Sunday, August 25, 2013

Legless In The Country: Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare




Ballyvaughan is, in my opinion, one of the prettiest parts of Ireland. I spent most of my summers there as a child and I still try to go as often as possible. Between rolling mountains, landscapes that are a shade of lavender due to all the rock (so much rock), very good food, live music and tourist attractions like the Ailwee Caves and the Dolmen, there is a lot on offer here.

As a small village, it fares very well in terms of accessibility. I have done up a handful of reviews of restaurants, bars, cafés and tourist attractions and the majority of them have made a huge effort to cater to everyone. Unfortunately, one thing I did notice that not a lot of the accommodation is wheelchair friendly and this is a big problem. It's an issue because while these places have scored highly, if you have nowhere to stay, then what's the point?

The main hotel, Hylands, has no lift and all of their rooms are upstairs. The newly built Burren Coast Hotel had all of the facilities but it has been on sale for the last couple of years. Ballyvaughan is the quintessential tourist spot in Ireland and for it to thrive properly, it needs more people to visit. There is so much on offer here and if there was a steady flow of tourists, even Irish tourists, the hotels, pubs and tourist attractions could adapt to cater for everyone.

However, I have been informed that Meadowfield B&B, Drumcreehy House, Burren View B&B and O'Connor's in Doolin can cater for guests with disabilities. I have linked all of their sites so ring and check before you book anything.

In Ballyvaughan, the footpaths are in semi-decent condition. There are a few broken pavements down at the harbour, there are very few dips in the kerb for a wheelchair to get up from the road. There isn't a lot of traffic and you can walk from one end of the village to the other in less than 15 minutes. If you are staying outside of the village, you will definitely need a car as the roads are narrow and winding.

I have reviewed a selection of things that are going on in the 'vaughan and the areas surrounding. If you can find a way down there, make it your duty to visit.

Reviewed (so far):

An Fulacht Fia
Ballyvaughan Farmers Market
Ballyvaughan Tea Rooms
The Burren Perfumery
Caherconnell Stone Fort
Greenes Bar
L'Arco
Linn Fashion and Gifts
Logues Lodge
Poulnabrone Dolmen
Village Stores




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