This sightseeing holiday is set in Roscrea, a typical market town in County Tipperary with a wide main street flanked by shops. It is home to an imposing castle, built in 1213 within the grounds of Damer House and featuring stunning pre-Palladian architecture. Near the castle you’ll find an interesting twelfth century Romanesque church and round tower. Perhaps visit Mona Inch Abbey, located on what used to be an island, the fifteenth century Franciscan Friary with its preserved nave arcade or Fancroft Mills & Gardens, home to a whooshing waterwheel. Maybe you’d like to simply enjoy a drink and traditional Irish music in one of the friendly pubs.
Day One. We journey to Cairnryan for our ferry crossing then continue to Racket Hall Country House Hotel.
Day Two. This morning we make our way to Birr Castle Demesne where we are treated to a guided tour of this storybook fortress. Its grounds are a tranquil oasis with romantic walks, a moat, rare plants and waterfalls. Afterwards, enjoy some free time in Birr before we continue to Portumna Castle and Gardens. This partly fortified Jacobean manor is surrounded by a willow maze
and formal grounds.
Day Three. Our treat today is Russborough House, a Palladian mansion set in parkland with views of Blessington Lakes. After viewing the ornate interior and unique exhibits, we spend the afternoon in the medieval town of Kildare. Here you might like to visit the heritage centre where a virtual seventh century monk takes you on a fascinating journey through time.
Day Four. We visit well preserved Cahir Castle, built on an island on the River Suir in 1142, it retains its impressive keep, tower and defensive structure. The afternoon brings free time to stroll around Cashel town, home to ancient monasteries, a Georgian cathedral and fortified townhouses.
Day Five. After breakfast, we head for our return ferry, then continue home.
Elegant Racket Hall Country House Hotel nestles beneath the Slieve Bloom Mountains in the heritage town of Roscrea and offers countryside views,
exposed brick walls, open fireplaces and a wood panelled bar. It makes the perfect base to get you in the mood for our rural themed itinerary.