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Dublin: 6 °C Saturday 6 June, 2020
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Sleep Here: A one-of-a-kind houseboat (that's moored outside a pub)

The Roisin Dubh in Sallins, Co Kildare is warm, cosy, and unique.

Image: Roisin Dubh

IF YOU’RE LOOKING for a spot to sleep on the water, the opportunities in Ireland are few and far between. That’s one of the things that makes the Roisin Dubh houseboat so special — that kind of tranquillity is rare in Ireland.

But the rarity is far from the only thing that makes staying on the Roisin Dubh in Kildare is that it’s delightfully comfortable and perfectly situated for a great staycation on our lovely island.

Ger Loughlin, owner of the Roisin Dubh, explained that he and his wife and two children actually lived aboard the Roisin Dubh for a decade, until they moved closer to where their children attend school. He explained the draw:

Guests love the unique experience of staying on a houseboat — the gentle movement on the water, the sound of the rain on the roof, the view from a window as a swan or duck passes by.

Yet as tranquil as that sounds, Loughlin said that Sallins, where they boat is moored, is home to “lots of boats and barges, and a vibrant live-aboard community,” meaning you’ll instantly be among friends.

Source: Roisin Dubh

Loughlin did most of the fit-out work himself for their family, but says he really enjoys seeing the reactions of the guests when they arrive for the first time, “It always exceeds their expectations. It’s bigger than they thought from the photos and they enjoy the little extras, like the built in sound system and eclectic collection of CDs, and a nice collection of books for adults and children. The Stanley stove is always lit when people arrive and briquettes and kindling are supplied.”

The first guests, a group of young Americans, arrived for a snowy March weekend in 2018, and Loughlin reports the houseboat has been occupied almost every week since. And rest assured, even in the snow, the houseboat is quick to heat up, with a central heating system that heats water and has the place warm and cosy in twenty minutes.

Source: Roisin Dubh

The Roisin Dubh sleeps six in two bedrooms, making it a fun couples or family trip to make for a few days. Loughlin says the location is tempting for foodies especially, “The Houseboat is moored outside the Two Cooks Restaurant, recipient of the Michelin Bib Gourmand, and directly across from Lock 13 Gastro Brewpub, which won the Vintners Association Best in Leinster this year. We have some excellent pubs, the Railway Inn and The Bridgewater, a lovely cafe/bakery 20 metres away and the award winning Kildare Brewing Co, which offers brewery tours — all of this is right on the waterfront.”

Source: Roisin Dubh

For those bringing children or the more water-adventurous guests (or just to start working off some of those calories), paddle boarding and canoe hire are nearby, and a state of the art playground will be completed this summer, making it a very tempting nearby staycation option.

More: Disconnect from modern life in this island cottage with only candles for light>

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Emily Westbrooks

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