When I turned thirty I planned a huge trip to Ireland. For the most part, I just wanted to drive around the countryside. I wanted to see its beautiful green rolling hills and get immersed in Irish culture. But there were a couple of specifics that I wanted as well. I wanted to sleep in an extravagant house. I wanted to run through fields in wellies and I wanted to stay at a place with animals. At Temple House in Sligo, I got my wish. Temple House, a grand manor house tucked away amid pastures, forest, and terraced gardens, was by far the best part of our 11-day trip. Click here for a link to the Temple House in Sligo.
The Temple House in County Sligo has been in the same family for over 300 years. When we were visiting, the house was under renovations and only six bedrooms out of 96 were in use. However, in the heyday of the manor, the entire place was so filled with life that a woman was hired with the sole task of lighting the fireplace in each of the 96 rooms. That was her only job because it would take her all day to do just that.
The one problem with the Temple House in Sligo is that the place is ridiculously hard to find. We learned that the best way to find anything in Ireland was to punch the GPS coordinates into the Garmin. Not the address. The GPS coordinates. That tactic saved the day every time, except for when we were driving to the Temple House. We must have searched for almost an hour before giving up and looking up our reservation email to call for help. And there at the bottom of the email, we found that help was already given. The owners had including a note that read:
The easiest way to find us is off the N17 (9 km from the Collooney N4 / N17 junction). Look for a brown Temple House sign 0.5 km south of Ballinacarrow.
Those instructions did the trick and we ended up finding Temple House soon after that. But if you think I’m being a tad bit dramatic, here is a picture of our GPS when we were finally headed in the right direction. The Garmin didn’t even think we were on a real road. Morale of story: follow the instructions in the reservation confirmation.
There was so much to do both inside Temple House and outside. The patrons of Temple House generously left out wellies for guests to use at their discretion. We quickly swapped our shoes for the wellies and went to explore the grounds. Besides running the bed and breakfast, the other line of work the family was in was raising sheep. We had a fun-filled afternoon making friends with the other inhabitants on the property.
The house itself was a treasure trove of antiques that we were free to explore as well. The upper right picture below shows a proclamation written by the many servants of Temple House in Sligo to one of the past owners, explaining how they all enjoyed working for him. The lower left picture below also shows their “honesty bar” policy where they request that you write down what you drank from their bar stock. I made pretty good use of their bar.
The package option that we booked at Temple Bar included dinner. The family had staffed a french chef that served the most amazing dishes. We went to bed full but still seemed to find room in our stomachs the next morning for our first authentic Irish breakfast.
Everywhere we went in Ireland, we met friendly faces and kind people, but the host and hostess at Temple House in Sligo were some of the nicest people of them all. Upon checking out they asked where we were planning on going. I mentioned we were off to Knocknarea and was going to be on our way when the hostess mentioned that it wasn’t the easiest place to get to and proceeded to provide very detailed instructions of how we should get there and where we should park.
Click here for the full itinerary of my big 3-0 celebration in Ireland. Click here to learn what I did in the days leading up to my stay at Temple House, as well as what I did once we left County Sligo.