Lawcus Farm Guesthouse: Our Favorite Irish B&B
The Lawcus Farm Guesthouse was our first B&B stop on our trip around Ireland and easily the best B&B I’ve stayed at in all my travels. I came across it via Tripadvisor while doing my research on places to stay. While it wasn’t the #1 rated B&B when we stayed there in 2011 it has since worked its way into that coveted spot, and for good reason.
The Lawcus Farm is that perfect place to get away from it all. Only on our trip it wasn’t so easy to get to at all! We got lost trying to find our way to the farm because we didn’t fully understand how Irish GPS systems work (and maybe all GPS systems for that matter). You see, our GPS had various settings for coordinates and when we plugged in the coordinates for the Lawcus Farm we ended up 10 miles outside of Waterford in the driveway of a mansion. No bueno. After fiddling around with the GPS we realized our error, put the settings right and from there it was smooth sailing. When we finally arrived at the B&B we were thoroughly impressed. It’s such a cute farmhouse, how could anyone not like it? There were a couple dogs there to greet us, lambs grazing in the pasture and a little river down at the bottom of the hill.
Ann-Marie was there anticipating our arrival and she showed us our room, the Stone Room. It was on the second floor with tiny windows on both sides of the room and views of the pastures. We came back downstairs to find tea waiting for us in the parlor.
After our tea Ann-Marie showed us around the farm which, being in mid-May, was teeming with new life. All four of her ewes had given birth and there were 9 baby lambs between them. Her sow had 11 piglets as well, including the runt who was still being bottle-fed. There were dogs, cats, ducks, chickens, turkeys, horses, and cows. At the bottom of the hill Ann-Marie’s husband Mark had built a small bridge and we stood on it looking at the trout swimming in the river.
Ann-Marie suggested to us that we visit Kells Priory up the road, a little-known site that is literally set in a sheep pasture. We drove up the road to find a small car park but nothing else. We picked our way around the sheep poo until we got to the Priory. They were doing renovations on the site when we visited but there were no signs with information to be found. Later I researched the area and discovered that Kells Priory was founded in 1193 and was something like a religious fort.
After walking around the Priory a bit we headed back to the farm. By then Mark had come home and we all stayed up until midnight, chatting about various topics (mostly Brandon’s military service) and sharing a few bottles of English beer called Bishop’s Finger. Ann-Marie baked us a fresh loaf of bread which we enjoyed with black currant jam. She also offered us a boiled duck egg which I tried but wasn’t too fond of. Brandon ate it though…he’ll eat anything really. It was so wonderful to sit and chat with the owners of this B&B like we were old friends.
The next morning we woke up to a full Irish breakfast. We had pancakes, bacon (not sorry American bacon but the good thick Irish bacon), porridge and homemade butter from Ann-Marie’s neighbor. It was an excellent breakfast and we were sad that we were only spending one night there. Brandon said he would have stayed at the Lawcus Farm Guesthouse the whole trip if he could, it was that good. If we’re ever in the area again there would be no question about where we’d be staying and I recommend anyone visiting Kilkenny to check out this wonderful B&B!
The Verdict: This was a wonderful place to stay and I’d recommend booking at least two nights to get the full experience. While it was the most expensive of the B&B’s we stayed at in Ireland (50 euros per person which includes breakfast) we feel the additional expense was worth the experience we got out of it. Just be sure that your GPS coordinates are correct; the guesthouse is very close to Jerpoint Abbey, NOT Waterford!
What To Do: Visit Kells Priory. It’s free so why not? You can walk through the priory, over a small bridge and along a trail to get to an old mill which is also great for photography. Jerpoint Abbey is only a few miles away as well. Pay the 3 euros to visit the wonderful 12th century monastery or get in free with the Heritage Card. The bigger town of Kilkenny is also only a half hour drive from the farmhouse. If you visit, don’t miss going to Kilkenny Castle (no photography allowed inside the castle).
What To Eat: Try the full Irish breakfast, included in the price of the stay. The Irish bacon is to die for. If you haven’t had porridge before, add a little milk and brown sugar to sweeten it up, otherwise it tastes pretty bland. And if you really enjoy it you can make it when you get home! Just find a box of steel cut oatmeal at your local grocery store. Brandon and I make a full Irish breakfast every year on Christmas morning.
Child Friendly? Yes. One child (under 5 years) stays free when sharing a room with parents.
Pet Friendly? We didn’t inquire about this during our stay. Lawcus Farm is a working farm with lots of animals and they have their own pets so I would venture to say no, though TripAdvisor states they are pet friendly.