Remember the fabled Irish landscape made up of emerald fields, sparkling seas and rainbows? Well, it’s still there, you’ve just got to search beyond the Section 23 developments that crowd the sleek new motorways to find it.
In Glengarriff, County Cork, a Lord of the Rings meets Leprechauns landscape, you’ll not find a prettier cottage than the former hunting lodge of the earls of Bantry, that stands on a two-acre island of lawns and gardens amid the ancient oaks of Glengarriff Woods.
All the jazz of period furniture and log fires remind you of the good old days of the Anglo-Irish ascendancy, when the lord of the manor rode about on his horse swiping at the peasants with his croquet mallet. Said peasants though were soon to get together and burn said lord out of the country!
If it’s a bit of hanky-panky without your other half catching you, you could do worse than hide out in Rosses Point, County Sligo. Any closer to the sea shore and this one would be marketed in Atlantis. The newly built villa at Rosses Point is totally secluded and offers views over Sligo Bay to Ben Bulben.
A well-established surfer’s haven with a fretwork of deserted rural roads inland – in case you run out of petrol and need to park up for a moment or two!
Sligo offers a chance to see how the west used to be before the tour buses took over. Check out elegant.ie for more information on Irish tour operators with a difference.