They say the best way to get to know a place is to live like a local and what better way than living in a real Irish castle, cottage or amazing one-off home in Ireland.
Airbnb has become the international go to site that allows you to either rent out a whole home for your vacation or rent one room from a local. Imagine the possibilities. Since its foundation in San Francisco, in 2008, the company has grown to 190 countries including Ireland.
We took a look at some of the more unusual homes in Ireland:
“Live like a King in my Castle”
Price per night:$145 (€130)
A diligent chap called Peter has spent ten years refurbishing this 600-year-old medieval castle.
He says you can expect “lots of winding staircases, a castle that has been lovingly restored, but there are some cobwebs, and it gives you the real Irish castle experience. It's not pristine, its not perfect, but it's a real castle. There are lots of sheep and cows in the nearby fields - but lots of peace and quiet.”
Read more: Mayo and the Cliffs of Moher tours
“The World's 1st Self Catering Pub!”
Aglish, near Borrisokane, County Tipperary.
Price per night: $156 (€140)
Have you ever dreamed of running your own Irish pub? Bet you have!
This place sleeps four and is in a perfect spot of a great outdoorsy holiday...with some pints at the end of the day. Also booze is not supplied.
What to expect? The couple who own it write “Conroy’s Old Bar is especially suited to those who have a love of the great outdoors. Who would like to experience the true beauty and tranquility of rural Ireland, whilst staying in a converted authentic Irish village bar.”
“Headfort House, 70 bed school”
Price per night: $1,370 (€1,200)
This one’s a little more pricey but it does sleeps over 16 guests. What better way to host a family reunion in Ireland or a big gang of friends.
In fact you could even set up your own little school. The post says “Suitable for a summer school or similar with beds, catering and teaching facilities for up to 70 pupils.
“Extensive sporting facilities, gym, theatre, woodlands and gardens.
“Fine ballroom with seating for up to 120 suitable for lectures or workshops with breakout rooms and classrooms available for smaller numbers.”
Read more: Galway and the West tours
Price per night: $172 (£113)
Fairy tale fantasy anyone!!
Check this description out “Helen's Tower perched high above the rolling hills of Co Down, is an enchanting three storey stone tower nestled deep in the woods of the Clandeboye Estate.”
They continue “Built in 1848 by Frederick Lord Dufferin, 5th Baron of Dufferin and Ava in honour of his mother Helen Selina Blackwood, Helen's Tower has since been immortalized by Tennyson in the poem of the same name.”
“Martello Tower, Dalkey”
Price per night: $513 (€450)
What we’re looking at here is your very own castle, on the south coast of Dublin, just a short drive from the city.
It’s described as “A stunning 1804 coastal defense Tower, a National Monument, exquisitely restored as a luxurious residence.” And it does look gorgeous.
Read more: Kerry and the Wild Atlantic Way tours
“Restored 200-Year-Old Church”
Price per night: $111 (€100)
What could be more Irish that a church for Pete’s sake!
Bookeen Hall, a former Church of Ireland chapel was built in 1808, as part of the Dunsandle estate. In case you’re worried, the church was “deconsecrated in 1920 and exactly 200 years after it was built it was given a new lease of life and converted into a two bedroom home.”
“Cuckoo Wood Hexagon”
Price per night: $89 (€80)
This one’s really unusual and looks beautiful. It’s a wooden hut in the midst of Irish flora and fauna, with decking on both sides to catch the sun. Perfect for nature lovers.
It’s described as a “hexagon hut is situated on its own on land that is half orchard half woodland, 5km from Westport. It gives a nice view over the natural environment with wildlife and low key farming. A few goats and a few hens roam in the adjoining field.”
“Thatched Irish Home with Sea Views”
Price per night: $138 (€124)
A stone-built, thatched house in the Irish traditional style overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. What else could you want!
The house has all mod cons and overlooks the Dingle Peninsula, right next to the magic Ring of Kerry.
Read more: Northern Ireland and Game of Thrones tours
“Skellig Rest - Ocean View Cottage”
Price per night: $95 (€86)
This gorgeous looking cottage with amazing views and outdoor areas (see hot tub) also happens to be in in the middle of Kerry’s International Dark Sky Reserve. Enjoy your star gazing! And during the day you’d be looking out at Ballinskelligs Bay and the Skellig rocks. Also the Kerry Way walking trail starts from the end of the cottage’s garden.
“Idyllic cottage retreat in Donegal”
Price per night: $55 (€49 )
I can see this little old-school oasis being really attractive to visitors from the US.
The owner describes Gleann Leithin Cottage as “a cosy converted byre situated in a very tranquil scenic area. The view from the cottage looks towards the beautiful Glendowan mountains and Glenveagh National Park. Ideal for a peaceful retreat or a great base to explore.”
Read more: Ireland golf tours