Wheelchair accessible holidays in Ireland - Kilkee

20 Wheelchair Accessible Holidays in Ireland

From accessible surfing lessons to glorious greenways, I’ve got 20 wheelchair accessible holidays in Ireland and where to stay nearby.

I am regularly asked about wheelchair accessible holidays in Ireland, so once again I asked Leona and Michael Hennessy, AKA The Stuggle is Wheel for their recommendations. As well some great wheelchair friendly things to do in Ireland, they have also listed wheelchair accessible hotels in Ireland in 20 different locations!

Inspired by their honeymoon in Sligo and California, the husband and wife team set up The Struggle is Wheel to document the highs and lows of wheelchair accessibility within Ireland’s tourism industry. You can follow The Struggle is Wheel on Instagram and Twitter / X and check out their post on wheelchair accessible holidays abroad here:

Read: 20 Wheelchair accessible holidays abroad

accessible surfing in Donegal

We’re often asked by our international followers about wheelchair accessible holidays in Ireland, and our answer is always this…it depends on the county! There is no uniformed accessibility in Ireland, but we are gradually starting to see more awareness and action around inclusive tourism.

If you have the right mobility equipment, and love the great outdoors, each county has unique heritage sites and topography, or if it’s our medieval towns and cities you’re after, you will find plenty of places to visit in Ireland that are wheelchair friendly.

Due to the rarity of inclusive pool access for holidays in Ireland, this article has no choice but to recommend hotels that don’t recognise equal access for disabled tourists.

You can expect to navigate corridors full of carpet, and high wardrobe rails are common. You may also have to deal with guest segregation with leisure activities, as 4-5 star hotels don’t necessarily mean 4-5 star access for wheelchair users when it comes to swimming pools… However, we have highlighted other positives, and all our recommendations include parking.

Avondale Beyond The Trees Wicklow

Accessible adventures can be found along our expanding investment in cycling tourism with our Greenways and Blueways, woodland trails and our gradual investment with inclusive beach access.

Being Irish, Mike and I are no strangers to gallivanting around our own country and often take family breaks at home when wanting to avoid the hassle of international flying. Whether it’s coastal trails, castles or cycles, this island has lots of adventure to offer with its rich maritime history and temperate oceanic climate – but make sure to pack rain clothes!.

We have highlighted some of our favourite accessible activities in Ireland and the best places to stay nearby. I hope it inspires you to book a trip in Ireland soon.

5 Top Tips for Wheelchair Accessible Holidays in Ireland

Search third party hotel booking sites 

Although there are loads of wheelchair accessible hotels in Ireland, they can be difficult to find! Hotel websites rarely advertise wheelchair accessible rooms clearly, and good luck trying to find a decent image!

Online booking usually entails a phone call and a request for images via email if needed, which is frustrating considering the tourism trend advertising dog-friendly rooms….

searching for wheelchair accessible hotels in Ireland

However, hotels sites such as Booking.com and Hotels.com have hotel and room accessibility as popular filters, and can be a good place to start when searching for accessible hotels in Ireland. You may need to contact the hotel directly afterwards to clarify issues, but it should speed up the search process! 

A car and car park is essential:

If travelling to Ireland from abroad, car hire is essential. Public transport is hit and miss for wheelchair users with unnecessary added stress, (especially when traveling with luggage), so hotels with carparks are vital to families like us, although these can be harder to find in city breaks.

 

Take advantage of free museums and attractions

All fee-paying heritage sites managed by the OPW are free for those with disabilities. Visit Heritageireland.ie for further details of wheelchair friendly attractions in Ireland.

Embrace our Greenways

accessible holidays in Ireland

We have many wonderful Greenways in Ireland and they are a great way to explore the outdoors. All greenways have intermittent carparks along the way, but be careful, shuttle buses are not usually wheelchair accessible, so check in advance on Greenways.org and plan your distance accordingly.

