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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 16 January, 2019

16 Irish pubs to cross off your winter pint bucket list

Dark nights, warm fire.

THE NIGHTS ARE closing in, and beer gardens with absolutely epic views are somewhat less appealing now.

But there are plenty of cosy winter pubs around the country to tick off your winter pint bucket list:

1. The Strand Bar, Strandhill, Sligo

strandbar Source:

The little surfing town of Strandhill is well known as a decent spot for a few pints – and the Strand Bar is the central player. They pretty much have the roaring fire on the go all day and night – so it’s almost better to come when there’s a nip in the air. Snuggle in the front bar for a late night session with some fine live music.

2. The Washerwoman, Ballina, Tipperary

washerwoman Source: The Wassherwoman

Ballina/Killaloe is one of the most spectacular parts of the country to take in the scenery, and as the temperature picks up you can be guaranteed of a bit of warmth from the fire in The Washerwoman on the Tipperary side of the Shannon.

3. The Cottage Bar, Letterkenny

greentours Source: Green Tours Ireland Twitter

Trad sessions and a few pints by the fire in the heart of Donegal. Class.

4. Seans Bar, Athlone

It’s often talked about as Europe’s oldest pub, with the accolades that go along with such a title, but it’s also just a great bar with a constantly buzzing atmosphere.

5. M O’Shea, Borris, Carlow

One part hardware store, another part cosy pub. O’Shea’s is Carlow’s hidden treasure.

6. Hole In The Wall, Dublin

fire Source: HoleinTheWall

A winter walk in the Phoenix Park is rewarded with a warm pint by the fire in one of Dublin’s older establishments – here since 1651.

7. O’Connor’s, Galway

It says “Famous” over the door for good reason. A Salthill classic.

8. JJ Bowles Limerick

#pints #pub #limerickcity

A photo posted by Sean (@sean.287) on

You can enjoy the view by the river and then nip back inside for an intimate pint by the fire.

An excellent winter combo.

9. Toners, Dublin

Toner's Pub Dublin Source: Tonerspub

It’s not all about fireplaces in the winter – and if you can get yourself the front snug in Toners on a bustling evening, you’re absolutely set up for the night.

10. The Sadler’s Well, Athboy, Meath

guinnessfire Source: The Sadler's Well

As one Facebook review succinctly puts it:

Best wee pub in Meath!

11. The Oval, Cork

fireside Source: Oval Bar

The South Main Street institution is so well known for its fireplace that they have a competition for people to guess what date they’re going to light it first every year.

Now it’s November, it’s been roaring away for some time at this stage.

12. Kelly’s On The Green, Birr, Co Offaly

festive Source: Kelly's The Green

Deservedly nominated as one of 2016’s cosiest pubs in Ireland by Bord na Móna, it won’t be long before the festive decorations are back out in force to complement them.

13. Foxy John’s, Dingle

Foxy's #foxyjohns #dingle #kerry #wildatlanticway #pub #bar #thekingdom #ireland #hardwarestore

A post shared by James Smyth, Dublin, Eire 🇮🇪 (@james_smyth_photo) on

Again, no fire, but this hardware shop/bike rental/pub is an absolute hub of activity – and the small space is one of the most welcoming winter pints to be had in the south west.

14. Blouser’s, Westport, Mayo


Right in the middle of Westport town – where you’re guaranteed a warm welcome by the fire.

15. The Pavilion, Belfast

Pool and pints

A photo posted by Conchobhar Ó Donnghaile (@condon87) on

Good food, good live music and a rake of pool tables to while away the winter evenings. One of Belfast’s soundest pubs for a pint.

16. O’Riada’s, Kilkenny

bucketlist Source: Andy Davies/Facebook

As old school as they come – and not a beer garden in sight. Perfect for a winter Guinness – and right in the middle of a rather delightful strip of vintage Kilkenny bars.

With thanks to - a vital resource if you’re on the lookout for fine establishments around the country with a cosy fireplace. Where’s your favourite pub for a drink in winter? Let us know in the comments.  

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About the author:

David Elkin

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