The main attraction of this modest 200-year-old guesthouse, set in the tiny village of Clough right in the heart of the County Laois countryside, is the genuinely warm welcome extended by its owners, Sean and Marian Hyland, one that is delightfully seconded by a friendly red setter by the name of Shannon and a terrier called Marley. The enthusiastic Sean and Marian can bring you up to date on the history of the inn and adjacent pub, advise you on hiking in the Slieve Bloom
Mountains, and organize golf and angling packages. Traditional music nights in summer—not confined to a specific evening—are a big local draw. Guest rooms are plain but clean and comfortable. Simple, home-cooked dinners in the bar next door and packed lunches are available by advance booking. Clough is 12 km (8 miles) west of Abbeyleix (signposted off the R434 road to Borris-in-Ossory).
Clough, Ballacolla, Co. Laois, Ireland