Enjoy our Beaches:

Did you know there are over 300 beaches in Ireland, we even have accessible surfing lessons – more on that below! Beach mat access is only starting to roll out county by county but hired beach wheelchairs are a lot more common now – you need book in with your county councils, and it is site selective and seasonal. Visit DFI.ie for a full list of wheelchair accessible beaches in Ireland.

Wheelchair Accessible Holidays in Ireland Near the Wild Atlantic Way

1. Great Northern Hotel, Bundoran, County Donegal  

There is so much to Donegal; we mentioned it twice! Put simply, Donegal has it all. We stayed at The Great Northern Hotel, located on the (wheelable/walkable) outskirts of Bundoran town.

 

Against the backdrop of the majestic Dartry Mountains, this historical family-run hotel has ample blue-badge parking and is located beside the accessible Roughey Cliff Walk – a tarmacked trail leading all the way to Tullan Strand with stunning coastal views of the Atlantic.

Our room had separate bathrooms with a good accessible flow in the wet room – it is a great choice if you are looking for hotels with wheelchair access in Donegal. 

While many reduce this Irish seaside town to casinos and dated nightclubs, Bundoran’s beauty for us is down to its seascapes and step-free main street cafés and restaurants.

Liquid Therapy accessible surf lessons

Bundoran is also a great base for road tripping. A short drive and you’re in County Sligo or drive further up north to explore Donegal’s coast. Since Donegal was the birthplace of Ireland’s first surfer family (the Brittons), we braced the waves and ventured into Rossnowlagh to try out an inclusive surf lesson with Ireland’s first inclusive Surf Centre, Liquid Therapy. What’s not to love?

Travel Tip: Keep some euros for those accessible amusements and slot machines!

 

2. Letterkenny, County Donegal

Back to Donegal again, but this time its Letterkenny that’s our base. International hotel chain Radisson Blu was a popular mention by our followers, so we stayed there and visited numerous sites around North Donegal.

Fanad Lighthouse, Donegal

Glenveagh National Park is a must-see and if you have a clip-on motor, power chair or a handcycle-all the better. To keep up with Mike, I booked an e-bike with local bike rental company GrassRoutes.

Donegal also has beautiful eco and wheelchair-friendly boardwalks – check out Ards Forest Walk and the Donegal Boardwalk Resort.

While Irelands Lighthouses may seem off limits to wheelchair users (we’ve always preferred looking at their exterior anyway),Fanad Lighthouse has invested in an indoor museum and around the lighthouse has stunning accessible views.

Another gem is Malin Head – Ireland’s most northerly point of mainland Ireland, where you’ll also find blue-badge parking.

 

Any wildlife-lovers in the family need to swing by the accessible Wild Ireland Sanctuary which is a rehabilitation project for homing woodland animals that once roamed Ireland – think wolves, lynx and brown bears.

Read: Top 10 things to do in Inishowen Peninsula

Travel Tip: You don’t get rainbows in Donegal without the rain, so pack rain jackets and warm hiking clothes. The Station house Hotel is Letterkenny is another highly recommended hotel if you need a base.

 

3. Rathkeale, County Limerick

For small families with pets, it’s rare to find a wheelchair accessible and pet-friendly hotel combination, but not only did we find one, this hotel is located right beside a new greenway!

wheelchair and pet friendly hotel in Ireland

Right in the heart of Rathkeale Town, Rathkeale House Hotel has blue-badge parking, ground floor rooms, and is located around the corner from the Limerick Greenway – which was built along the former Limerick to Tralee railway line.

Cycling tourism has really kicked off in Ireland so keep an eye out for the many Greenway Getaway hotel packages available.

Read: 6 Greenways to cycle in Ireland

Rental bike companies help families like us, as car space is limited with luggage, mobility equipment and a dog in tow, so we hired a bicycle, handcycle and trailer with rental company Like Bikes who are expanding their inclusive bike fleet to improve inclusive cycling tourism.

Travel Tip: Swing by Coillte’s Curraghchase Forest Park to explore accessible forest trails with your pet!

