I’m sure other countries are exposed to ads about Ireland like the ones we see about Scotland. Ads full of rolling hills and pebbly beaches, historical landmarks and dogs running through flowers. Always shots of dogs. In any case, I often feel like I’m missing out. It feels like I spend most of my time travelling between my house and town on a bus and I haven’t seen a lot of the ‘green green grass of Ireland’ that tourists seem to love. So recently I decided I’d do exactly that – travel the country like a visitor. Wondering where to start I accidently stumbled on the Irish Landmark Trust’s website (http://www.irishlandmark.com) which was one of the best little discoveries I think I’ve ever made.
The Irish Landmark Trust (ILT) seek to repair historical buildings in Ireland and then rent them out for short stays with great information packs in each property about the history of the building itself, as well as its surroundings. Looking for a nice first getaway I found the Batty Langley Lodge and promptly booked it for a weekend. The lodge isn’t far – in fact it’s in the grounds of Castletown House in Celbridge, but it feels completely separate from Dublin. It used to be the ‘getaway’ lodge for one of the ladies married into the main house and has since been extended and converted into a really cosy self-service stay, with beautiful features from the 1800s mixed with every modern piece of equipment you could need (barring a television, they believe in books and games). It also came equipped with a bat detector and a fact file on bats, which I was very excited about, being an animal enthusiast. The lodge was a 10-minute walk from the main street of Celbridge as well, which was good for a pint and a quick bite to eat. All in all the place was perfect. It was set in green grounds, had booklets about the history of the lodge itself and Casteltown house and felt removed enough from Dublin to be a proper break away.
The ILT do so much more than this Lodge though, they cater to larger groups with stays in castles, mansion houses and light keeper towers available to rent. I would highly recommend staying with them as you get everything you need from a trip away, peace, history and beautiful settings. You too can feel like the aforementioned dog running free.