Offering fresh air, healthy living and beautiful scenery as far as the eye can see, a country escape is the perfect remedy for the stresses of city life. Staying in a B&B in the heart of the countryside is the best way to get to know a country, its people and its traditions. Unfortunately (or fortunately for those who donÂ't want their peace and quiet spoiled), these gems can be hard to find if you donÂ't know where to look. To help you on your way to a relaxing and rejuvenating stay, we here at BedandBreakfastworld.com have unearthed some of those hidden treasures to bring you a list of some of IrelandÂ's best country house bed and breakfasts.
Barnalick House is a 19th-century farmhouse B&B set at the heart of the peaceful Golden Vale countryside close to Adare.
The cosy en-suite guestrooms are found in the old farmhouse, both overlooking the garden and the historic hill of Knockfierna, the mythological home of Donn Fírinne. Self-catering accommodation is also available in the Coach House.
The village of Adare is known as being one of the prettiest in Ireland; the streets are lined with thatched cottages and local attractions include a number of medieval monasteries and Desmond Castle.
Cashel Lodge is ideally located between two of TipperaryÂ's best-loved historic treasures: the medieval Hore Abbey and the ancient Rock of Cashel, the traditional seat of the kings of Munster and one of the most-visited heritage sites in Ireland.
The country B&B is set in a rustic stone barn, fully renovated to offer all the modern comforts while still retaining the traditional charm of the building through original features such as exposed brick walls and wooden beamed ceilings.
Guestrooms are fully equipped with en-suite bathrooms, wireless internet access and tea/coffee-making facilities. A hearty breakfast of local produce and home baked treats is served in the dining room, and the cosy fireplace lounge is the perfect place to relax with a book and a cup of tea.
Brookhaven is a luxury B&B set in a country house along the Ring of Kerry on the west coast of Ireland.
Set just outside the town of Waterville, the four-star, family-run property boasts a range of spacious en-suite guestrooms, most with impressive views over the surrounding mountains, the Atlantic Ocean or Waterville Links Golf Course.
There are a huge number of activities available around Waterville, including horse riding, hiking, golf, surfing, bird-watching, cycling, taking a day trip to the Skellig Islands or just relaxing on the beaches. After a busy day exploring the area, enjoy a meal in one of the fine gourmet restaurants before relaxing in the cosy living room back at Brookhaven.
Ashfield House enjoys a picturesque countryside setting just a few minutes away from the village of Cong.
With a warm and friendly atmosphere, this country B&B offers comfy accommodation in simple but cosy en-suite guestrooms, and a tasty full Irish or continental breakfast freshly prepared every morning.
Cong is home to a number of attractions, including Ashford Castle, Cong Abbey and the Quiet Man Cottage, made famous by the 1952 film of the same name, which starred John Wayne and Maureen OÂ'Hara. Ashfield House is also located right between two of IrelandÂ's best-known trout fisheries: Lough Mask and Lough Corrib.
Fishing, golf, horse riding and walking are available in the area, and guests can soak up Irish hospitality in one of the nearby traditional pubs.
Family-run Aisling Guest House offers top class accommodation and a peaceful atmosphere close to the town of Ashbourne in scenic county Meath, just 10 minutes from Dublin Airport.
The well-appointed guestrooms are all fully en-suite and equipped with Sky TV, plasma screens, fridges, hairdryers and tea/coffee-making facilities. Deluxe rooms feature their own private entrance and jacuzzi bath. A full Irish breakfast is included in the rates and free WiFi is available throughout.
The picturesque towns and villages of IrelandÂ's east coast as well as Dublin city centre are within easy reach. Killeen Castle Golf Club can be reached in around twenty minutes by car.
Located on the aptly named Featherbed Lane, Templemore B&B is a newly built country bed and breakfast with four elegant rooms on an acre and a half of mature grounds.
All the guestrooms are tastefully decorated with televisions, DVD players, wireless internet access and en-suite bathrooms with power showers. A full Irish and continental breakfast buffet is included in the rates, and we also have self-catering facilities.
Templemore is a pretty, historic town with some interesting buildings, including the ruins of a fourteenth-century church. Other places of interest in County Tipperary include Cahir Castle and Lough Derg.
Find out more information about travel in Ireland at DiscoverIreland.com.
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By Eleanor Brown