 

4. Loophead, County Clare 

This recommendation may be an unlikely choice for an accessible family holiday, but we found a wheelchair accessible mobile home at Green Acres Caravan and Camping Park in Donnaha, Co. Clare.

Tucked away at the back of the Shannon Estuary, this mobile home was fully kitted out with wheelchair accessible features from extra room space, lower wardrobe rails, mounted shower chair, grab rails, ramp etc.

From there, you can drive along Clare’s beautiful coastline and visit the accessible trails at the Kilkee Cliffs, Loophead Lighthouse for some wave-watching or pay a visit to the Vandeleur Estate at Kilrush, which boasts a wheelchair accessible walled garden (gravel-free)- a rarity within Irelands horticultural scene. If you’re in Kilrush, check out Scattery Island accessible cruise options!

Travel Tip: Disability Parking at the start of the Kilkee Cliff Trails is found outside Diamond Rocks Café, Kilkee.

 

6. Castlemartyr, County Cork

If you’d like to experience a 5-Star stay in Ireland, historical estate, Castlemartyr Resort has a more regal atmosphere with a tree-lined avenue and stately gardens.

grounds at Castlemartyr  Hotel are wheelchair accessible

We were greeted with valet parking to the nearest blue badge bay, luggage assistance and an effortless flow into the reception where we found a restaurant and bar all on the ground floor.

Our favourite part was summer drinks outdoors at the accessible Garden Terrace, although the swimming pool isn’t accessible.

 

Castlemartyr is approx. 20 minute drive to Youghal beach which has a newly installed Eco boardwalk which is worth a visit. You’ll also find Garryvoe beach close by, with beach chair access and views of Ballycotton Island.

Travel Tip: Castlemartyr also has its own woodland trails if you’d prefer to stay at the resort.

 

7. Upper Salthill, County Galway

Alternative accessible accommodation in Ireland is so important for different families, and we hope to see more of it throughout Ireland. Galway is another popular county for international visitors and while it has a mix of hotels found in and around the outskirts of the city, we’ve picked The Nest Boutique Hostel at Salthill.

Galway city

This stylish, modern, hostel has blue-badge parking directly outside and is a boutique hostel built with wheelchair access in mind.

A short distance away is the accessible Salthill Promenade which is a beautiful coastal stretch to explore (blue-badge parking here if needed). If you have an electric clip-on motor for your wheelchair its approximately 15-20 min wheel into the heart of Galway city centre where you can explore The Latin Quarter, Spanish Arch and Eyre Square.

Travel Tip: For fish and chips order from traditional family-run chipper McDonaghs, on Quay St (accessible entrance).

 

8. Killarney, Co. Kerry

Welcoming guests since the 1820, The Lake Hotel in Killarney has a great reputation for accessible holidays in Ireland. This 4-Star hotel has accessible ground floor rooms with wooden floors, spacious wet rooms and lake views (window vistas can be a rarity with accessible rooms).

wheelchair accessible holidays in Killarney

A short drive away is the popular tourist spot Muckross House and Gardens, which is always highly recommended. The Traditional Farms at Muckross have wheelchair access for most of their exhibits.

Apart from Killarney Park (as previously mentioned), 35 minutes north you’ll find another greenway in the heart of Tralee (Kerry’s largest town). The Tralee to Fenit Greenway starts near Dunnes Stores carpark, and is 13.6km one way.

Travel Tip: Visit Greenways Ireland for further research. All greenways have intermittent carparks along the way, but shuttle buses are not usually wheelchair accessible so plan your distance accordingly – weather and exercise.

 

Wheelchair Accessible holidays in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands

 

9. Roscommon Town, Co. Roscommon – Irelands Hidden Heartlands

The Abbey Hotel Roscommon is a gem of a hotel with wheelchair access in Ireland. It is located in Ballypheasan, on the outskirts of Roscommon Town. There are convenient blue-badge parking spaces on arrival, and with everything on ground-level, this family-run hotel has great accessible flow from room to restaurant, and even has the historical Roscommon Abbey at the back of the premises (clue is in the name).

