Carraig Guest House is located on the Carlow Road, within 1km of the Wicklow Way trailhead in Clonegal. The house is set on an acre of land and has a well-tended garden with an adjoining paddock containing an orchard and a vegetable plot. The site has commanding views of the Blackstairs Mountains.
Carraig is a modest family home that has two bedrooms and can accommodate up to 4 guests. The double and twin bedrooms are both on the ground floor and share a bathroom. Guests are welcome to help themselves to tea and coffee in the lounge and sit in front of a warm stove on a cold evening and watch the TV.
In 2016, the host of the House, Sheila Kirwan, featured on the Irish TV series 'Taste of Home'. The series sees celebrity chef, Catherine Fulvio, travel abroad to meet Irish emmigrants and cook them a meal to remind them of home. After Sheila demonstrated how to make 'Nettle and Leek Soup with Brown Bread', Catherine flew to London to prepare the same meal for Sheila's daughter.
In April and May, Nettle and Leek Soup is just one of the seasonal dishes that is served to guests. Most of the ingredients used are organic and grown in the back garden. There are several drills of potatoes in the vegetable plot, along with garlic, onions and cabbages.
An Irish Heritage Orchard contains over 60 rare varieties of apples, pears, plums and damsons. Numerous fruit bushes are dotted around the garden and produce blackberries, blueberries, figs, gooseberries, Japanese wineberries, loganberries, raspberries and strawberries.
Whatever produce is not eaten fresh goes into making a fine selecton of jams, chutneys an infused vinegars that are used in salads. Freshly baked scones and soda bread are always served with some kind of preserve from the garden.
Evening meals can be prepared for guests. Sheila is open to requests for any dish on her menu with enough advance notice. Alternatively guests can dine in the village at the award-winning Sha Roe Bistro (advance booking essential) or else at the take-away. Those setting out walking the next day can also pre-order a packed lunch for the journey.
Transport can be organised for guests arriving to or departing from Bunclody and those walking Ireland's Coast to Coast Trail (E8) can be brought to the neighbouring village of Kildavin to pick up the South Leinster Way section of the route. Baggage can also be transferred to the following accommodation.