Ireland Trip Recommendations


First time poster, long time (podcast) listener. 8 of us have a trip planned to Ireland next month. The courses and hotels are already planned. We are staying a couple nights in Killarney and another couple of nights in Newcastle, Northern Ireland.

I was hoping people could offer suggestions for restaurants/pubs in Killarney and Newcastle.

Thanks very much!!! I appreciate it.


Also staying in Malahide and Sligo on the trip, so very open to recommendations in those towns as well. Thanks!

There’s not really a huge amount in Newcastle. I’m sure some of the pubs will have live music on but wouldn’t be the nicest place in the world for drinks. The slieve donard hotel beside Royal Country Down is decent for food. Could price a mini-bus taxi to Belfast and back, probably not too bad 8 ways. If so the cathedral quarter is the place to go for drinks. If you have the time to squeeze in another round Ardglass is a must play nearby to Newcastle. Probably 4th best course in N.I


Thanks! Good idea on heading into Belfast. In Northern Ireland, we are playing Ardglass, Portrush, RCD, and a little course called Kirkistown Castle. I am really excited to play Ardglass. We are squeezing a ton of golf into the days, and although I hear that Newcastle isn’t the greatest town, we are using it as our home base while in Northern Ireland. Staying at the Slieve Donard, but I am a bit bummed that Newcastle isn’t the best of towns, but much of our days will either be on the course or traveling to courses. I figure we can make a day of it up in Portrush, and go to Bushmills, the Causeway, and the Harbor Bar.


Just got back from a trip last month and stayed in Portmarnock and Sligo. We went out to dinner in Malahide a couple night and checked out a few of the pubs. Had a really good Italian meal at Al Fresco in Malahide and decent pub food at Duffy’s.

Sligo has a cool little town setting around the river. Had a good meal at Bistro Bianconi. Plenty of options around there too.

Where all are you playing around both places? I see you’re playing Ardglass. First 4 or 5 holes might be the most scenic I’ve ever played


hiphipjorge - thanks! Great advice for Malahide. I appreciate it. We are only playing the Island Club near Malahide - right after we land in Dublin. Couldn’t make Portmarnock work on this trip.

In Sligo, we are only playing Co. Sligo (I wanted to see the Northwest as I have never been there) and then heading to the Southwest for the usual suspects. It was hard to get tee times at RCD and Portrush, so the trip is kind of scattered and piece-mealed together, so that we could get on those courses.

I am so pumped for Ardglass. I am actually so pumped for every course on the trip. Love links golf more than anything in the world, save my family [*obligatory statement].


The Beach Bar

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Sounds like a great trip. We played The Island, Ardglass and Co Sligo as well. The Island was awesome and County Sligo is now one of my favorite courses I’ve ever played. Those are two and are going to be on every Ireland Itinerary I ever create or recommend.

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Definitely one to check out as well. We played Sligo Sunday of the UKBOPHMTQ in the same storm that forced tee times to be moved up at Portrush. I think I’m still damp from that round so we were just trying to get back to the hotel to peel off the rain gear

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Headed over to Dublin area next month as well, was there two years ago for the first time. Staying in Malahide this time around, very cool town.

Definitely agree with @hiphipjorge , best meal I had on the trip was Italian. Ate at both Al Fresco and Sorriso (across the street from one another) both were very good. Other then that the Pubs in Malahide were a fun time, try out Gibney’s.

You’ll have a great time at The Island, place is awesome. Be prepared for the narrowest fairway you’ve ever seen, pretty sure it was hole 14 if I remember correctly.


Nice! One of my best friends was a member at kirkistown for years. Enjoy!

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Newcastle isn’t that bad. Not the most glamorous place in the world but it’s a UK seaside town. Use Tripadvisor to find the decent restaurants. If you want an ice cream make sure you try Maud’s - it’s a Northern Irish thing.

Kirkistown is a great track, about 25 mins away from where I live. It won’t blow your socks off compared to the others you are playing but it is a friendly links which is good fun. The fairways did suffer during last summer but with the amount of rain this year they should have improved. The par 4 10th hole is a monster. Still yet to hit it in 2!

Ardglass is good but imo it is not an out and out links. They have done a good bit of work last winter though with a few new bunkers etc. There is a few cracking holes down round the sea.

Malahide is a great wee village/town. Lots of nice bars and restaurants in there.

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Killarney is a great place you’ll find Murphys Bar, Scotts, The Grand plenty place to go and eat drink etc. Im back there on the 5th September for 5 nights .


Isn’t Kirkiston an Old Tom track? Or Colt. Somebody famous. @AndyDowney is a member there I think.

Newcastle is a dump but the pubs / pub (can’t remember if there is more than one) down in Dundrum are a bit more low key. Downpatrick is close too, especially post the Ardglass round. You can go see where St Patrick is actually buried. :slight_smile:

There are a few nice restaurants around the Strangford Lough area. So, Strangford, Portaferry, Whiterock. If you fancy a drive take the ferry over and drive to Donaghadee, where Grace Neil’s is the oldest pub in Ireland (can be a tourist trap though). Going the other way, Rostevor is a nice town.

But I’d agree that your best bet is heading into Belfast, which is probably the best night out in Ireland if you want to get into a bit of trouble. It’s only about 45 mins from RCD. The Cathedral Quarter is where you want to be but Botanic has a more student vibe if that’s your bag. Some great restaurants in the City Centre. Start with cocktails in the Merchant Hotel and just follow the noise from there.

That being said, once you’ve played at RCD you want to hang about the clubhouse to eat. Some great characters in there. Then head to the spa at the hotel. You can sit in the pool there with an infinity edge window that looks up at the mountains. You won’t want to leave.


Mourne Seafood and The Buck’s Head are good spots to eat in Dundrum, good local seafood etc. & less than ten mins from SR. Worth pre-booking a return cab and reserving a table ahead.


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Shoot the Crows in Sligo was one of my favorite pubs in all my travels in Ireland. They have live music four nights a week, but I thought it was great even on a night where it was just the stereo (with a really interesting rock playlist).


Sadly not a member at Kirkiston Castle (think there is someone on here who is, @The_Cad_Says may be able to look at the list for GB&I RACDG).

Newcastle isn’t the best, as others have said. Just out the gates of the Slieve Donard there are a few nice coffee shops. Try The Donard Hotel on the main street, just opened a cafe on the ground floor which is great.

Belfast is my home town (city) so if you end up heading this way let me know and I can send some recommendations your way depending on what you’re looking for.

For Malahide, I’ve always loved Il Sorriso for good Italian.

It is a James Braid design.

Belfast is quite a trek from Newcastle by taxi and I wouldn’t fancy grabbing a taxi home as they can be rather hard to find. So if you are going, pre arrange a pick up.

You could always go to Newry :rofl: Thats a joke btw, dont go there…


Hey, my Mums from Newry!

And yeah, don’t go there. :joy:

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Thanks @trocc. I appreciate you! Will hit up Al Fresco or Sorriso, if they are still serving food after our round at the Island. Then, off to Gibney’s until I pas out or get a second wind.