Abbey Hotel in Roscommon for accessible holidays in Ireland

Roscommon town itself has accessible cafés, and the main street is not far from the hotel. Local Coillte site, Mote Park, offers accessible woodland trails. Roscommon also has recently developed numerous accessible bog walks and it’s also home to the newly refurbished National Famine Museum.

However, if you’d rather explore Ireland’s waterways, book a mini cruise, and get onboard with The Lough Ree Access for All crew and enjoy the waterscapes of the Shannon or Lough Ree on their wheelchair accessible boat (15 min drive from hotel).

Read: Top things to do in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands for families

Travel Tip: The Arigna Mining Experience is a popular wheelchair accessible tourist site.

 

10. Ballymahon, County Longford.

Known for their accessible family-friendly villages throughout Europe, Centre Parcs Longford Forest is no exception. Not only for large families, we received positive feedback from a wheelchair user who required hoist assistance and was able to access a hoist for both the hot tub and sauna for a hen party holiday.

wheelchair accessible holidyays in Ireland at  Center Parcs Longford Forest, Ireland

Like all their resorts, Center Parcs have a variety of adapted lodges and wheelchair accessible accommodation with open plan living space, wheel-in showers, electric beds, lowered kitchen worktops etc. Accessible activities listed on their website includes pottery and archery!

Read: The ultimate guide to Center Parcs Longford Forest

Travel Tip: The Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre is 20 mins away from the resort.

 

11. Drumshanbo, County Leitrim

The Leitrim Marina Hotel has been recommended a few times by our followers for ease of
access, great food and lots of space including a lowered reception desk (very important).

Acres-Lake is an accesible activity in Ireland

So what’s there to see in Leitrim that’s accessible?  Look no further than two unique accessible selling points to this county; a 10min drive will bring you to a 600m floatable boardwalk,  and a further 5 min drive will bring you to an accessible tourist gem; The Shed Distillery.

Acres Lake Floating Boardwalk links up with a 6.5 km cycling trail along the Shannon Blueway and
the Shed Distillery is home of Drumshanbo Gin, a colourful tourist spot with accessibility in-built into their guided tours and retail space.

Travel Tip: The Shed Distillery can customise label their bottles of gin so if you’re looking
for gift ideas-this is impressive!

 

12. Carlow, Co Carlow

Mount Wolseley Hotel Spa and Golf Resort is another good choice if you are looking for wheelchair friendly hotels in Ireland. It boasts a spacious carpark, and bedrooms with wet rooms.

Mount Wolseley Houses, Carlow

Recent renovations with their thermal suite have changed their once original stationary pool hoist to now a portable pool lift, so staff require that you let them know in advance that this equipment is needed. 

 

Carlow has some beautiful garden trails from the semi accessible Altamount Gardens (OPW site, 15 min drive away from hotel) and found in Carlow town itself, is the beautiful Delta Sensory Gardens (25 mins away).

Purposely designed for people with disabilities, this amazing garden consists of waterfalls, sculptures, and sensory planting schemes, not to mention a restaurant and coffee shop, it is one of the nicest wheelchair friendly places in Ireland.

Travel Tip: If you fancy a hike, head for the South Leister Way and park up at the scenic Nine Stones Viewing Point for some panoramic views of 40 shades of green right next to Mt Leinster.

 

Wheelchair Accessible Holidays in Ireland’s Ancient East

 

13. Gorey, County Wexford 

Across the board, the Irish Hotel Industry still hasn’t recognised the need and market for inclusive spa retreats for couples like us. However, if you fancy one of those hotel breaks were you just want to relax in a hotel-setting without gallivanting outdoors, then check in with Seafield Spa Resort.

Seafield House Hotel

With its spacious marble reception with bar and restaurant all found on the ground-floor, accessibility flow at this hotel was effortless. A lift will bring you down to their award-winning Oceo Spa with a semi-accessible thermal suite with accessible rooms for treatments i.e. massages.

