The Romance of Old Ireland



Have a holiday like something from a Brontë saga. Here are some ideas to get you started.

The Old Wicklow Lighthouse

For those who like to holiday in a long, tall and thin kind of way, this is a fantastic getaway which is just 40 minutes drive away from the big smoke of Dublin. The lighthouse is no longer a working tower, however it is still an important landmark for sailors skimming by. It has stood on the hill since 1781, but on a stormy night in 1836 it was struck by lightning, and it was gutted by a fire. The Irish Landmark Trust acquired the lighthouse in 1996, and set about rebuilding the tower. When the stairs and timber floors were in place, 6 octagonal rooms were arranged vertically. Although the rooms are small, they have high arched windows set into walls which are almost a metre thick. This gives it a wonderful, dramatic windswept feel.

As a  holiday destination, it really is the stuff of a Charlotte Brontë saga. This eighteenth century octagonal lighthouse is situated approximately 2 miles from Wicklow Town. So, you can still dial a pizza if you don’t want to cook. Just think: you could buy several bottles of red wine, a bucket of chocolates and lock yourselves in for an ideal romantic getaway.

The lighthouse is truly remarkable, restored beautifully, and located atop a cliff overlooking the gorgeous Wicklow Bay. It is a scenic walk down to the more modern working lighthouse, and all you will hear is the bleating of sheep. It is close to some of the best beaches in Ireland, so if you want big kudos with your partner, book this for a long weekend; you’ll have a smile on your face for the rest of the year. Unless, of course, you bring the family – it sleeps 6. Email for more info.

Helen’s Tower

This is a holiday for anyone wanting to re-enact the Rapunzel experience.

Helen’s Tower is perched high above the rolling hills of Co Down. It is an enchanting three-storey 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. It would be a total shame to be rescued and I would even suggest cutting off one’s hair to solve this problem.

Built in 1848 by Frederick Lord Dufferin, 5th Baron of Dufferin and Ava, Helen’s Tower has since been immortalised by Tennyson in the poem of the same name. Designed by architect William Burn and constructed in 1848-1850 as a famine relief project, Helen’s Tower helped relieve unemployment at the time. The interiors and fittings of this building were unique to this period.

It features an octagonal room on the third floor with paneling throughout engraved with poems on metal plates are set into the walls. It even has a rooftop reading room…for when you are out of range for a Kindle download…dear God you might have to read a hard copy book! How romantic! It’s just a pity it doesn’t come with a fleet of overly good looking servants, ready with a roasted partridge in a pear tree, or something similar.

Visitors to the area can enjoy walking routes, known locally as Cladeboye Way. Now this is one tower where you can let down your golden (or otherwise) hair.

Email for more info.


Loop Head Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage

This hideaway is stormy romance at its best. The Loop Head Lighthouse is perched atop Clare’s spectacular coastline on the edge of dramatic cliffs. It has stunning views of the sea, down to Kerry Head and Dingle, across the Shannon, and up the Clare coast to the Cliffs of Moher.

Although this area of County Clare is hopelessly scenic, it is also strangely deserted. It is so isolated that you could have a big screaming fight with your partner (on the grounds that you get to make up), or you could have absurdly loud sex, and no-one will hear you do either activity. In fact, you could probably run through the fields naked and no-one would be the wiser. You may, however traumatise the Puffins that can be seen flying around the cliffs. And your kids (if you have any) will be damaged for life. So make your holiday decisions carefully.

This is a wild spot for those who love to get away from it all. At night, the lighthouse lantern silently rotates across your double bed, for that extra romantic touch. And, if you don’t feel like cooking, just a 3 mile drive away is the Lighthouse Pub in Kilbaha. How could you say no to this holiday?

Email for more info.


There are many more fantastically wild properties available for hire. Just click here to look at these fabulous properties.

Happy holidaying!


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