The main aim of holidaying in one of Ireland’s luxury cottages is to relax. We live such busy lives that having a week to spend simply enjoying the peace, quiet and stunning views the country is home to is a real gift – you are free to do as much or as little as you like!
If relaxing is your main priority for your trip, I think there are a few places you should consider as your base. Read on for my guides to each.
This is a beautiful county situated on the south coast of Ireland, meaning it benefits from a mild climate – perfect if you want to spend the day at the beach! It is also famous for the number of luxury spas that can be found here, so you can really pamper yourself during your trip.
One of the best spas to visit is the Nadur Spa at Ballygarry House. Here you can enjoy views over landscaped gardens, where the only noise to disturb the peace is that of gentle bird song.
Head first to the thermal suite to unwind ready for whatever treatment you have chosen. You can use the glass herbal sauna or soak in the outdoor tub. This will certainly put you in the mood for your massage and after that you can treat yourself to a hair or nail treatment so not only do you look your best, but also feel it.
Aghadoe Heights Hotel is another acclaimed resort where you can enjoy a good pampering session. There is also a long list of treatments to choose from – so you may find yourself making a repeat visit.
One of the great things about self catering is that you can eat what you want, when you want. Being able to get up in the morning at your leisure and enjoy a light breakfast is far more relaxing than having to rush to get ready and be downstairs to eat breakfast before they stop serving.
However, you shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to have dinner cooked for you – and in Cork there are plenty of acclaimed establishments to choose from. The southern county is famed for its award-winning restaurants, so you should find something that appeals to you, whatever your favourite dishes are.
Jim Edwards in Kinsale is one such establishment and is a member of Good Food Ireland. Here you can enjoy local seafood or simply treat yourself to a delicious steak. Another great option if the Farmgate, where you can book a seat in the dining room or on the Piano Balcony and enjoy regional dishes that feature quality ingredients, like Irish lamb stew.
Another great way to relax is by immersing yourself in stunning scenery and enjoying the fresh air, and the county of Antrim gives you plenty of opportunity to do this. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Giant’s Causeway can be found here and is a beautiful place to go walking.
Alternatively, you can unwind by playing a few rounds at one of the acclaimed golf courses, such as Royal Portrush Golf Club – the only Irish club to have hosted the Open Championship. There are two links courses for you to play on at this members club, where visitors are given a warm welcome throughout the year.