Travel Tip: Bring comfy clothes to chill out in, and if you fancy heading out, visit Courtown Woods or Cahore Point.

 

14. Trim, Co. Meath

One of the only hotels in Ireland with inclusive pool access for their guests, Knightsbrook Hotel prides itself with this amenity and is worth a check-in for this reason alone.

Situated in the Boyne Valley, we stayed at this 4-star Spa and golf resort hotel to test out their
hydraulic pool chair which enabled us to swim together as a couple for the first time as hotel guests in Ireland. This must be one of the best wheelchair accessible hotels in Ireland.

accessible swimming pool at Knightsbrook Hotel, Ireland

 

While we ourselves are not golfers, if you have a large family with different interests, a hotel with accessible pool means as well as as Spa and golf course, means more activity choices for everyone. A half hour away is the Boyne Greenway and Newgrange, which has recently upgraded their accessible visitor centre.

Read:  5 Activity Breaks in the Boyne Valley

While Trim Castle may not be accessible, we’d advise any disabled tourists to check out the Heritage Ireland website (ran by OPW), which can highlight further details about accessible heritage sites in this historically rich county and beyond!

Travel Tip: The pool closes at 8pm so if you check-in late, make sure to head down after arrival.

15. Waterford City, County Waterford

Waterford City is having a moment right now and has just been listed as one of the New York Times ‘52 Places to Visit In 2024’ (no surprises there).

The Tower Hotel is very central hotel which you can use for a city break to explore Waterford’s quirky side streets showcasing the Viking Quarter, craft studios and cafés, all just 5 mins from the hotel.

Visit Waterford Greenway on wheelchair accessible holidays in Ireland

While medieval streets may sound inaccessible, there are countless of wheelchair accessible museums for you to choose from (you can buy a day ticket saver from the Medieval Museum) and visit the Silver and Time Museum.

Explore the quays along the River Suir or even hop on the accessible Barrow Princess for a day return charter to New Ross. If you want to get out of the city, drive to Tramore and park at the promenade, test out the Waterford Greenway or head up the Comergahs and hike the accessible trail at Mahon Falls, with lunch at accessible local café Cooneys Yard.

Read: 6 Greenways to cycle in Ireland

Travel Tip: Blue badge parking is limited at the Tower Hotel so ring in advance and ask them to reserve it. Once you’ve parked up, you won’t need your car to explore the city as its right on your doorstep.

16. Wexford Town, County Wexford

Coming from Wexford we had to mention our home county twice! There’s so much to see and I’m always on the look out for wheelchair friendly walks near me.

Clayton Whites Hotel is located right on the main street of Wexford town (underground carpark provided). Restaurants and pubs along the newly renovated Monck St is where to go and just across the road is Wexford harbour full of outdoor cafés.

accesible spa hotels in Ireland

If you need to get a break from the town, accessible Johnstown Castle is only 10 mins away and a 30 min road trip on the R733 will bring you to Duncannon beach, Hook Head Lighthouse, Our Ladys Island, Tintern Woods to name a few!

The N25 will bring you to the accessible JFK Arboretum (always use a tourist spots Eircode for navigation) and medieval town New Ross has just recently opened the first section of their Greenway and is home to the Dunbrody Famine Tall Ship.

Travel Tip: You can park directly on Duncannon beach for accessibility.

17. Clontarf, County Dublin

If you are looking for wheelchair accessible holidays in Dublin, without the hustle and bustle of the city, look no further than the Marine Hotel located at Sutton Cross.

Marine Hotel Dublin

Nestled in between Clontarf and Howth, this family-run hotel has the perfect balance of coastal convenience with stunning views of Dublin Bay, easy access to shops at Sutton village and is right beside the Clontarf Cycle route (which now extends into Dublin city).

This hotel has designated blue-badge parking and a newly refurbished impressive wheelchair accessible bathroom (pool not accessible). The outdoor garden and dining area has accessible sea views (bring those binoculars).

