Lighthouses, gate houses, old school houses, and stately homes. Some spectacular spots in Ireland to lay your head.

1. Ballyfin Demesne, Ballyfin, Co. Laois

Ballyfin Demesne has long been admired as the most lavish Regency mansion in Ireland, and now as a 5-star luxury country house hotel. The boutique hotel is set at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains in the center of Ireland.

2. Salterbridge Gatelodge in Co. Wexford

 Salterbridge Gatelodge is a classically proportioned pavilion lodge located in the glorious Blackwater Valley. It was built in 1849 by the Chearnley family. Historically families put great effort into the building and design of gate lodges as they gave an impression of the grandeur of the main house.

3. Inis Turk Beg, Clew Bay, Co Mayo

Inish Turk Beg which translates to "small island of the wild boar" is a private island in Clew Bay, Co. Mayo in the west of Ireland. Infrastructure on the island was developed by Nadim Sadek, an Irish-Egyptian marketing entrepreneur, who later sold the island. According to Inishturk Beg covers 65 acres with as many as 5 island houses, a pier, floating marina and magnificent main residence.

4. Schoolhouse at Annaghmore, Collooney, Co Sligo

 Built in the 1860s for the education of children of the tenants of Annaghmore Estate, on the banks of Owenmore River. The Schoolhouse at Annaghmore is an attractive rural building picturesquely located by the Owenmore River and surrounded by mature woodland. The self-catering accommodation comprises two double bedrooms and two bathrooms with a bath upstairs and shower downstairs.

5. Gyreum Ecolodge, Corlisheen, Riverstown, Co. Sligo

The Gyreum is hostel-style accommodation with an ecodifference.  Overlooking Lough Arrow, wind turbines heat  the hot water and geothermal heat from the ground heats the Gyreum space.  The Gyreum's star attractions are its central hall, extraordinary views across 5 counties and its ever evolving eco imprint.  The alternative lodge was Ireland's first ecolodge to be awarded the EU Eco-Label for tourist accommodation

6. Batty Langley Lodge, Castletown Demesne, Leixlip, Co Kildare 

An elegant two story building with seven stone pinnacles, Batty Langley Lodge was designed to be viewed from the River Walk below as part of the planned landscape surrounding the world famous Palladian Castletown House.

7. Blackhead Lightkeepers' House, Belfast Lough, Co Antrim


This famous lighthouse is situated on the North Shore of Belfast Lough. Perched on the edge of a cliff, the maritime building offers visitors spectacular panoramic views. The lighthouse was built in Belfast’s glory days of  shipping. Lighthouses are some of the best examples of self-catering accommodation out there!

8. Clomantagh Castle, Co.Kilkenny

 Clomantagh Castle is part of a unique settlement of tower house, farmhouse and bawn, in Freshford County Kilkenny. The tower (the 1430s) and the farmhouse (early 1800s) are linked by doors allowing guests to wander freely between two periods of history. The castle can sleep ten guests

9. Loop Head Lightkeepers House Kilbaha, Co Clare

Perched proudly on an enclosure at the tip of Loop Head stands the lighthouse station.  Surrounded by birds and wildflowers, cliffs and Atlantic surf, Loop Head offers holiday accommodation with all of the spectacular appeal of the rugged west coast. However, guests should bring bottled water as there is no mains water supply.

10. Helens Tower, Clandeboye Estate, Bangor, Co Down

Helen’s Tower was designed in 1848 by William Burn in the Scottish style and construction was completed in October 1861. The tower is perched high above the rolling hills of Co Down, is an enchanting three-story stone tower nestled deep in the woods of the Clandeboye Estate.  Standing on top of the world with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, one can see as far as distant Scottish shores from the top of Helen's Tower.

For more information about the historical properties listed here visit Irish