The best pubs on the Irish coast

Sherkin Island, photo by Patrick and Martha

With a coastline of almost 1500 kilometers, circling the Emerald Isle would take quite some time, if you want to do it leisurely and properly. And if such a trip tempts you, and you’re decided to walk, bike or drive around at least part of Ireland’s dramatic coasts, there are two things you don’t have to worry about: you’ll never get bored of the scenery, and you’ll never have to look for to find a nice pub where you can quench your thirst, sometimes even with a view to the ocean. Coastal towns abound in Ireland, and they never have a shortage of watering holes. If you want to have a taste of what peaceful country life is like near the ocean, visit some of the best pubs on the Irish coast.

The Jolly Roger, Sherkin Island, Roaringwater Bay, Co Cork

Sherkin Islands, a three-mile long island in Roaringwater Bay, has around 100 inhabitants, a primary school, a church, a hotel, a community center and two pubs, which is more than enough to keep the people busy on chilly evenings. The Jolly Roger is the refuge of choice of the occasional traveler to the island, and even the inhabitants who are better equipped for dealing with the wind and rain. The pub often hosts informal music sessions with the locals, or live nights with bands from the mainland.

Mack’s, Dingle, Co Kerry

Dingle, photo by kthypryn

This quaint combination of leather work shop and pub is one of the best places in Dingle to talk about the town’s legendary Fungi the Dolphin, about various local stories, or the highlights of the small town’s history. Locals enjoy Mack’s just as much as tourists, which is always an indicator of quality with pubs! Notice that at the entrance of the pub you can see the handprints of its famous guests, like Dolly Parton.

Community Center, Inishturk, Co Mayo

The island of Inishtuk has only about 70 permanent residents, but it is far from quiet, especially in summer. Inishturk’s Community Center is a place for the locals to have a few pints and listen to traditional music and watch dances until late in the evening, and come tourist season the Community Center is always lively and interesting. When the sky is clear, the community center has one of the best views on the island.

Farran’s, Malin Head, Co Donegal

Malin Head, photo by Grace Smith

Farran’s is the northernmost pub in Ireland, and the perfect place to rest when exploring the wilderness of Malin Head, one of the most picturesque places in the country. Farran’s is cozy and very friendly, and you can spend hours and hours nursing a hot drink or a few pints while waiting for the wind to calm down, or even just for the fun conversation and the pleasant atmosphere.

Mary Ann’s, Castletownshend, Co Cork

Cheerfully purple Mary Ann’s pub and restaurant is quite well known for for delicious seafood dishes, and people drive from long distances just to eat out at the award-winning restaurant – and it is also one of the best pubs on the Irish coast. In summer, when yachts and ships stop at Castletownhead, the pub is very lively, but even in winter it has a great atmosphere with all sorts of events like wine tastings and concerts.

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