Nowhere is Ireland’s history more eloquently expressed than in our “Big Houses”. Architectural awesomeness and centuries worth of history combine beautifully in stunning natural settings. Drop in for a tour, afternoon tea, or even better - stay the night
Fancy enjoying your own “Big House” experience? Here are six to try…
Egerton Shelswell-White is a direct descendant of Richard White (the Earl of Bantry), which is only fitting as Shelswell-White still lives in and owns Bantry House. Hailed as one of the finest historic houses to be found in Ireland, guests can stay overnight for bed and breakfast service or self-catering. You can even snag a tour with a member of the Shelswell-White family if exploring nearby Bantry Bay doesn’t tickle your fancy first…
Fancy sleeping in the house of the last High Kings of Ireland? Yes please. The O’Conor family line can be traced directly back to the last kings of the Kingdom of Connacht. Sink into ancient luxury in an utterly gorgeous landscape and get to know Pyers and Marguerite O’Conor Nash, who’ve lived in the house with their family since 1981. Marguerite makes a mean pastry and every jam, bread, cake and pastry served in the house are made by her own hands.
Step back in time with a visit to the magnificent Muckross House, a Victorian mansion and one of Ireland’s leading stately homes. Set in the stunning surrounds of Killarney National Park, prepare to fall in love with this extraordinary country estate. In addition to touring the elegant home take time to explore the exquisite gardens, traditional farm yard and craft workshops.
The former home of the MacGeough Bond family, this handsome Irish gentry house is surrounded by a 130 hectare wooded riverside estate. Built in the 1820s, the neo-classical home retains its unique original decor today. Outside enjoy sweeping vistas, scenic walks, fascinating courtyard displays followed by tasty treats at Lady Ada's award-winning tea-room, sounds like the perfect day out to us!
Deep in the west of Ireland is an elegant Georgian manor house that’s home to Susan Kellett, a direct descendant of the original family that settled the lands of Enniscoe House in the 1600s. Enniscoe House boasts a gorgeous Victorian walled garden, a museum and family history centre on the estate, fishing just out the back door on Lough Conn and pretty much everything you’d like to do in the great outdoors. Susan is renowned for her hospitality and, combined with the beauty and history of Enniscoe, you’ll feel like you’re in your own home…only probably bigger.
Newbridge House sits tucked within 370 acres of rolling Irish landscape. Undulating hills and glens edge the house and hide a lime-kiln, adventure playground, deer park, castle ruins and farm. How’s that for multitasking? The original family to own the house was the Cobbe family, whose ancestry dates back to the 15th century. Keep an eye out while visiting because the Cobbes still resides in this amazing house from time to time.