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Daisy on the Sky Road Loop outside Clifden.
Daisy on the Sky Road Loop outside Clifden.

Five woofs for pet friendly holiday

I’ve hijacked this week’s column from my friend, Bev, to tell you of my travels. Every year around this time, I like to take my humans on a little trip. It’s surprising how hardly any Irish hotels take dogs, but a few enlightened ones do, including Brook Lodge in Wicklow, where we went last year.

This time around, we all went to the Twelve, in Barna – just a few minutes outside Galway city – as a birthday treat. I was told about the hotel by my good friend Siobhán.

Because they only have one dog-friendly room, I was guaranteed exclusivity, but it meant I’d have to be on my best behaviour at all times having no other dogs to blame in the event of any accidents.

We drove straight out to Clifden on our first day as I had never seen any part of Connemara. What a beautiful, rugged landscape. We stopped in Clifden for a coffee but I’m on a strict diet so unfortunately, nothing for me.

A view from the Sky Road Loop outside Clifden.
A view from the Sky Road Loop outside Clifden.

After a walk around the town, we found a signpost to the Sky Loop Road, a well-known 10km drive through the cliffs around the town. We enjoyed the lovely scenery for a while and then headed off to the Twelve as it was getting late.

I’m a well-travelled dog so I’m used to checking into hotels at this stage. They made a great fuss of me and I had to show my vaccination certs to prove I was fully up to date, worm and flea treatments and all. I was delighted to show I was all clear and was rewarded with a lovely bag of treats.

It wasn’t long before we were settled in our room, nice and spacious with a separate sitting room. The bed was very comfy looking, as was the couch but I wasn’t allowed on the furniture.

My humans went down to dinner and they told me later that it was delicious. I can vouch for the tastiness of the steak because as a special treat, I was given a little sliver to taste.

Even though it was dark, we all went out for a long walk along the shore before heading for bed. I had brought my nice comfy basket from home, so after my long day I slept soundly for the night.

The following morning after breakfast, we headed off in the car again, taking the coast road towards Spiddal. The weather wasn’t very nice but we had a stroll around although we didn’t stay long as there seemed to be little enough going on.

Here I am enjoying the view in front of Kylemore Abbey in Connemara.
Here I am enjoying the view in front of Kylemore Abbey in Connemara.

We drove around the coast for a while but the weather was getting worse, so we headed towards Maam Cross and went on to Kylemore Abbey. It looked beautiful from the road, with the lake in front of it, especially as the rain had nearly stopped.

Dogs aren’t allowed into Kylemore, so I had to wait in the café with my human, John, while Shelly went in for a look at the gardens.

We had to leave for the hotel soon after, as my humans had booked a pizza making lesson that afternoon. They told me later they had great craic and the pizzas were delicious. They didn’t bring me up a sample though so I’ll have to take their word for it.

I was left to my own devices again later that evening when they went out to sample the fish at Donnellys across the road. We emerged again after dinner for another long walk, going out the Spiddal road this time.

A comfy bed, nice walks and lovely steak. Why wouldn’t I give Twelve the full five woofs?

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