Ireland’s Top Stately Manor Homes
Russborough House & Demesne
This great 18th century stately mansion in Blessington, County Wicklow is beautifully maintained and lavishly furnished, containing fine furniture, tapestries, porcelain and much of the Beit collection of paintings. The house also contains delightful parkland with magnificent views of the Blessington Lakes and Wicklow Mountains,as well as a 20,00 square feet Maze for the more adventurous visitor.
Powercourt House and Gardens
Powerscourt House in county Wicklow is home to one of the world\’s great gardens. It is situated in the village of Enniskerry, 20km south of Dublin in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains. The amazing garden was begun by Richard Wingfield in the 1740\’s and stretches out over 47 acres.
Dublin is the ideal base for exploring the stunning rural charms of county Wicklow and the fine stately homes of Powerscourt House and Russborough House. Thanks to the easy availability of cheap flights to Dublin, the city has emerged as the number one destination for holidays in Ireland and has the largest selection of hotels in Ireland. If looking for hotels in Dublin Ireland check out www.rediscoverireland.com its packed full of hotels in Ireland, adventure activities, tours, cultural events, holiday homes and holiday apartments.
Emo Court mansion and gardens
The village of Emo in county Laois is home to the stately Emo Court mansion and gardens, designed by James Gandon for the Earl of Portarlington in 1790. The house is surrounded by beautiful gardens and parkland that date from the 18th century and contains formal lawns, a lake and wonderful forest walks. County Laois is about one hour\’s drive south of Dublin and is home to the Slieve bloom mountain, popular with hill walkers and nature lovers. For those visitors who wish to stay in County Laois there are numerous holiday homes and holiday cottages dotted throughout county Laois.
Stradbally Hall is also located in County Laois and is one of Ireland\’s finest stately homes. The Cosbys\’ stately home was begun in 1772 and greatly enlarged and embellished in the 1860\’s in its present Italianate style. The Irish Steam Preservation Society holds its steam rally here every year during the August Bank Holiday. Also in the grounds is the Stradbally Hall Narrow Gauge Railway.
Bantry House in west Cork is not only one of the finest historic houses in Ireland, but it also commands one of the best views overlooking Bantry Bay. It has been open to the public since 1946, the first to do so in the country. The house is still owned and lived in by Egerton Shelswell-White, who is a direct descendant of Richard White (1, Earl of Bantry), and his family.
The Hutchinson family built a mansion on the shore of Bantry Bay c 1740. The house was enlarged in 1765 by the White family. Many treasures can be viewed including extensive art collection and tapestries. The West Cork regions is a popular destination for holidays in Ireland, the region\’s main towns: Bantry, Clonakilty, Skibberian and Kinsale have some of the best hotels in Cork and have an abundant supply of and holiday cottages, holiday homes, holiday rentals and holiday apartments to suit all budgets.
Fota House Arboretum & Gardens
Enjoy Regency period architecture and a wonderful neoclassic interior at Fota House Arboretum & Gardens near Cork City. Visitors can walk through the two floors of this extensive country house and see beautifully decorticated formal rooms, servants quarters, the restored original kitchen and game larder. The house contains one of the most important collections of Irish art and furniture in Ireland.
The world renowned arboretum and gardens, with its beautiful orangery, formal walled gardens, and 12 acres of parkland was begun in the 1850\’s , and today boosts one of the finest collections of rare and tender trees and shrubs grown outdoors in Ireland.
Cork city is also a very popular destination for holidays in ireland and is an ideal centre from which to explore both Fota House and Bantry House. Did you know hotels in Cork are among the very best hotels in Ireland and there are numerous hotels in Cork to suit all budgets and tastes, there are also numerous holiday cottages, holiday homes, holiday rentals and holiday apartments dotted all over the city.
About the Author
Ireland is blessed to have so many fine 18th and 19th century stately manor homes set in stunning locations, but this short guide only highlights six stately homes. If you are a big history fan why not take a short trip to Ireland. Did you know it\’s never been easier to take holidays in Ireland thanks to numerous European and transatlantic airlines offering flights to Ireland as well as numerous budget airlines offering cheap flights to Dublin and cheap flights to Belfast. To learn about more about Ireland\’s stately homes visit our cities and sights section on www.rediscoverireland.com
O for a summer noon, when light and breeze
Sport on the grass, like ripples o’er a lake
Alive with freshness! when the full round Sun,
With the Creator’s smile upon his face,
Walks like a prince of glory through the path
Of Heaven!—Thou vast, and ever-glorious sky,
Mantling the earth with thy majestic robe…
~Robert Montgomery, “Beautiful Influences,” A Universal Prayer; Death; A Vision of Heaven; and A Vision of Hell; &c. &c., 1829
But oh! the blessing it is to have a friend to whom one can speak fearlessly on any subject; with whom one’s deepest as well as one’s most foolish thoughts come out simply and safely. Oh, the comfort – the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person – having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away. ~ A Life for a Life, 1859
The only sure thing about luck is that it will change. ~Wilson Mizner
Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered. ~ William Shakespeare
Depend on the rabbit’s foot if you will, but remember it didn’t work for the rabbit. ~R.E. Shay
Ireland is really a country where most guests desire to get out and explore the countryside. Obviously, its capital city, Dublin, is suave and cosmopolitan and provides its own brand of Irishness to visitors, as well as some in the country’s top sightseeing spots.
