Warm up in Wexford
Escape the hustle and bustle of daily life for a weekend of luxury to Ballinkeele House near Enniscorthy in Co. Wexford – a splendid Victorian Italianate mansion on a secluded private estate near the village of Ballymurn. Enjoy the enchanting gardens and mature grounds with lake, ponds and ancient trees. Rest up by the drawing room fire or visit gorgeous beaches near Curracloe and awaken your soul taking in the fresh sea air.
Crave comfort in Clare
Nestled between groves of ancient Irish oak, beech, lime and poplar trees is a soothing hidden gem, Newpark House in Ennis, Co. Clare. Step back in time in this oasis of elegance where bedrooms are furnished with antiques and decadent canopy beds. While you’re there take a tour of the Burren or go underground to explore Aillwee Cave and the Burren Birds of Prey Centre. There are plenty of places to refuel in traditional pubs and seafood restaurants in quaint local villages including Ballyvaughan and Doolin.
Fine heaven in Westmeath
Relax in a haven of tranquillity at Mornington in Multyfarnham, Co. Westmeath, a gracious family home dating to 1710 promising open fires and enchanting candlelit dinners in luxurious surrounds. Walk to the lake, or wander the beautiful grounds with a romantic walled garden and timeless greenhouse. You can enjoy country pursuits such as fishing and horse riding here or tour further afield with visits to the Neolithic passage tombs at Loughcrew and Newgrange or early Christian sites at Fore and Clonmacnoise.
Taste Downton Abbey in Monaghan
Enjoy a taste of Downton Abbey at stately Hilton Park, a magnificent country house near Clones, Co. Monaghan. Soak away the strains of everyday life in an antique bath, sleep like royalty in a four poster bed, relax in front of an open fire and enjoy views through eight foot high windows with antique shutters. By day, fish for pike and trout in its lakes, enjoy the 18 hole golf course, take a romantic boat trip or just enjoy a leisurely game of croquet on the lawn.
Be a King in Kilkenny
For timeless elegance head to Maddoxtown in Co. Kilkenny to the beautifully restored Blanchville House set on a working farm just five miles from Kilkenny City. Unwind, de-stress and relax in The Sanctuary, the onsite therapy centre offering a range of treatments. Explore the Kilkenny Craft Trail and drop into Jerpoint Glass Studio, Kilkenny Design Centre and Stoneware Jackson Pottery. And don’t miss Kilkenny Castle and Rothe House Museum.
Raise a tankard or two in Meath
Tarry awhile in Tankardstown, a splendid award winning manor house in the historic village of Slane, Co. Meath. Get lost in one of the heritage bedrooms in the main house and be transported to an era of elegance and luxury. Explore the extensive parkland and secluded walled garden and enjoy the all-weather tennis court before hitting the hot tub or indulging in a pampering treatment. See nearby Slane Castle or be inspired at the cottage museum of local born poet Francis Ledwidge.
Fit for a Prince in Galway
Be a Prince and Princess and check into Delphi Lodge in Leenane, Co. Galway, the former sporting retreat of the Marquis of Sligo. Set in the wild and unspoiled 1000-acre Delphi Estate this is the perfect autumn hideaway with its elegant reception rooms, log fires, cosy library, and drawing room overlooking the lake. Ramble in the gardens, take the delightful river walk and enjoy delicious meals prepared from local produce.
Be like Royalty in Roscommon
Enjoy the grandeur of Kilronan Castle, a Tudor style mansion just outside Ballyfarnon, Co. Roscommon. With its honey coloured stone and 40 acres of parkland, it’s the perfect retreat from the hubbub of daily life. Explore the shores of Lough Meelagh, indulge in one of the Castle’s spa treatments and order chocolates and champagne to your bedroom! It’s perfectly placed for visits to suitably stately attractions such as the museum at King House, Lough Key Forest Park and Strokestown Park.
For a complete guide to great country house retreats got to www.discoverireland.ie