I am going to go a bit off schedule with my posts of our trip. While there are infinite reasons to go to Ireland, our primary purpose was to visit family. Since marrying my husband almost 40 years ago, I had heard stories and met family members from Wicklow, his mother’s home. Minor life events like school, job and children had kept us from making the trip. Finally, we were on our way.
Wicklow is a small town about 60 km (40 miles) south of Dublin. As you can see from the pictures, Wicklow is on the Irish Sea. The Wicklow Head Lighthouse was built in 1781 and is now maintained by the Irish Landmark Trust. The lighthouse has been converted to a vacation rental and has two bedrooms, one bath and a kitchen. Beware, to reach the kitchen you have to go up 109 stairs. While we didn’t stay at the lighthouse on our trip, we have discussed it for future visits. Information on staying at the lighthouse can be found at http://www.greatlighthouses.com/lighthouses/wicklow-head/
The lighthouse and Wicklow Harbour are both important parts of the town and our relative’s lives. In fact, two of them have actually written books about the harbor and its lifeboat station. (http://www.bestbuyirish.com/623-history-of-wicklow-lifeboat-station.html) That information is in a separate post for those of you interested in the history of this remarkable town.
We stayed at Hunter’s Hotel (http://www.hunters.ie) during our stay. Hunter’s is Ireland’s oldest coaching inn and has been operated by the same family since 1825. It is located on two acres along the river Vartry. The gardens are breathtaking. We took several walks through them during our stay and enjoyed looking at both the flowers and the vegetables to be served in the dining room. I highly recommend having afternoon tea in the garden.
While our cottage on Galway Bay had been a bit of shock for us with the immersion, the coal fire place and learning how to use the cooker, Hunter’s was the ultimate in pampering. Your room comes complete with breakfast and dinner and the food is delicious. Dinner is a four course meal with an appetizer, soup or sorbet, choice of a main course and dessert. I would definitely go to Hunter’s for a meal if I was staying elsewhere. The cost for all this luxury was much less than I had feared, approximately $330 per day for two. Given the magnificent meals, it was a bargain!
Hunter’s has 16 bedrooms each with a private bath and retains its charm and character. You can actually feel the history. While the floor boards creak and the furnishings evoke a period long since past, the amenities are definitely up to today’s standards. The beds are quite comfortable and the bathrooms more than adequate. The staff has thought of everything including cozy robes and a hot water bottle for your feet during the colder months.