For our honeymoon, my husband and I wanted nothing more than to go out into the middle of nowhere in Ireland, stay at a small B&B, go on long walks, and drink beer. And, oh, we did. Thanks to missing out on the Aran Islands on our first trip to Ireland, we had them in mind for our honeymoon. It would be perfect: most people traveled there on day trips or a single overnight, but we would stay for four nights to hike to our heart’s content. I called in to the Travel with Rick Steves podcast and one of the guest guides, Barry Maloney, recommended Kilmurvey House so whole-heartedly we couldn’t do anything other than take the recommendation.
A few days into our honeymoon, we arrived at Kilmurvey House rain-battered and ill having survived one of the roughest crossings from Galway in many weeks and then a four mile ride in a cramped minivan taxi from the ferry dock in the main town to the B&B. We stood dripping and queasy in the entryway until our hostess, Treasa, swept in with a bright smile ready to show us to our room and make us a cup of tea. The promise of tea alone had us feeling warmer and fuzzier already. We settled into our enormous room, which felt like the master bedroom of a cozy house, and trotted back downstairs for tea. Treasa had stoked the peat fire, made tea, and set out her homemade lemon poppyseed cake for us. There is no sweeter balm for a wet ferry voyage than tea and lemon cake.
It is these cozy extras that make Kilmurvey House so special. Since it is four miles away from the main town, Kilronan, and none of the establishments in the town of Kilmurvey are open in the evening, proprietors Treasa and Bertie Joyce go the extra mile to make sure that guests have everything they need.
In the mornings, there is homemade breakfast in the dining room. The highlights are Treasa’s homemade breads, the local cheeses, and of course the Full Irish Breakfast. Other menu options include salmon and eggs, porridge with whiskey, and French toast. There’s coffee, tea, juice, and fruit, too. All the things you might need to hold you through a long morning hike or bike ride (or maybe just the thing to inspire a morning nap).
In the evening, they offer shuttle service to Kilronan where Ti Joe Watty’s Pub is open for dinner daily. In the summer, there are other dinner options, but in the off season, it’s just Joe Watty’s. You may also shop at the Spar Supermarket or get something from one of the delicious cafes in Kilmurvey and store it in the fridge in the B&B kitchen and heat it up to enjoy by the fire.
The appeal of the location is that it’s about as rural as it gets. If you’re on Inishmor to hike, this is the place to stay. Kilmurvey House sits at the base of Dun Aengus, an enormous ring fort slowly falling into the sea over the centuries as the cliff it sits on erodes. Free admission to Dun Aengus is included in your stay. We took advantage of this and walked up to Dun Aengus several times. It is a gorgeous place to watch the sunset.
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