Historic house stays
We’ve rounded up some of the beloved houses where you can fall asleep surrounded by living history
From Muckross House to Kylemore Abbey and Ballywalter Park, historic houses all across the island of Ireland attract day visitors every year. But when you have to leave before the lights go down, you’re really only getting half the experience…
Why wouldn’t you want to lay your head down at Castle Leslie in County Monaghan, where one of The Beatles got married; cosy up in an impossibly luxurious ex-boarding school such as Ballyfin Demesne in County Laois; or fall asleep beside the lake Mornington House in County Westmeath, where the legendary Children of Lir spent 300 years after they were transformed into swans? Remember, every stay in Ireland has a story – so take a trip and write your own!
Historic houses for every taste
This island is blessed with countless majestic manors, so whatever your mood, you’re bound to feel at home in one of them. For the perfect balance of indulgence and homely comforts, a historic house is just the ticket. Lorum Old Rectory in County Carlow is known for its friendly hosts and irresistible baked goods; Wallace the dog will welcome you warmly to Tyrella House in Down; 11th generation Townshends invite you into Castle Townsend on the waterfront in Cork; direct descendants of the last High Kings of Ireland, the O’Conor family, are who you’ll meet at Roscommon’s Clonalis House; while breakfasts at Kiltariff Hall in County Down mean an introduction to a famous local favourite: the Ulster Fry.
Of course, you can always go that little bit further and really spoil yourself… Mount Falcon, a Victorian Gothic manor house in County Mayo, has been known as the place to enjoy a hawk walk, clay pigeon shooting or a spot of fishing. Or for something even more exclusive, you can hire out Glin Castle in County Limerick: still home to descendants of the Knights of Glin after over 700 years, your family can book it just for yourselves, and join a very exclusive club for the night.
Things to do
When most of us imagine life on a grand estate, we think of falconry, horse riding, fishing, golf: the exploits of a life of leisure. All are easily accessible from historic houses across Ireland, and dabbling in one or another during your stay will make you feel like you really were made for this life!
It goes without saying that many historic houses boast fantastic food and drink as part of the package, too. So, if you’re a bit of a gourmet, try Ardtara Country House in County Londonderry or Ballymaloe House Hotel in County Cork to eat your heart out in spectacular surroundings.
Historic houses you'll adore
Ireland's historic gems
Discover some of the island's most enticing places to stay