Discovering ireland with a local

Outdoor Adventures and Organic Food in a Homestay in Wicklow

Our guests choose to stay in a homestay for all kinds of reasons. For blogger Travel Dave, he wanted to experience authentic Irish culture by staying with a local, away from the hustle and bustle of Ireland's capital city Dublin. We spoke to him after his stay with host Cathy in Kilmacanogue to see what he made of the Garden County of Ireland.

What made you decide to visit Wicklow?

I had been to Dublin many of times, and I wanted to experience something different. Ireland isn’t the sort of place you travel to because of the weather. It is the kind of place you go to because of the local people.

As a prominent travel writer, Dave spends most of the year on the move. So for him, staying with a local host offered him the comforts of home during his travels and also a friendly local to give him insight into the area and advice on the must-see spots.

Host Cathy's kitchen

The kitchen in Cathy's homestay overlooking her vegetable patch

Tell us about your homestay experience

It’s always a surreal experience, waiting for your host to pick you up. Then along came Cathy, a bubbly Irish character, full of life and ready for an adventure. First thing in the morning Cathy offered me eggs recently laid from her hens for breakfast, and a raspberry smoothie with fruit freshly picked from the garden that morning. You simply can’t get that from a hotel that’s for sure!

Dave's host Cathy is a personal trainer and life coach who prides herself on providing guests with as much fresh produce from her garden as possible. As you can tell, she left no stone unturned when it came to making sure Dave had the best of her home grown fruit and veggies.

Cathy will make sure that her guests eat healthily from her garden and makes it part of her homestay experience.

Wicklow Mountains

Wicklow Mountains - image courtesy of Mahender G

Cathy's home is in the valley of Kilmacanogue and is surrounded by an abundance of hiking and cycling trails that allow you to capture the best views of the Wicklow Mountains. Dave was put through his paces when he and Cathy took on the Sugarloaf Mountain together one afternoon.

Host Cathy with guest Dave

Host Cathy with guest Dave - image courtesy of davebrettuk

Apart from taking in the views and fresh air, there are plenty of great local pubs, restaurants, and shops where you can take in some local cuisine and traditional music. After all the hiking, Dave's mission was to get fish and chips, as well as a pint. So Cathy brought him to her favourite local pub, Pluck's of Kilmacanogue and joined him.

What are your thoughts on homestays having now tried one?

Travel is all about the people you meet and having that direct connection with a local, staying with them in their cozy home and feeling comfortable in a homely environment is a unique way to experience a country and spend your holiday.

For Dave, this trip offered him a chance to venture off the beaten tourist trail and to see and go places that only a local can show you. He was in great hands with host Cathy who was only too delighted to show him her favourite parts of the local area. Check out the fantastic video diary Dave shot during his trip to Ireland below to see his adventure in action.

Want to plan your own adventure in the Emerald Isle?

Find the perfect local host who can make it a trip you will never forget.

Homestays in Ireland

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