But several travelers picture Ireland as a place of rolling green hills, thatched roof cottages and roving sheep, and although this simplistic imagery could maybe be regarded a trifle cliché, there is a great deal to draw the visitor to Ireland’s small towns, including these top 5 fairly sweet spots that no visitor should miss.
This pretty small village in County Limerick has been designated as an “Irish Heritage Village” for its historic architecture, as it features a wonderful collection of thatched roof cottages. These traditional Irish homes employ bound reeds for roofing and have unmistakable white-washed walls. Adare can also be home to Adare Manor, a 19th century mansion that’s now an upscale hotel.
The sweet small town of Westport is County Mayo’s crown jewel along with a favorite destination among domestic and international tourists for its upmarket shops, tidy streets and colorful shop fronts. Westport’s proximity to nearby Crough Patrick, one of Ireland’s highest mountains, at the same time as various lakes and blue flag beaches further improve is draw as a base for holidaygoers. And famed 19th century travel writer, William Makepeace Thackeray wrote that it was the “most gorgeous view” he actually saw.
County Kerry is arguably Ireland’s most favorite tourist location, and heading the verdant Ring of Kerry is Killarney, the county’s capital city and one of the most charming, vibrant small towns in Ireland. It may be said that Killarney has more pubs per capita than any other city around the island, and I’d nicely believe it, with dozens of pubs, bars and restaurants to cater to just about every drinking need. Killarney is upmarket however sweet and unpretentious, includes a beautiful cathedral and is situated in the edge of the national park that provides days of hiking, fishing and boating.
County Cork’s Kinsale is a city of gourmet foods and colored doors. For a small town, it includes a hearty number of upmarket dining places and bistros, as well as playing host to an annual gourmet meals festival. On the southeast coast or Ireland, Kinsale is a coastal town with a large yachting marina, producing it an ideal destination for those interested in sea tourism and activities.
Clifden is to County Galway what Kinsale is to Cork, except instead of the sweet bay, Clifden has sweeping sea vistas from atop rocky bluffs. Set out about the tip of a peninsula inside the surreal and rugged landscape of Connemara, Clifden can be a charming city of B&Bs, cute cafes and shops where you go to buy wool sweaters not as souvenirs, but because you need to have them. Thought possibly not as easily charming being a town like Westport, Clifden is the type of location you go when all you want is often a perfectly peaceful and amazingly scenic escape.
Once upon a time Ireland was only known as the “Island of Saints and Scholars”, nowadays, fortunately, we’re known for so much more. We have A-list Hollywood actors, world-class pop rock musicians, top authors, Guinness, some of the world’s most stunning scenery and even a claim to the White House!
Famous symbols of Ireland…
The harp, also known as the national symbol of Ireland, the Celtic cross, the shamrock and the Irish wolfhound are all well known Irish symbols.
The majority of the Irish population are Roman Catholic (88%).
Gaelic is Ireland’s national language. Only in the Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) areas of Ireland will you find that Irish is used as the everyday language. In all other parts of Ireland, English is the spoken language.
Ireland’s most famous musical export would have to be U2, closely followed by The Boomtown Rats, Thin Lizzy and more recently Boyzone and Westlife.
The cream of the crop includes Richard Harris, Pierce Brosnan, Cillian Murphy and Colin Farrell.
The world of literature…
To our credit, Ireland has produced Bram Stoker, James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats, Maeve Binchy and Celia Aherne.
Saint Patrick, who brought Christianity to Ireland in around 430. St Patrick’s Day is celebrated in Ireland, and indeed all over the world, on March 17th.
Our capital – Dublin…
Dublin was founded by the Vikings in 988 and was originally called Dubh Linn (which means Black Pool in Irish).
First Saint Patrick’s Day parade…
Boston was the proud host with an event organised by the Charitable Irish Society in 1737.
The White House…
James Hoban, a Kilkenny born architect, won a competition to design the original White House.
Grace O’Malley (Queen of the Pirates) operated off the west coast of Ireland and Ned Kelly (son of an Irish convict) was an infamous Australian outlaw.
Killarney, County Kerry is home to the highest mountain – Carrantouhill, part of the mountain range the McGillycuddy Reeks.
