On her way to visit relatives in Northern Ireland, Paula Boocock and her husband, David, took a ferry trip to Dublin and stopped for two nights at the Eccles Townhouse
After taking a ferry trip to Dublin on the Irish Ferries Holyhead service – good value and a short crossing – a 20-minute drive from the port took us to our lodgings.
Reserved through Booking.com, the Eccles Townhouse is a small café/bistro offering accommodation with breakfast included.
Situated in the heart of the city, only a 5-minute walk from O’Connell Street, the accommodation was excellent. We had a spacious room with tea and coffee making facilities and extra touches like the sleep kit (complete with eye mask and ear plugs) made up for the fact the hotel is on a busy, Dublin street.
Dublin is a buzzing city, full of life, great pubs and wonderful Irish music
Breakfast was served in the café/bistro, which had an amazing menu and friendly staff. We opted for a “half Irish” as another guest warned us that the “full Irish” was…rather too full.
The bistro also offers an evening menu, but we spent our first night at the pub opposite: Kavanagh’s The Temple is a busy bar with live music and excellent food.
We spent our only full day in Dublin on the Gray Line hop on–hop off sightseeing bus – a great way to see the famous sights with over 20 stops. A 24-hour ticket cost 19 Euros and buses ran regularly all day from O’Connell Street.
The most popular stop was at the Guinness Storehouse – but we opted for the Jameson’s distillery, enjoying lunch in Christophe’s Café, directly opposite the entrance, with a varied menu at reasonable prices.
Back on the bus we chose Trinity College as our next port of call, visiting The Book of Kells exhibition, a medieval illuminated manuscript from the 9th-century, and the magnificent Long Room, which houses 200,000 antiquarian texts, marble busts of famous scholars and the oldest surviving harp in Ireland.
Needing a little refreshment, we walked to Grafton Street and enjoyed a pint of Guinness in the huge (and well-known) O’Neill’s Bar (opposite the bronze statue of Molly Malone): now in the main shopping area of Dublin, we loved the buskers and talented street artists.
We hopped back on the bus and stayed on until we got back to bustling O’Connell Street. The General Post Office, site of the 1916 uprising, is situated there, with a museum dedicated to its history. In the centre of the street sits the Dublin Spire, a gigantic stainless steel needle rising to 398 ft.
On our second – and final – night in the city we dined at the Bleecker Street Café on Dorset Street, just along the street from our hotel.
A New York-style café bar serving a cosmopolitan menu, Bleecker has a great atmosphere and really friendly staff – the perfect place to end a super stay in this charming city.
How to get to Eccles Townhouse Dublin without flying:
Paula took the Irish Ferries service from Holyhead to Dublin, taking around 3hrs 15 minutes on the cruise ferry (there is also a fast ferry service, taking less than 2-hours). A Rail and Sail service is also available if you don’t drive.
Parking is less than 5-minutes’ walk away from the Eccles Townhouse, at the underground car park of The Mater Hospital, and costs 15 Euros a day.
Words: Paula Boocock for Feet on the Ground
Images: Paula Boocock