Best Place to Holiday in Ireland 2022: Could it be in Co Monaghan?

Nominations are coming in for towns, villages, cities, islands and regions for The Irish Times award

Monaghan is the Irish county with the highest number of nominations so far in the Irish Times Best Place to Holiday 2022 competition. It is followed by Kerry with 23 and Donegal with 22.

The Irish Times is searching for the Best Place to Holiday in Ireland, in association with Fáilte Ireland, by asking members of the public to nominate their favourite holiday destination – towns, villages, cities, islands and regions – see the form in this article. If you are reading this in The Irish Times app, click here.

A panel of judges and researchers will scour Ireland to check out the places you’ve suggested – before announcing a winner later in the summer.

Though more than 200 people so far have entered the competition, nine counties have yet to produce a single nomination. These are Armagh, Carlow, Derry, Laois, Limerick, Meath, Tipperary, Tyrone, Westmeath.

The tally per county is in the map below.

To help and inspire you, here are two sample entries sent in by readers about areas they consider to be the Best Place to Holiday in Ireland, 2022. Thanks to everyone who has entered so far.

Inishbofin island, Co Galway: ‘I am torn whether to share this’

The journey to Inishbofin through the rugged landscape of Connemara may lead you to believe that that this is a good as it gets. A 30-minute boat journey from Cleggan to this island with the most wonderful people blows that theory apart.

I have been travelling to Inishbofin and to Pat in the Dolphin Hotel for more than 15 years. The island provides a constant magical feeling as you wander down the East End with its pretty beaches, through the bogland shared with wildlife and along the coastal path that holds an unencumbered view of Trá Gheall in the Westquarter. On a sunny day the waters glisten like I can imagine they would in the Caribbean.

I am constantly torn whether or not to share my experiences of Bofin because you always want to keep it for yourself. And that in itself is its true mark. Invariably, you end up telling everyone because they need to feel what we all feel when we visit. It also holds a uniqueness insofar that it makes passing visitors feel part of a community during their time there. They also have great broadband but poor mobile phone coverage and I think it’s a genius island ploy to make sure we cut ourselves off as much as possible from the rest of the world whilst giving us a little fix.

The dream is to retire there.

Conor Sweeney

Kilmore Quay, Co Wexford: ‘The pretty village keeps beckoning me back’

My love for Kilmore Quay began as a child when our trailer tent was packed up, and we went to camp on a working farm, a portion of the cows’ field becoming our campsite, ice cold water from their Wavin pipe our shower. Finding the eggs laid by the freely roaming chickens around the farm was magic, and being deemed old enough to help bring in the cows for milking was an honour, and rides on the tractor made these holidays more memorable than our trips to foreign shores.

Holidays with my own children in Kilmore Quay over the years – while different from my childhood experiences – were equally enjoyable. The pretty little village keeps beckoning me back: walks on the burrow beach; playing in the playground with views across to the Saltee islands; crab catching on the pier while watching the fishermen unload their day’s catch; the seals bobbing around expectantly; kayaking on the beach; early-morning walks and late-night strolls to enjoy the spectacular sunsets; catching shrimp in the rock pools; sandy picnics on the shore; fish and chips from the famous chipper; a visit to the lifeboat shop and the local establishments.

The residents and business owners in Kilmore Quay take great pride in their village, the welcome is always warm, the houses freshly painted and thatched, and there have been ongoing improvements and projects around the village over the years.

A holiday in Kilmore Quay is not complete without a ramble around Wexford town and a visit to Johnstown castle, but these nor the many other places we have visited over the years could knock Hook Head from its top spot. A walk along the cliff then stopping in the coffee shop, watching the waves crash beneath us while the creative members of the family paint slates with Rose Finn, have ensured my bathroom in Kildare has a little bit of Hook in it, keeping me going between visits.

Kilmore Quay hosts many festivals, the one closest to my heart being the Write by the Sea Festival every September, but I would need to write a separate piece just about that and the way the village pulls together to host it.

Kate Carroll

Nominate your favourite place to holiday, for a countrywide contest: irishtimes.com/bestplace

Entries close on June 7th

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