My better half and I spent a few nights at the Lighthouse Inn, Kilbaha, a tiny village at the mouth of the River Shannon in County Clare.
In all fairness, this was not my first visit as myself and a number of friends from a Preston fishing club had visited for the past five years running! (That's how much I like it)
The Lighthouse Inn is run by Maureen and her daughters (I think hub stays hidden away) and is a good standard B+B with bar and restaurant and small shop attached.
The rooms are basic but clean and comfortable and all are en suite. Most overlook the sea too. The Breakfast is hearty and well cooked with great Irish bacon, black / white pudding, sausage, egg, beans, toast, soda bread, cereal, fruit juice, tea and coffee.
The restaurant has a good selection of meals and the menu changes frequently. There is usually a good selection of fresh fish / sea food much of which is landed on the jetty a few hundred yards away.
The bar has quiet areas plus a pool room away in the back and is a great place to meet the locals.
Meal times are relaxed to say the least. Breakfast is served any time from 7am till noon, lunch from 11am to 4pm and dinner from 3pm till 10pm!
The bar is open whenever you might possibly want it and many a time Ive seen locals having a pint at 9am and I've also enjoyed the same at 3 or 4 in the morning!
There is live music on many nights of the week and this ranges from singers to traditional to more contemporary styles. A word of warning though :- Kilbaha runs at it's own unique speed. Barring a few tourists the bar is empty before 9pm. Singers and musicians dont usually arrive until 10pm and its not till 11pm that people arrive for the night. Expect the music to play until the early hours, especially if it's a good session....and watch out because you might get roped in to do a bit of singing yourself.
Through the pub you can arrange fishing trips, dolphin watching, etc.
Most of the accommodation is not above the bar area, so you can be sure of a good night's sleep.
The Lighthouse Inn makes a good base for anyone wishing to explore the amazing beauty of County Clare (if it's not raining). However it is a little off the beaten track, so a car is essential.
Don't head to Kilbaha if you are expecting clubs, restaurants, shopping, trendy bars or boutique hotels, as it's not that sort of place. However if you a looking for genuine Irish hospitality, some great music, good simple home cooked food, great walking, superb fishing, wild rugged coastlines and amazing Guinness, this is just the place.