Written by Roseanne Bradley,
Last Modified: 18th May 2023

Neighbourliness, community spirit and bucolic or seaside beauty – these are the hallmarks of Ireland’s picture-perfect small towns. Here are a few of our favourites.

For many considering moving to Ireland, it’s the small towns we’ve witnessed in our favourite Irish films and TV programmes that have called us to the beautiful island. After all, didn’t life in Ballykissangel look simply idyllic!

Ireland is home to some truly beautiful towns and villages, many of which you may never have heard of. Today, Ireland Property Guide runs through five of our favourites, so you might be inspired to set the wheels of your move in motion, and maybe, just maybe, even find your new hometown.

Fancy life in a traditional fishing town? Then Kinsale in County Kerry might be right up your alley. (Tyler W. Stipp / Shutterstock.com)

1 – Kinsale – County Cork

Imagine living a peaceful life beside the water in a colourful, historical fishing town. Yes please! Much of the action in Kinsale revolves around the marina and the River Bandon, and the town’s narrow streets are lined with brightly-painted, tightly-packed buildings, and the occasional curved bridge that wouldn’t look out of place in Venice.

The town boasts a substantial array of shops, galleries and the obligatory pubs, and every year hosts an array of wonderful events, including Kinsale Gourmet Festival, Kinsale Fringe Jazz Festival, and even a competition to find the best chowder in all of Ireland. With so much going on and such charming surrounds, life in Kinsale sounds just wonderful to us.

Spend relaxed days in Birr enjoying its architecture and historical landmarks.

2 – Birr – County Offaly

If you like castles and Georgian architecture, then you’ll love Birr, where the streets are wide and the buildings elegant. Birr Castle is a lovely place to while away an afternoon or two, or to meet new friends for tea. Other popular spots include Emmet Street, where you’ll find the town’s most spectacular homes – perhaps you might chance upon the property of your dreams! Birr is also home to the Seffin Stone, which is said to mark the very central point of all of Ireland.

Path towards the swaimming point in the Dalkey village in Dublin metropolitan area. Lots of people are enjoying rare warm days.

3 – Dalkey – County Dublin

If you like the idea of a life by the seaside not too far from the big city, then Dalkey, just south of Dublin, could be the village for you. There are a number of small towns in Ireland like this trickling south from Dublin, but upmarket Dalkey offers an ocean side location, some fantastic restaurants (serving lots of freshly caught seafood), and its very own castle.

Lismore castle and blackwater river in Ireland

4 – Lismore – County Waterford

If you’re looking for a spot with surroundings you can hike around at the weekend, Lismore in County Waterford could be the small town for you. Located at the base of the Knockmealdown Mountains, this town’s stunning location and 800-year-old castle are just two features that might pique your interest, but there’s also Blackwater Valley, St. Carthages Cathedral and St. Carthages Church of Ireland Cathedral to explore. The town has a great events programme, regular markets and enough pubs and restaurants to keep you entertained.

The Valentia Cromwell Point Lighthouse, located in the northwest corner of Valentia Island, County Kerry, Ireland.

5 – Valentia – County Kerry

If a slice of the quiet life is what you’re after then Valentia on the rugged, wave-battered Valentia Island could be the romantic location you’ve been seeking. Despite being on an island (connected to the mainland by a bridge) there’s much to see and do. Glanleam House, an estate dating back to the 1770s, has wonderfully maintained gardens that have their very own microclimate and therefore a collection of unusual plants. There’s also Skellig Michael nearby, an ancient monastic island, that reminds us of Craggy Island. It’s not small, it’s just further away.

If you have any questions about how to begin your journey of buying in Ireland, contact our Resource Team today on 020 7898 0549.


Kinsale, County Cork

Birr, County Offaly

Dalkey, County Dublin

Lismore, County Waterford

Valentia, County Kerry

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