If you’ve read this blog for awhile, you know that I LOVE lighthouses! I love their majesty as they look out towards the sea. I love the idea that they guide ships and help people navigate (although many are now out of commission). I love the view you get from the top. What’s not to love??
In my pursuit to see lighthouses around the world, I’ve occasionally come across ones where you could stay overnight. Some of them book up pretty quickly, so I’ve never timed it quite right…and sometimes I just forget to look up lighthouses before a trip when I’m doing my research. (in doing a little research for this post I found this site…and now I’ll have a “passport” to keep track of the ones I visit…ugh, why didn’t I find it before I visited all those lighthouses?!) I digress…
I decided to look into staying at a lighthouse when I was in Ireland and I found the perfect one on Clare Island in County Mayo. It was decommissioned in 1965 and fell into disrepair, before being purchased by a German pathologist, Goesta Fischer, in 2008 (he stopped by while I was there!) It reopened, after extensive renovations, in 2013. I contacted Roie McCann, the lighthouse manager & interior designer who helped renovate the place, and there happened to be a room available for the two nights I had free…. following the dinner with the cousins and before heading to Dublin to see my friends, Gina & Andy. It was meant to be! I booked the William Flanders room and couldn’t wait for this part of my trip. Padraig & Grainne had never been to Clare Island, so they decided to book a B&B closer to town and brought two of their grandkids..so now I even had a ride to the ferry from their home outside of Galway….perfect!
A stay at the Clare Island Lighthouse includes a well-appointed room with beautiful views, a lovely welcome at the big pine table in the kitchen where you meet Roie and the other guests; a delicious breakfast; before dinner drinks in the cozy living room with a roaring fire in the fireplace; and a multi-course dinner prepared by a great chef. Here are some pics…
We all took a tour of the lighthouse…Oh, the views!!
…and just relaxed and read until dinner. The food was so good….Clare Island Salmon one night and lamb the next, all artfully presented…
We were treated to an AMAZING orange sunset to cap off a fabulous first day!
Day Two I roamed the island…with a gorgeous walk past rural sheep-raising farms into the little town for lunch….
…the only restaurant on the island….yummy seafood chowder
…..and then another pastoral walk, with amazing views, out to the 12th century Abbey, where it is said the remains of the famous pirate queen, Grainne O’Malley, are buried. There are also cool medieval wall and ceiling paintings.
I would definitely recommend a trip to Clare Island and a stay at the lighthouse (two nights was perfect for me). Roie McCann, the lighthouse manager is so warm and welcoming. We had such nice conversations by the fire and I even invited her to California for a visit…wouldn’t that be fun! She was just putting some final touches on an adorable new little room that would be perfect if you’re traveling alone (my room was great, but big for just one person). She’s calling it “The Snug” and gave me a quick tour…
Look at this view of the lighthouse from the Snug!! I’ve had so much fun reliving the experience of my breathtaking stay on Clare Island…I hope you’ve enjoyed it too!
You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!
I so enjoyed walking along your journey through your words, your photos… I savored every bite, relished your walks, giggled at sheep & delighted in your newly found family connections. Thank you Jeanine.
It’s been so much fun reliving it through my writing! So glad you enjoyed it. Hope all is well with you and your family.
Absolutely brilliant! Love traveling with you.
Love reading about your travels! You’re adventurous and totally amazing!!
Hi Jeanine, I really enjoyed reading your blog on your visit to Ireland. You have a brilliant way with words. It was a great pleasure to meet you and to feel a great family connetion. Hopefully we will meet again in the future. I think you should listen to the song ‘Isle of hope, Isle of tears sometime sung by Sean Keane. I find it very moving and relevant to all those emigrants who left our shores.
Regards to all your family.
Hi Anne…so glad to hear from you and your kind words about my blog. I listened to that song and cried! WOW, so powerful. Thank you! I hope to see all of you again in the future too.
What a truly special trip and treasured family connection! MK suggested I read your blog for Irish ancestry trail inspiration and I loved every minute of it. What a blessed gift of family you were given! Thanks for letting me follow along! 😉
Glad you liked it Terry! MK told me all about your ancestry adventures…YOU inspired me!! Thanks!