Accommodation in Ireland
B&B's start from about 30 Euros per person per night. Typically, it makes little or no difference to the total price whether you share a room or have separate rooms. Self-catering cottages are also available for rental and may be more practical for longer stays.
Ballycastle has several B&Bs, however, self-catering cottages may be more convenient
here (see below) as there are few eateries nearby (though no shortage of pubs). The author has had good experiences staying in a well-maintained and well-equipped holiday cottage inBallycastle, with spectacular views across the Bay and Downpatrick Head. The cottage is within 5-minutes walk of several pubs and village shops. See MayoCottages.com
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River Moy and Ballina Cathedral
Ballina accommodations The bustling town of Ballina is just 20 miles and 30 minutes drive from Ballycastle, half-way between Knock airport and Ballycastle. The author has had good experiences at New Lodge B&B, just 10 minutes walk from Ballina town centre along the picturesque river Moy, famed for its salmon fishing. The B&B is situated half a mile south of Ballina town centre, on the east side of the N26 road.
The author discovered the charming Dillon's Bar and Restaurant occupying the premises of an old Bond Store Warehouse (for liquor) built in the early 1800's, tucked away in a cobble-stoned alley off Dillon Street. The food was excellent and the prices reasonable.
County Mayo is over four hours drive from Dublin airport (DUB), however, Knock International airport (NOC) is conveniently located in the middle of County Mayo. Knock airport is served by Ryan Air, BMIbaby and Aerlingus from several European cities. Ryan Air offers low cost flights, but check the cost of their mandatory extra fees and baggage limitations carefully.
There are many car rental companies and agencies to choose from
at Knock airport, however, cars with automatic transmission or air
conditioning are not very common in Ireland. The author found good
value and service in 2012 at Budget Car Rentals who have a rental
desk in Knock airport.
Most Gold and Platinum credit cards specifically exclude Excess or Deductible insurance coverage for car rental in Ireland, so you may need to buy this separately. Buying this coverage from the car rental company can be very expensive, but a much cheaper alternative and usually with better coverage, can be purchased on-line at various insurance companies such as Worldwideinsure.com or Insurance 4 Car Hire.
A GPS (Sat-Nav) can be very useful, but most do not display the smaller single-track roads. The Ordnance Survey Map, Discovery Series No. 23 (ISBN: 1-903974-57-7), provides details of all the roads and names of the townlands around Ballycastle. It can be ordered on-line from Ordnance Survey Ireland, or purchased locally at a bookstore or newsagent.