Adare Manor House Hotel, Co. Limerick
The manor-house, dating from 1862, has been converted into the majestic 5-star hotel set in a beautiful 840-acre estate with Medieval ruins, an 18-hole championship golf course, luxurious Spa. 52 chimneys to commemorate each week of the year, 75 fireplaces and 365 leaded glass windows are decorating the house.
Ashford Castle Hotel, Co. Mayo
The castle was built in 1228 by the Anglo-Norman de Burgo family. Now it is a luxury 5-star hotel which offers a huge range of activities, from walks within the 350 acre estate, golfing on Ashford's 9-hole course, to fishing for trout and salmon on Lough Corrib and lake cruises.
Ballynahinch Castle Hotel and Gardens, Co. Galway
Built in the 1750's by the wealthy Martin Family, it was originally home to the "ferocious" O'Flaherty clan. It was once the home of Grace O'Malley, pirate queen of Connaught. The castle is today well known as a 4-star high-end hotel with a focus on fly fishing for salmon and sea trout.
Bantry House and Gardens, Co. Cork
Bantry House is a theatrical place, full of drama and character. Standing at the foot of a steep terraced garden, it commands incomparable views across the waters of Bantry Bay to Whiddy Island and the Caha Mountains beyond. Its magnificent setting, like a Claude Lorraine painting, is matched by the many treasures of its interior - exquisite French furniture, tapestries and objets d'art - which give this remote Irish house the air of a continental baroque palace.
Beaulieu / Bewley House, Garden and Car Museum, Co. Louth
Beaulieu estate was formed by the Plunkett family in 1082. The estate was converted to its Dutch style by Sir Henry Tichbourne in the 17th century, and today is occupied by his 10th generation descendent, Gabriel De Freitas. Externally the house has remained virtually unaltered since the 1660s and it still contains a great deal of its original fittings.
Belvedere House, Gardens and Park, Co. Westmeath
It was built as a hunting lodge for Robert Rochfort, later the First Earl of Belvedere, around 1742. It is set on an elevated site overlooking Lough Ennell with spectacular views of the 160 acre estate, completed with Victorian Walled Garden, lakeshore walks, one of Ireland's finest collections of rare and special plants and numerous follies.
Birr Castle Demesne, Leviathan Telescope and Gardens, Co. Offaly
Birr Castle has been the private family home of the Parsons family since the early 17th century. It is best known for its telescope and beautiful gardens. At 72 inches, the Leviathan, built in 1845 by the Third Earl of Rosse, was the largest telescope in the world for almost three-quarters of a century. The Earl was credited with discovering the spiral nature of the Whirlpool Galaxy. The award winning garden has an outstanding collection of about 2000 species of rare trees and shrubs.
Blackrock / Mahon Castle and Observatory, Co. Cork
It was originally built around the 16th century by Lord Deputy Mountjoy as a fort. It had a beacon light from a turf fire. Destroyed by fire in 1827 it was rebuilt the following year from the design by James and G.R. Pain. It was reopened in 2007 as a state of the art observatory and educational facility.
Blarney Castle and Gardens, Co. Cork
One of Ireland's quintessential attractions, a visit to Blarney Castle and kissing the Blarney Stone is high on most people's list of things to do in Ireland.