Find the perfect place to stay as you explore Mullingar and the Royal Canal.
Georgian guesthouses brimming with historic charm, peaceful canal-side inns, cosy farmhouse B&Bs and luxury spa resorts. Mullingar more than lives up to its reputation for warm hospitality and as you follow its waterways and discover its treasures, you can rest your head in some remarkable places.
A perfect mix of modern-day luxury and Georgian elegance, Johnstown Estate is a four-star resort near Enfield in County Meath. The old manor house, built in 1761, is now the beating heart of the hotel. Step into the reception and you’ll see perfectly preserved period features such as rococo plasterwork and ornate doors. Meanwhile, the restaurants and bedrooms are effortlessly chic and contemporary. Johnstown is perfect for a pampering break – the spa here offers a luxurious range of facials, massage and holistic treatment. But it’s also ideal for a family getaway, with options including a cosy family room or a self-catering lodge within the grounds.
It’s all about the food at Mornington House, a gracious historic guesthouse in the lush Westmeath countryside that’s been in the home of the O’Hara family since 1858. Warwick’s breakfasts are the stuff of legend. His wife Anne is a talented cook whose exquisite four-course dinners are made using produce from Mornington’s own walled garden, as well as meat and fish from award-winning local producers. The result is hospitality in the grand style of the Irish country house.
Luxury self-catering accommodation by Lough Owel, near the charming village of Multyfarnham, Lake Lodge consists of two properties, the Lodge and the Barn. Set amidst lush forest, with gorgeous lakeside views, both are decorated with taste and individuality. Kids will love the Lodge’s porch swing and play area; grown-ups will appreciate the Barn’s wood-burning stove and cosy cottage feel. And everyone will enjoy the complimentary basket of locally produced bread, coffee and chocolate that comes as part of the Lake Lodge experience.
Annebrook House Hotel
Set within 10 acres of parkland in the middle of Mullingar, Annebrook House Hotel offers the best of both worlds. Relax in one of the gracious reception rooms of the 19thcentury manor house, with their high ceilings, intricate cornicing and atmospherically creaking floorboards. Sleep in a sleek, stylish bedroom or apartment in the adjoining modern wing, where flatscreen TVs and wifi comes as standard. Add in fine dining at the Old House restaurant in the cellar of the manor and lively nights in Berty’s Bar and you’ve got the makings of an ideal stay.
Mullingar Park Hotel
Comfort, elegance and great food – the Mullingar Park Hotel is an ideal spot to base yourself for a tour of the region. Its location on the outskirts of Mullingar means that you’re within easy distance of both main roads and the Royal Canal with its walking, cycling and paddling routes. The hotel boasts impressive leisure facilities, including a 20-metre swimming pool and the food in the award-winning Terrace Restaurant or the Horseshoe Bar won’t disappoint.
Mary Lynch’s pub
Right on the banks of the Royal Canal sits a perfect example of an Irish county pub. But Mary Lynch’s is more than that. With four ensuite bedrooms, it offers the perfect overnight accommodation for those enjoying the Royal Canal Greenway or Blueway experience. Rooms are cheerful and cosy, food is homecooked and plentiful, and the welcome, from owners John and Mary Moriarty, is as warm as it gets. If you’re there on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, you’ll get to experience the pub’s popular traditional Irish music sessions.
It’s been a stately home, a school and now, 17th century Viewmount House in County Longford, has reinvented itself as a boutique guesthouse. A stay here will bring you back to a gorgeously Georgian age of elegance but you still get to enjoy modern conveniences such as flatscreen TVs and bottled water in each of the 12 bedrooms. Enjoy exploring the four acres of beautiful wooded gardens, sample the menu at the VM restaurant, situated in the converted stable block or just enjoy hanging out in the guest sitting room – originally the kitchen of Viewmount, where you can still see the history of this wonderful old house in the old service bells that hang on the wall. viewmounthouse.com
Lough Owel Lodge
If a stay at an organic farm on the shores of glistening Lough Owel appeals, then this is the place for you. A cosy B&B run by Martin and Aideen, the third generation to farm this land, Lough Owel Lodge offers the full Irish B&B experience: comfortable ensuite rooms named after local lakes, a mouthwatering breakfast menu, and even the chance to meet the resident donkeys, Sonny and Cher. For those interested in tracing their family roots in the area, the owners can put you in touch with a consultant genealogist to help you in your quest.
You’ll find the Richmond Inn overlooking Richmond Harbour in the pretty village of Cloondara in County Longford, where the Royal Canal flows into the River Shannon. Built in the 19thcentury as a flax mill, the inn was converted into a pub in the 1930s and since then, it’s become a favourite spot to rest up overnight for walkers and cyclists who have tackled the Royal Canal Way. With just five ensuite rooms, you’ll need to book ahead to be sure of a comfy bed for the night.