Next door, the Clontarf Cycle Route is also a pedestrian route, so we would advise leaving
the car at the hotel carpark and go on a jaunt, taking the time to stop into St Annes Park along
the way and a wheel along Dollymount bridge is a must!

Travel Tip: Take a spin out to Howth off-peak times and check out Howth Pier for seals.

18. County Louth

The smallest county in Ireland has an amazing 70km of coastline. County Louth is new on our travel radar with their brand-new coastal seafood tourism initiative developed by Louth County Council known as ‘Sea Louth’.

Sea Louth is an accessible activity in Ireland

This tourist trail involves collecting your tourist passport from either Dundalk, Drogheda or Carlingford Tourist offices. Enjoy this scenic seafood trail, full of 14 coastal viewpoints (piers, harbour etc) with an array of local seafood restaurants.

For accommodation we picked Carrickdale Hotel and Spa which has the semi-accessible Serenity Spa with bar and restaurant both found on ground-floor.

Situated 10 mins away is the Carlingford Lough Greenway and is a short drive from the picturesque village Omeath, which has a seafront promenade- the perfect place to start your passport trial!

You can also start this trial in reverse as you make you way up north before checking into the hotel.

Travel Tip: Scenic Clogherhead beach now has beach chair access.

19. Rathnew, Co. Wicklow

The 19th century Tinakilly Country House Hotel can be found nestled in the Garden of Ireland and overlooks woodlands and the Irish Sea. It has a recommended wet room and wooden flooring for accessibility. Wooden floors are a real plus as wheelchair users don’t have to deal with the drag effect of carpet on their wheels.

Beyond the Trees Avondale is an accessible activity in Ireland

You won’t be stuck for accessible things to do in Wicklow. Just 20 mins away is the one and only accessible canopy treetop walk at Avondale’s Beyond The Trees which is a must see for both adults and children alike.

Read: Top things to do in Wicklow with kids

If you’re interested in a more Robinsonian garden setting look no further than Mount Usher
Gardens
, just 20 minutes drive from Tinakilly House (beautiful during the Autumn season). Kilmacurragh Botanic Gardens are also semi-accessible.

Travel tip: Park in the Upper carpark to the Upper Lake at scenic Glendalough.

20: Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny

Kilkenny may not be the most accessible medieval city to visit, but it is a popular county for international travellers. So, with that in mind, we advise picking the extremely central Kilkenny River Court Hotel for an accessibly holiday in Kilkenny, as it is located just five minutes walk from the heart of the city and has accessible rooms and blue-badge parking.

Kilkenny Castle

While Kilkenny Castle is not completely accessible, the ground floor rooms are along with the outdoor grounds , which are beautiful on a sunny day.

Close by, the Medieval Mile Museum is also worth a visit, but we would advise a little road trip around Kilkenny’s rural environs to explore sites such as the accessible Jerpoint Abbey, semi accessible Jerpoint Glass Studio and Kells Priory.

You will find ample space for blue-badge parking at the Quayside Carpark in Thomastown and idyllic village Instioge has a beautiful riverside trail along the River Nore with the accessible arboretum Woodstock Gardens.

Read: Top things to do in Kilkenny with kids

Travel Tip: If you want to see glass blowers at Jerpoint Glass studio in action, simply ring
up in advance to make sure you can catch a workshop shift.

Along with our National Tourism Development Authority – Fáilte Ireland, and our Heritage Government Agency (Office of Public Works), County Councils in each county have the influence to make or break ease of access for disabled tourists visiting Ireland. 

*Disclaimer: Our reviews are always from a manual wheelchair user perspective with a spinal cord injury, but many of our suggestions will overlap with other powerchair users too. 

Leona & Mike – The Struggle is Wheel

I hope this post on wheelchair accessible holidays Ireland will help you plan a trip away soon. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy it is important that services and facilities are subject to change. Always discuss your requirements directly with the hotel before booking.

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