Russagh Mill Hostel and Adventure Centre is pleasant one mile stroll or drive from Skibbereen proper. Considering the short distance from the city, it's remarkable how peaceful the hostel's setting is. Brush, trees, and fields cover the surrounding landscape. The hostel itself is a large, almost mazelike building, with stone walls and wood flooring and furniture. Despite its thick walls, the hostel is bright and spacious.
The bedrooms are cozy, and of various shapes and sizes, with throw rugs and brightly colored duvets. Sheets are provided. The showers are just down the hall, and although the shower stalls are somewhat worn they are clean enough and offer long hot showers. The level of water pressure is remarkable to Irish hostels. The toilets are separate from the showers, a convenience when the hostel is busy. Some dorm rooms have their own sinks and mirrors as well.
The kitchen is well-equipped and clean, with plenty of shelving, pots, and utensils. The stove is set at industrial strength, so it's easy to cook hot meals for a group. Adjacent to the kitchen, there is a spacious dining area with a picture window view of the landscape.
In addition to being a fully equipped hostel, Russagh Mills offers camping facilities and a wide range of outdoor activities to guests and various school and youth groups. On a weekday in late March, Russagh Mill was quite quiet, but had the feel of a place that would house lively conversation on weekends and further into the tourist season.
Review by Kristen Eaton