Before doing so in Ireland, I had never stayed at a traditional B&B. While the trend is becoming more popular in the United States and other countries, the Bed & Breakfast concept has been around for decades in Ireland.
When I reached the small town of Castletownshend, Skibbereen (nearby Cork), I felt as though time was standing still. The B&B which was to be my home for the next two nights was nestled at the top of a hill. Next to the spacious green fields and deep blue water from the coast, it looked so humble in comparison.
My host was friendly and I slept more soundly than I had in days. When I woke up the next morning and headed into the breakfast room, the view that greeted me was unreal. The kitchen had windows on three of the four sides and gave me a stunning view of the sunset rising over the coastline. My host was used to this morning view of course but for me, I felt like I had found a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
If you're visiting the Irish countryside, I'd recommend renting a car (but remember that they drive on the opposite side of the road) or join a tour group. Unlike big cities, public transportation isn't really a viable option here.