Wicklow Farmers win EU Family-Friendly Holiday Home of the Year 2021

Best in EU

Ireland wins Family-Friendly Holiday Home of the Year

Best in EU

Garden of Abhain Rí Self-Catering with meditation trail

The prize for Best Family-Friendly Holiday Home in the European Holiday Home of the Year competition has been won by an Irish property.

At the Annual Conference of the Irish Self-Catering Federation on 10th Nov, Máire Ní Mhurchu announced the winner: Abhain Ri (Self-Catering cottage and B&B) Hollywood, Co Wicklow.




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Winner EU Family-Friendly holiday home of the year 2021



Máire is Chairwoman of the ISCF and was a delegate at the VITUR conference in Malaga where she was one of the competition judges for this prestigious award. She commented that the judges this year we’re looking for space, open countryside, and properties close to nature. “A Few years ago I looked at the fanciest properties as the best (Euro Chic) but now the focus is on family-friendly, outdoors, and closeness to nature. This was reflected in the award winners from each country.” 


Abhainn Ri is a family-run agri-tourism enterprise owned and

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Joseph & Niamh Byrne Owners Abhainn Rí- Best Family Friendly Holiday Homes 2021 EHHA

managed by Joseph and Niamh Byrne.  The self-catering cottages are located on 100 acres of farmland owned by the Byrne family for six generations. “We have completely diversified from farming into agri-tourism over the past 20 years. The farmland has stunning views overlooking the Blessington lakes and the Wicklow Mountains. We have recently created a farm mindfulness trail that takes guests on a magical journey from hilltop to lakeshore. We have lots of farm animals for guests to visit along the way. We are both passionate about the outdoors and also home baking and Irish food.




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Scone Baking demonstration at Abhainn Rí, Hollywood, Co Wicklow

Congratulating the Byrne family Máire Ní Mhurchu told delegates at the Self-Catering Federation conference: “It is great to see a family farm diversification which makes the best use of the facilities available, and which gives a genuine welcome to visitors to Ireland” In response to the award, Joseph & Niamh Byrne said: “We are delighted and honored to receive the EHHA Award for “Best Family Holiday” in Europe. 





 Our vision over 20 years ago

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Some of the farm animals to see on a walk at Abhainn Rí, Wicklow

was to create an agri-tourism enterprise on our family farm to ensure its sustainability and to welcome guests to enjoy our location in this area of outstanding natural beauty. We met many challenges along the way but we worked diligently to overcome them and achieve our goal. We never imagined we would create a world-class agri-tourism enterprise that welcomes guests from worldwide locations and sustains an Irish family farm into the future”. 


Previous Winne of the EU Holiday Home of the Year

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The Cottages at Bettystown, Co MEath


rs of the AwardsIn 2018 there were 2 winners in Ireland of the awards. An SME business on Achill Island  Achill Cottages won best Disabled Friendly holiday home. The Achill Cottages are 4 houses on their own grounds and ideal for exploring north Mayo, close to the 5 Blue Flag Beaches on Achill and the Greenway ( opening 2022). A West Cork holiday home won Best Nature Experience Holiday Home – Dunmanus Cottage is a single cottage overlooking Dunmanus Bay with Walking, Water sports and beaches nearby.

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Thatch cottages beside the beach Co Meath

In 2016 The Cottages in Bettystown won the overall EU prize as the best holiday homes in the EU. These thatch houses are beside the beach in Bettystown, Co Meath. Within an hour’s drive of Dublin, close to Golf Courses, the Boyne Valley Food Trail, and the heritage of Newgrange and Co Meath.





EHHA Holiday Home Awards.

The Competition for the EU Holiday Home of Year award has the following categories:

Best in EU

Best Family-Friendly Holiday Home in EU

Best Family-Friendly Holiday Home – Ireland

Best Accessible Holiday Home , won by Scotland

Best Green Holiday Home – Germany and UK

Best Health and Wellness Holiday Home – Denmark

Best Luxury Holiday Home – Croatia

Best Holiday Home in EU Capital – France

Best Pet Holiday Home – Italy

Best Unique Spot Holiday Home – Finland + SpainBest Holiday Home Beach House – Italy


Previous Winners of the Awards

In 2018 there were 2 winners in Ireland of the awards.A House on Achill Island won best Disabiled Friendly

Benefits of Membership

Direct Booking Website in Ireland for members  to list properties;

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Walking Trail on Farm in Holywood Wicklow

3rd Party Quality Assurance Scheme for Self-Catering;

Bi-monthly Newsletter and Networking for members;

Education and Training For Self-Catering Owners – S.M.E. or Agents;

Membership of the EHHA, ITIC ;

Discounts with Suppliers, Service Providers, and Technology Companies.

Information on the Irish Self-Catering Federation Membership or contact the office on info@iscf.ie .

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