A castle of one’s own in Ireland

An impressive private pile is now open to guests

There are stunning, sweeping views to be had from the recently renovated Lower Tower Suite at Lismore Castle (www.lismorecastle.com; pictured) in Ireland. Since 1753, the castle has been the Irish seat of the Devonshire family (prior to that Lismore belonged to Sir Walter Raleigh, the man who brought potatoes to Europe), built into a cliff face overlooking the River Blackwater and its salmon pools.

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While primarily a private house, Lismore (which sequesters a phenomenal art collection) is, for a few weeks of the year, available for exclusive-use rental (from £4,500 per night, sleeps 27) beyond its long-established network of family and friends. Staff (butler Denis, driver Sean and chef Beth Ann) instil this County Waterford landmark with great warmth.

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It’s matched in that respect by the robust Irish cooking at O’Brien Chop House (www.obrienchophouse.ie), a small restaurant in the village created by the former general manager of Babington House in Somerset.

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