Out and About: North West Ireland

Where to stay

Often overlooked when considering the premier golfing destinations worldwide is Ireland’s Northwest region, but you needn’t look any further than the Mount Falcon Estate to find your home away from home. This luxurious manor house resides on a 100-acre spread nestled into the thick Irish woodlands, and boasts delectable fare, a cozy and inviting décor, and a plethora of activities sure to keep your itinerary filled. Whether you fancy a stay in a superior room, a lodge, or lake view or woodland suites, your accommodation blends modern fixtures with rustic furnishings for the quintessential Irish experience.

For a stay and play experience, the Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort will surely suffice. A modern exterior exudes both comfort and tranquility upon arrival, while the interior décor honors the years of history instrumental in the resorts’ charm.

Where to play

I truly could talk about these courses all day long. Each one has subtle differences that endears you to it, but the way the respective membership welcomes you at every venue makes you feel as if you’ve long been a member. I got the feeling they believe their course is the best in Ireland and are / were overjoyed that a visitor was there to experience it. It was unlike anywhere else I had ever been.

With two championship courses on site, Ballyliffin Golf Club stands out ever so slightly above the rest. Offering two contrasting experiences, the Glashedy Links, some 22 years younger than its counterpart, was fashioned around the magnificent dunes and harmonizes with the natural surroundings, while the Old Links retains a more traditional and rugged layout recently altered by Sir Nick Faldo. The expansive panoramic vistas of the North Atlantic Ocean, the jagged Irish coastline, and the natural mountainous countryside only add to the allure this 36-hole venue possesses.

Things to see & do away from the course

Whether you settle in County Sligo, County Donegal, or County Mayo, you’ll be greeted by an unmistakable Irish brogue, a smile, and a pint of Guinness that is sure to make you feel welcome. An afternoon exploring Downpatrick Head, meandering the streets of Westport, or aimlessly wandering the coastal routes is the perfect way to enjoy your afternoon. The region, known more for its natural sights, is far more tranquil than the rest, and the untamed beauty embodies the Irish through and through: tough, wild and hearty.

Where to eat

Quite common throughout the region is the use of fresh and locally sourced produce, and no one has perfected it better than the Mount Falcon Estate. A unique characteristic of the Kitchen Restaurant is the seasonality of their menus; built around and catering to the availability of fresh produce, dishes are designed to appease even the most diverse of pallets. The River Moy, which runs through the Estate, is not only the perfect place to spend an afternoon, but it is also the source of their staple Wild Atlantic Salmon. All meat and poultry served on site is of local origin as well, ensuring the freshness you’d expect from a 5-star dining experience.

In similar fashion, the Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort infuses their dishes with local ingredients. Whether it be a Donegal Ham or the Sheephaven Bay Lobster, the Vardon Restaurant is primed and ready with an array of options to satisfy even the most ravenous appetite.

Local Tips

Unique to this region is the luxury of playing with a motorized cart / buggy. Links golf, which has long been reserved for walking only, can be enjoyed here without limitations. Whether you’re trying to preserve the legs or have a more serious condition that prevents you from walking, the carts are an alternative that affords everyone the opportunity to enjoy the nuances of links golf.   

Discover more about golf in North West Ireland or inquire now with Golfbreaks.com to experience it yourself.

Sean Fahey

Having only started playing at the age of 15, my passion and love for the game grew quite quickly. As an amateur, I played competitively all across the US, and yearned to one day find myself working in the golfing industry. Born and raised in Connecticut, I now call the wonderful city of Charleston, SC home, having relocated here for university seven years ago. At the College of Charleston, I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, and was heavily involved in the founding of a local non-profit. Despite being new to Golfbreaks.com USA, it’s an honor and a privilege to be a part of this growth opportunity, and I’m excited to help bring our services to the American golfing public.