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05th Aug 2021

This Family Travels: Our amazing stay in a renovated 19th century church in Waterford

Melissa Carton

It was a stay unlike any other.

After being stuck in lockdown for so long I was on Airbnb in a flash once intercounty travel restrictions ended.

Seeing as we wouldn’t be flying away anywhere exotic this year I decided to make each trip we made as usual as possible.

Our first stay was on a houseboat which I wrote about last month but this time we went off to Waterford to stay in a gorgeous 19th century church.

Guilcagh Church, which was restored by couple Carmel and Liam, is truly a 5 star experience when it comes to Airbnb stays (in my opinion).

Not only does it have luxurious furnishings and probably the most comfortable beds we’ve ever slept in, but there is also a fully fitted kitchen (with dishwasher) and a washing and drying machine too.

When we’ve got the kids with us a washing machine is the first thing I look for in an Airbnb listing especially if we’re staying for a few days but having the dryer was even better again.

Aside from the essentials there was also an oversized wood burning stove, underfloor heating throughout and of course a pulpit.

The church is in quite a remote location so you would need a car to get around but it’s very close to Portlaw town if you need any groceries or other bits.

It is also surrounded by lots of beautiful natural scenery and fantastic nature walks which we took full advantage of.

We also drove into Waterford City twice while we were down to visit museums and grab a bite to eat.

Top Tip: If you’re looking to visit museums in Waterford buy a Freedom Ticket rather than individual ones for each museum. It’s a lot cheaper and covers most of the attractions in the city.

One thing about our stay that might not be for everyone is that given we were staying at a church there was a small graveyard on the land.

Now it didn’t bother us at all, in fact I loved reading the really old headstones (as some of the headstones are even older than the church itself).

Because the area is fairly remote you can also get an amazing view of the stars at night which we took full advantage of when the weather was good.

Trip Highlights:

For me it’s hard to pick one thing one thing from our stay at Guilcagh Church as I thought the entire place was absolutely stunning and it is definitely an Airbnb I would recommend to family and friends looking not only for something different but something luxe too.

The highlight for the kids was definitely the pulpit. My three year old was convinced we were staying in a castle and would get up onto the pulpit and shout ‘I’m a princess!’

We were at Guilcagh Church for three days and three nights and we honestly didn’t want to leave when our stay was done.

It’s one Airbnb I can see us revisiting again in the future.