Ireland’s colourful history has led to a rich tapestry of architectural styles, with Norman castles and neo-classical mansions sitting side by side with cosy farmhouses and contemporary wonders. In the spirit of turning your Ireland trip into a real journey, here are some of the most memorable places to stay along the way:
Cullintra House, Inistiogue, County Kilkenny
This is a cozy, 19th-century home where cats are kings, and the owner’s feline friends quite literally have the run of the place. You will find cat memorabilia galore and little furries in the bedrooms, in the dining room where guests eat communally and rambling the gorgeous grounds, like they – quite rightly – own the place.
Grouse Lodge, Roesmount, County Westmeath
The rambling stone farmhouse and beautiful outbuildings act as a residential recording studio for Irish and visiting bands. REM, Shirley Bassey, Manic Street Preachers and Sinead O’Connor have all recorded in this reasonably-priced midlands village property, complete with an indoor heated pool, jacuzzi, nine double bedrooms and an on-site organic chef.
Number 25 Eustace Street, Dublin
The 18th-century merchant’s house sleeps seven, was carefully restored using authentic materials and furnishings, and is available to rent on a nightly basis. Climb the creaky stairs to the drawing room where you can play the Bechstein boudoir piano, or lounge in the rolltop free-standing bath and imagine what life was like as a Georgian city slicker.
The Schoolhouse, Annaghmore, County Sligo
This atmospheric little schoolhouse, built in the 1860s on the wooded banks of the Owenmore river, now sleeps four but was once the schoolroom and two-bedroom house of the schoolmaster. It still has the original school fireplace, chalk boards and coat hooks, and legend has it that the last owner buried all of his money in a tin on the school grounds.
Gyreum, Castlebaldwin, County Sligo
Gyreum is a wind- and solar-powered eco retreat in a colossal yurt-like timber temple with a living wildflower roof, sunk into the hills of Sligo. Many come for its Pilgrim’s Progress six-county walking tour that culminates in a full moon-lit hot tub soak, but either way, it is an inspirational space to take part in a range of creative and eco-centred events.
Source: BBC Travel