternatively, there’s a full self-catering kitchen, large dining room and residents’ lounge complete with pool table.
Private rooms from €25 per person per night.
DINGLE GATE HOSTEL, DINGLE, CO KERRY
NESTLED between the hills and mountains of Annascaul and Inch, this hostel is situated in the heart of the Dingle Peninsula.
Family-run and puspose-built, it has a friendly atmosphere with plenty of space for children to run around, large landscaped gardens and a games room kitted out with a pool and tennis table and its own kitchen.
Ideal for larger groups. Private rooms from €18 per person per night.
NEPTUNES TOWN HOSTEL, KILLARNEY, CO. KERRY
NEPTUNES is Killarney’s only pupose-built holiday hostel, located only a five-minute walk from the bus and rail stations and close to Killarney’s magnificent 25,000acre national park with its wild deer and eagles.
The activities are endless, with mountaineering, walking, cycling, watersports, fishing, pony trekking, tennis and golf, so there’s no shortage of things for the family to do.
The hostel caters for everyone, with private family rooms en suite available along with an extensive self-catering kitchen, a games room and satellite TV.
This hostel is a great family choice, and a particular favourite with overseas visitors, drawn to the area by the breathtaking scenery.
Private rooms from €17 per person per night.
NEWGRANGE LOSGE, NEWGRANGE, CO. MEATH
NEWGRANGE is home to Ireland’s most famous and oldest Neolithic tomb – older even than the pyramids and as big a mystery as Stonehenge.
Located close by the stunning views of the heritage site lies Newgrange Lodge, a perfect base from which to explore the beauty of the Boyne Valley and beyond, with the hostel even providing a packed lunch.
With in-room telephones and satellite television in each of the en suite bedrooms, along with a ide variety of accommodation including family rooms, Newgrange Lodge is ideal for a short family break. Private rooms are available from €27 per person per night.
hostelworld.com is the leading provider of online reservations for the expanding low-cost, independent and youth travel market. It offers confirmed online reservations for more than 20,000 hostels and budget hotels in 170 countries worldwide. The site also offers budget travellers more than two million user reviews, videos, free podcasts and customized city guides.