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    Moate, County Westmeath Moate, County Westmeath

    There’s a pub for that: Ireland’s unusual pubs

    Ever shared a snug with a ghost or sipped a pint in Ireland's oldest step? Step inside our most unique drinking dens

    • #Pubs
    • #WhereToEat
    • #FoodandDrink
    • #Pubs
    • #WhereToEat
    • #FoodandDrink

    The Crosskeys Inn, County Antrim The Crosskeys Inn, County Antrim

    1. Session searching: The Crosskeys Inn, Antrim

    This little thatched pub is one of the most famous traditional music pubs on the island, with musicians from all over Ireland playing sweet melodies both inside and outside its whitewashed walls (weather dependent!). On weekends, expect impromptu trad sessions.

    The South Pole Inn, County Kerry The South Pole Inn, County Kerry

    2. Epic adventuring: The South Pole Inn, County Kerry

    Local Dingle legend Tom Crean was involved in three of history’s most punishing Antarctic expeditions and earned a medal for bravery. On returning to his native county, Crean opened The South Pole Inn, where today the shelves are packed with tomes attesting to his heroism.

    McCarthy's, County Tipperary McCarthy's, County Tipperary

    3. Stayin’ alive: McCarthy’s Fethard, County Tipperary

    McCarthy's has a catchphrase: "We wine you, dine you and bury you”. This is a pub, restaurant and undertaker service all rolled into one. Open since the 1850s, it’s functioned as everything from grocery shop to draper. The counters and packed cabinets are throwbacks to its quirky history.

    Sean's Bar, County Westmeath Sean's Bar, County Westmeath

    4. Record breaking: Sean’s Bar, County Westmeath

    This 1200-year-old-pub is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest pub in Ireland and it hasn’t changed for centuries, from the sawdust on the floor to the cannon ball decorations and open turf fire. Next door is Athlone Castle, a 12th century Norman pile.

    The Shire, County Kerry The Shire, County Kerry

    5. Finding Fellowship: The Shire, County Kerry

    Yes, you can visit the Shire for real (AND see the Ring of Power). Head through the hobbit-friendly dropped ceilings and arched doors to The Prancing Pony, and sup on hearty pints of Gandalf’s ale, Bilbo’s beer and even hobbit juice cocktails. Next stop is Mordor...

    Morrissey's, County Laois Morrissey's, County Laois

    6. Time travel: Morrissey’s Pub, County Laois

    Morrissey’s opened in 1775 as a pub-come-grocery shop and the bric-a-brac and grocery produce lining the shelves are reminders from the house’s earlier multi-tasking days. Original 19th century décor makes for a cosy setting. And on chilly days, warm up next to the pot belly stove.

    Grace Neill's, County Down Grace Neill's, County Down

    7. Ghostbusting: Grace Neill's, County Down

    Smugglers, pirates and all kinds of shady individuals have enjoyed a tipple in Grace Neill’s over its 400-year history, so no wonder there’s a ghost or two rattling around. In fact, the pub is so haunted it has been visited by paranormal TV crews and ghost hunters. Careful where you sit…

    Bulman's, County Cork Bulman's, County Cork

    8. Playing the pirate: The Bulman Bar, County Cork

    This nautical pub sits right by the sea and over the years it’s been a favourite drinking spot for sailors, coastguards, merchants and a few landlubbers. The walls are appropiately decked with works of maritime art and the harbour view is a treat. Should hunger strike, the restaurant serves fresh-off-the-boat seafood.

    McConville's, County Armagh McConville's, County Armagh

    9. Tracking Titanic: McConville’s, County Armagh

    McConville’s has been around since the 1800s, and has a unique connection with the Titanic ship, built just over the hill in Belfast. Some of the Russian oak fixtures in the bar are said to be replicated from a design on the ship. The interior has plenty of original features, from the snugs to the moulded ceilings.