Clare Island Lighthouse
I have always found lighthouses desperately romantic. Their beacons of light shining out on a dark stormy night saving ships from crashing into jagged rocks, and inside a lonely lighthouse man like a superhero, saving the day again and again with his heartbreaking lonely job. Of course nowadays lighthouses are automated but like stories about smugglers and pirates, I will always remember the tales I was told about lighthouses when I was a little girl and I have always rather fancied staying in a lighthouse as a result.
Thankfully my wishes have finally come true. Clare Island lighthouse is a luxury boutique guesthouse. The Island stands guard at the entrance to Clew Bay, off Ireland’s western Atlantic coast. For almost two centuries, the island’s Lighthouse has been a nautical landmark perched high on the craggy cliffs, watching over Achill, Westport and beyond. Once a safe haven for sailors, this heritage property now offers sanctuary of a different kind. This architecturally majestic, listed building has been lovingly transformed into fully catered, luxury accommodation, complemented by magnificent sea views and an inspiring, natural environment.
Clare Island Lighthouse is reached by a short ferry ride which immediately adds to the remote, isolated but exclusive feel of the lighthouse. It is the perfect place to escape from every day life, where even the busiest mind is soon stilled by the unhurried island pace. You will be met at the pier and whisk you up the spectacular road to this clifftop haven. Locked behind closed gates this lighthouse with it’s cluster of buildings and beautiful grounds, welcomes you. Interiors, in keeping with the ethos of the lighthouse and its location, are uncluttered & sleek but exceedingly comfortable, but it remains difficult to keep your mind on the internal decoration when there are mind-blowing views at every window.
Clare Island Lighthouse is a retreat where you can while away your time in solitude, just like those lonely lighthouse men, or can enjoy mingling and socialising with other guests at the 6 course meal, or in the welcoming warmth of the kitchen, drawing room or library. The rooms are really cosy also with the amazing and dramatic views over the ocean. At night you snuggle up in bed with the dancing flames from the fire in the stove. There are no televisions at The Lighthouse but Wi-Fi is available so guests can use their own portable devices. Reading material, games, sustenance & piano are also provided.
The closest big town to Clare Island is Westport, which according to Destination Westport possesses ‘real charisma and a continental flavour’. It is a unique and charming heritage town, voted Best Place to Live in Ireland by Irish Times readers in 2012. The bustle and energy of Westport offers visitors the perfect contrast to the tranquil pace of The Clare Island Lighthouse experience.
This is undoubtedly one of the most unique and unusual places I have ever reviewed. This cliff top gem has the most incredible and unforgettable views of the Atlantic Ocean and will offer you an unforgettable escape.
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