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Would I be ok just winging it with B&B's in Ireland during first two weeks of Oct.?

My wife and I are traveling to Ireland during the first two weeks in October. I like the idea of just getting a rental car and finding B&B's on the way (with the help of Rick Steve's book) and just paying cash as we go. Does anyone have any insight on if this would be pretty safe in October. Safe meaning, I'm not going to be left high and dry with no place to sleep at night.

Also, does anyone have any great recommended B&B's they care to share that may not be in the Ireland travel book?

Oh one final question, when planning a budget for B&B's should I figure if I book directly that it would be cheaper than what is on websites like


Posted by
9774 posts

I think you would be perfectly safe to wing it in October. We were in Ireland the last week of April a few years ago and didn't have any trouble. We just showed up and asked if they had a room. We paid cash everywhere.

If you have any idea where you want to go, people might be able to make some recommendations.

Posted by
18 posts

Thanks, that's what I was hoping to hear.

Right now we plan on going to Wicklow area, Galway, Doolin, Waterford, Killarney, Dingle, and the Aran Islands for sure, so if anyone has suggestions for those areas, I'm all ears.

Posted by
16893 posts

I agree that you're OK to stay flexible. Having the car makes it easier.

Posted by
6781 posts

In both Scotland and Belgium, when we just showed up at a recommended B&B and they were full, they were able to refer us to another great B&B nearby that had room. I imagine Irish B&B's would cooperate with one another the same way. Stopping at the TI (tourist info office) on Inishmore in 2011, knowing we were headed for the Doolin/Lisdoonvarna part of the Irish mainland that night after catching the ferry from Inishmore, the TI phoned around and reserved us a wonderful stay at the Crosswinds B&B in Lisdoonvarna. Thery're convenient to The Cliffs of Moher (we rode there by bike), Kilfenora and The Burren, Doolin, etc. so if you're in an area with a Tourist Office that's open in October, that could be another resource. You'll probably encounter some rain in October, so even if you would get left high, you'll never get left dry ;-)

Posted by
9774 posts

I highly recommend the Milestone House in Dingle. The hosts, Barbara and Michael, are wonderful. They provided us with hand drawn maps of Dingle and the Peninsula, with explanations of what things are and what not to miss. Their breakfasts were fabulous, including the best soda bread I've had.

Posted by
24 posts

The only time you may run into trouble is on the weekends. Some B&B's, especially Rick Steves' recommended ones, may be booked in advance. I would bring along something with more B&B suggestions than just what RS offers. His suggestions are usually great, but the list isn't very long.

Posted by
5 posts

We had great luck on booking as we went in May. The places we stayed were so helpful in making recommendations and even calling the next place for us. I booked the first and last night for the trip, just to remove one stress on arrival and when heading home.
A new place in Doolin is the Doolin View. Really nice young couple who are just starting out and go out of their way to be helpful.

May want to look and see if there are festivals or events that could have rooms all booked up when planning your route. Also plan on weekends being a little busier.
We also stayed at the Milestone in Dingle. great place, just not easy walking distance to anything.

Posted by
508 posts

In nine trips over the years, we've stayed in some 150 B&Bs all over Ireland and Northern Ireland, winging it every day except for our first and last nights in-country. Most of the trips were in July and August, a few in September and October.

On only two occasions did we have any difficulty at all securing a place for the night. In one case, we simply made a few more calls (well, about 10 or 15!) beyond the one or two usually needed for same-night stays for a Saturday night in a popular commercial town (Westport in County Mayo). In another, we just bicycled a few more miles than we had intended that day. In no case did we ever settle into a B&B later than 6 pm.

October is well into the low season, and you should find it quite easy to pick and choose where you want to stay. Researching any big concerts, etc. that might take place during your trip could help mitigate any doubts ahead of time. There are about 2,500 B&Bs on the island, making your daily choices even smoother.

I've never booked an Irish B&B via any middlemen, but imagine they would assess a surcharge for doing so. The in-country tourist boards do. Anyway, no need to book any more than 1-2 days ahead of time - or even the day of to stay flexible - unless you really want the security of knowing.

You can check out B&Bs on the Irish Tourist Board (ITB) website at: ITB used to send out a free print version of its B&B guidebook and may still do so. I just couldn't find its New York City address.

If you'd like, send me the names and counties of a few towns in which you plan to stay, and I'll check my records for B&Bs we used. Keep in mind that we traveled exclusively in the coastal counties, not the island's interior.


Posted by
173 posts

I think it all comes down to the style of travel you prefer. I will also be in Ireland for the first two weeks in October and I have already booked all the b&b's along our route. I want to spend my time enjoying the sights, and not hunting down a place to stay. In fact, in several of the more popular destinations (Dingle, Killarney), the top-rated b&b's are already full.

I use TripAdvisor mostly in choosing where to stay. I can provide a list if you'd like.

Posted by
3696 posts

I don't think you should have any problems at all, as others have said. I only had one reservation for my trip to Ireland and that was the first night as we landed in Dublin, wanted to stay a night and then get our rental car. It was not difficult in the least to find a place. When we decided where we wanted to stay we simply pulled in to the first place that we liked and found a room. I prefer not to have to be on a schedule in a place I have not visited before as I may really like a location and decide to stay longer. It's easy to travel spontaneously in Ireland, especially if you have a car. If you don't like the looks of a town, just drive on. Some people just like a firm itinerary, but it sounds as if you do not, or you wouldn't be asking.

Posted by
1 posts

Along this line of discussion, we're planning on walking the Dingle Way but don't want to be bound by a pre-reserved schedule. If we want to stay more than one night in a place, we'd like that option. We'll be on foot of course, and plan to stay in the towns along the Way. It sounds like mid-September, early October would not be too much of a problem to find places to stay? We rarely book ahead, even in more touristy areas, and often have found our most favorite places randomly. thanks for this line of observations!

Posted by
40 posts

In Galway I recommend: Consilio B&B - You can walk everywhere in Galway City AND Salthill. Liam & Stella Faherty.

I do agree with the suggestion that you should check to see if festivals and events.

You may want to book at least your first and last night.


Posted by
3 posts

Keep in mind that the annual Dingle Peninsula Food Festival (in Dingle) is being held from Friday October 3 to Sunday October 5. I will be in Dingle that weekend and have booked my B&B already, and was told that the hotels and B&Bs are filling up quickly for that weekend. If you think you will be in Dingle during that time, you should probably reserve a room now. Slainte!

Posted by
4 posts

Highly, HIGHLY recommend Sea View House in Doolin --

We stayed there in May and Niall and Dara (the husband and wife that run it) were absolutely wonderful and helpful in drawing out maps, and pointing out where to go and things to do. We were also there to elope, and they were incredible at helping organize and go the extra little steps to help our wedding go smoothly. Their hospitality really shined through and made for an awesome visit for us.

However, the breakfast was the best part. Everything was local (or as local as could be) with much of the menu coming from their own family garden and livestock right down the hill. The duck eggs were fresh from that morning, the yogurt was homemade from their goat (or cow-- I don't remember, but it was delicious), brown bread, etc. I can smell all of it now just thinking about it!

Overall, a great little place :-)

Posted by
1277 posts

yes, for one couple you should be able to wing it. I traveled with a group of 6 needing 3 rooms, and it was hard for us to find accommodations in October.....

Posted by
253 posts

Daly's House in Doolin and the Pax House in Dingle were great B&Bs. Always book directly!!