The Midlands Hotels

The Irish bed-and-breakfast offers great value in the Midlands—farmhouses and homes geared to paying guests provide direct contact with local families and the lore of their area. Good beds, decent heating, en suite bathrooms, and the legendary Irish breakfast are the norm; broadband, flat-screen TVs, and computer games courtesy of the landlady's kids are often part of the bargain. Although

B&Bs may not offer the same kind of privacy as hotels, they still work delightfully well as the ultimate way to meet genuine Irish folk. As commercial progress has blossomed in the Midlands, so, too, have the options in hotels, country houses, and cottage rentals increased.

From June to early September, tourism gets into serious stride, bolstered by the many Irish families using their holiday homes and getaway cottages in the region. Finding accommodations is never a major problem—except for those weekends when a town is holding an annual music festival.

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