The river Shannon rises in County Cavan and is approximately 240 miles long. It contains 3 lakes, Lough Allen, Lough Ree and Lough Derg.
Drisheen is a type of pudding made from cow’s, pigs or sheeps blood. White pudding is a mixture of pork, cereal, bread, fat and suet. Periwinkles are sea snails boiled in salted water.
To trip to Ireland would be complete without sampling a pint of the black stuff! It’s said that no matter where you go in the world, only in Ireland will you be served the most velvety, and creamiest pint of the “black stuff”.
Bailey’s Irish Cream…
This hugely popular liquor has been around since the ’70’s.
Stumble upon a “trad night”, throw in the customary singsong, a bit of Irish dancing and you’re in for a crackin’ evening!
A sporting nation…
Irish people are very passionate about Gaelic games – football, hurling, rounders, handball and camogie. Rugby and soccer are also very well supported in Ireland.
The great outdoors…
The Cavan Way, The Dingle Way and The Kerry Way are just some of the country’s scenic walking routes that offer a great opportunity to sample Ireland’s breathtaking countryside.
Sense of humour…
There’s nothing like the Irish sense of humour, wit and play with words. Have a look at the below examples:
“not backwards in coming forwards” – means a person is not shy.
“no flies on him” – means a person is not easily deceived.
“she has a tongue that would clip a hedge” – means a person who gossips.
“come for a day and stay for a week” – means someone outstaying their welcome.
Just a few facts to ponder over – for a small island we certainly have a lot going for us!
Mairead Foley writes for the Ireland travel and accommodation website http://www.GoIreland.com
Heading to Ireland in the near future? Then check out GoIreland.com for everything you need to know before your visit. You can also check out our quality Ireland accommodation.
At the first kiss I felt
Something melt inside me
That hurt in an exquisite way
All my longings, all my dreams and sweet anguish,
All the secrets that slept deep within me came awake,
Everything was transformed and enchanted
And made sense.
I dread success. To have succeeded is to have finished one’s business on earth, like the male spider, who is killed by the female the moment he has succeeded in courtship. I like a state of continual becoming, with a goal in front and not behind. ~George Bernard Shaw, 28 August 1896
After all the trouble you go to, you get about as much actual “food” out of eating an artichoke as you would from licking 30 or 40 postage stamps. ~Miss Piggy
Once you have learned to fly your plane, it is far less fatiguing to fly than it is to drive a car. You don’t have to watch every second for cats, dogs, children, lights, road signs, ladies with baby carriages and citizens who drive out in the middle of the block against the lights…. Nobody who has not been up in the sky on a glorious morning can possibly imagine the way a pilot feels in free heaven. ~William T. Piper
A person should go out on the water on a fine day to a small distance from a beautiful coast, if he would see Nature really smile. Never does she look so delightful, as when the sun is brightly reflected by the water, while the waves are gently rippling, and the prospect receives life and animation from the glancing transit of an occasional row-boat, and the quieter motion of a few small vessels. But the land must be well in sight; not only for its own sake, but because the immensity and awfulness of a mere sea-view would ill accord with the other parts of the glittering and joyous scene. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827
There is no moment like the present. The man who will not execute his resolutions when they are fresh upon him can have no hope from them afterwards: they will be dissipated, lost, and perish in the hurry and scurry of the world, or sunk in the slough of indolence. ~Maria Edgeworth
When I was a Boy Scout, we played a game when new Scouts joined the troop. We lined up chairs in a pattern, creating an obstacle course through which the new Scouts, blindfolded, were supposed to maneuver. The Scoutmaster gave them a few moments to study the pattern before our adventure began. But as soon as the victims were blindfolded, the rest of us quietly removed the chairs. I think life is like this game. Perhaps we spend our lives avoiding obstacles we have created for ourselves and in reality exist only in our minds. We’re afraid to apply for that job, take violin lessons, learn a foreign language, call an old friend, write our Congressman – whatever it is that we would really like to do but don’t because of personal obstacles. Don’t avoid any chairs until you run smack into one. And if you do, at least you’ll have a place to sit down. ~Pierce Vincent Eckhart
Our body is a machine for living. It is organized for that, it is its nature. Let life go on in it unhindered and let it defend itself, it will do more than if you paralyze it by encumbering it with remedies. ~Leo Tolstoy
May those who love us love us,
and those who do not love us,
may God turn their hearts,
and if He cannot turn their hearts
may He turn their ankles
that we may know them by their limping.
Except a living man there is nothing more wonderful than a book! A message to us from the dead, – from human souls whom we never saw, who lived perhaps thousands of miles away; and yet these, on those little sheets of paper, speak to us, teach us, comfort us, open their hearts to us as brothers. ~Charles Kingsley